Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
5 ratings

Saturday - September 12, 2009

From: Natchitoches, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification for Louisiana
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Trying to identify a "fruit bearing" plant around Natchitoches, Louisiana. Grows about waist high to average man, slightly elongated green leaf, bearing small green "fruit" or "berry", with paper thin, veiny skin. Grows wild, bushy, deer seem to be attracted to it.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks this sounds like a species of Physalis.  Here are some that are of sufficient height and are native to Louisiana:

Physalis angulata (cutleaf groundcherry) grows to about 3 feet and here are more photos and information.

Physalis heterophylla (clammy groundcherry) grows to 1.5 to 2.5 feet and here are more photos and information.

Physalis pubescens (husk tomato) grows to 2.5 feet and here are more photos and information.

Physalis virginiana (Virginia groundcherry) grows to 3 feet and here are more photos and information.

If none of these is the plant you have seen, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify your plant.  Please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for instructions on submitting photos.


Physalis angulata

Physalis heterophylla

Physalis pubescens

Physalis virginiana

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Unknown blue flower growing in New Boston, TX
May 18, 2013 - A light blue wildflower, similar to a cosmos, appeared in one of my beds this spring. I've never grown this flower and would like to identify it. The flower also has similarities to a passion flower...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Lebanon CT
August 25, 2009 - What is that plant-- a wildflower --large thick stalk--flowers can be purple, pink, and very light pink. 3 branches off of stalk--flowers growing up each branch. Flowers smell similar to peonies.Leave...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with white spike blooms and red berries
July 06, 2014 - I just came back from a hike in Dallas and found large areas where a lanceolate- to acuminate- leafed herb was blooming spikes of white, 4 petal flowers that quickly turn to bright red berries, someti...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for Beeville, TX
May 14, 2011 - Today in Beeville, TX I came across a plant that looks like a grass, but has a small black and white dotted flower. The flower looks like an orchid. Could you identify this or give me direction as t...
view the full question and answer

Looking for rattlesnake flower
April 22, 2008 - I taught school for many years. The students and I identified wildflowers. I had one I call Rattlesnake Flower. It was small and had a little blue flower. On the leaves were little seed cases that...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.