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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - September 24, 2008

From: Drummond, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant Identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a single stem red vine with purple berries growing on it. It is in a cluster of bushes and gets mostly morning and early afternoon sun. The berries also have small bumps at the stem. I have lived here for 2 years and this is the first that I have seen this vine.

ANSWER:

This is not a vine, but your description of the red stem with purple berries makes Mr. Smarty Plants think of Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed) or Phytolacca americana var. americana (American pokeweed). We have had many identification queries (with submitted photos) about these plants this year.  It has been a very good year for them.  If this doesn't happen to be what you saw, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify your plant.  Visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos for identification.

Phytolacca americana var. americana

Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana
 

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