Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
2 ratings

Wednesday - October 21, 2009

From: Rumson, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identfication
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi...Can you please identfy the tall, evergreen shrub with purple plum-colored foliage that I have noticed in winter locally?...Hope so, need he color! THX

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants can tell you the native evergreen shrubs that produce red or purple foliage in the winter and the deciduous shrubs that have colorful fall foliage.  However, it is possible that the shrubs you are seeing are introduced and not native.  If none of the native shrubs that are listed below is the one you have seen, you can send us photos and we can perhaps identify it and determine if it is a native or non-native shrub.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for instructions for submitting photos.

 

EVERGREEN SHRUBS

Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel) has blue-green leaves that turn reddish-green to purplish in the fall.

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) leaves turn from light-green to dark-green to purple through the year.

Mahonia aquifolium (hollyleaved barberry) has dark-green leaves that turn reddish in the fall.

 

DECIDUOUS SHRUBS WITH COLORFUL FALL FOLIAGE

Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood) has reddish foliage in the fall.

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood) with reddish twigs, leaves and fruit in the fall.

Crataegus phaenopyrum (Washington hawthorn) with red fruits and foliage in the fall.

Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle) with dark-green leaves that turn yellowish and then red in the fall.

Photinia floribunda (purple chokeberry) with reddish to purple foliage in the fall.

Photinia melanocarpa (black chokeberry) with crimson-red foliage in the fall.  Here are photos.

Photinia pyrifolia (red chokeberry) with orange-red foliage and red berries in the fall.

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac) with dark-red foliage in the fall.

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac) with spectacular red foliage in fall.

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) with red berries and colorful fall foliage.

Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood) with reddish-purple fall foliage.

Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw) with reddish-purple fall foliage.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Book for identifying Texas plants by dichotomous key from Seguin TX
October 12, 2009 - What is the best book(s) for identifying Texas plants using a dichotomous key?
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant with purple flower and tomato-like fruit
April 24, 2012 - Along the Lake Erie shoreline in Buffalo there is a summer blooming plant with a purple flower and hard flattened tomato like fruit, diameter of a quarter. It has pretty small green leaves with fine ...
view the full question and answer

Keys for identification of native plants in Ohio
April 22, 2005 - Do you know of any good web sites that provide keys for the identification of native plants? I'm conducting a wetland plant inventory in southwestern Ohio.
view the full question and answer

Vine with red berries in North Carolina
November 04, 2011 - I found a plant/ vine pink teardrop with red berries in the Pusgah Forest in North Carolina and no on knows the name of it. I have a photo, can you help?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 29, 2010 - I live outside of Cincinnati and I have a bush that has long yellowish leaves that grow like a spider plant. Just recently long purple things have grown in the middle of them. Is this normal or should...
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.