En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - November 25, 2008

From: Wilmette, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live north of Chicago. I have been Gardening just about everything forever. I finally got a surprise gift from a migrating bird, squirrel or possibly my kitchen composting. Apparently from a seed grew this single tall and wide (8ft high x 8ft wide)plant/tree/bush ?? The uniqueness is in the "rhubarb" colored stem and branches (stem is hollow and branches are more plant than woody). THIS PLANT BEARS AN AWESOME VERTICAL CLUSTER OF DARK PURPLE BERRIES (40-50)ON A SINGLE STEM UNLIKE A GRAPE CLUSTER SPREAD OUT ON FINGERS, THIS FRUIT BEARS ON A SINGLE VERTICAL STEM (DK RED). VERY PROLIFEROUS AND A REAL TREASURE. Please help me with any or all information. I have to say I am not sure if it is perennial or re-seeds itself. It has grown back three years and I hope a fourth. Thank you

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks this sounds like Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed). If this doesn't happen to be your plant, please send us a photo and we will do our best to identify it.  For instructions for submitting photographs, please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.

Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Tree that looks like cedar elm but with smooth bark
August 09, 2014 - What tree looks like a cedar elm, but has smooth bark?
view the full question and answer

Proper spacing for planting yuccas
January 10, 2009 - We bought some yuccas and need to know how far apart to plant them
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
July 06, 2008 - I am trying to identify a small tree or large plant here in Indiana. I have seen it from 6 ft to as tall as 15 to 20. It is a green leaf with pink cone shaped growth at the ends of a branch. The co...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 04, 2010 - Just blooming out here in the Austin metro is a square-budded yellow 'daisy' with puffy center. Very like a Huisache Daisy, but the margins aren't so toothed. It's VERY common in the Austin greens...
view the full question and answer

Dodder
April 06, 2012 - I have seen patches of Bluebonnets that are covered with a stringy,rubbery,orange substance that seems to be choking out the particular patch. It wraps itself around the flowers,completely covering th...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center