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
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.


Kalmia angustifolia

Kalmia latifolia

Mahonia aquifolium

Cornus sericea

Cornus racemosa

Crataegus phaenopyrum

Diervilla lonicera

Photinia floribunda

Photinia pyrifolia

Rhus copallinum

Rhus glabra

Rhus typhina

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum prunifolium
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Safe distance from foundation for Sycamore from Preston UK
August 24, 2011 - What would be the safe distance to have a sycamore tree near your house so it doesn't affect the foundations?
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant at 6500 ft. in Boulder UT
September 19, 2009 - Located at 6,500 feet in Boulder, Utah..not Colorado in sandy soil with irrigation, we have discovered a deep green leafy (unfurls from the center) plant with six lobes on each side of the leaf stem. ...
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing non-native Wisteria from Austin
June 25, 2012 - How do I distinguish a native wisteria from a non-native wisteria?
view the full question and answer

What is gelatinous plant in a Missouri lake
July 25, 2008 - Q what is gel like plant floating in lake looks like a bag filled with green living plant and is see thru and has red. when touched feels like piece of fat but seems to be living in water. Missouri
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with red berries in Tennessee
January 24, 2014 - Hello, I've got a shrub in my backyard; it has leaves off in groups of 3 and it has multiple reddish berries in groups by the dozens. I'm not sure what plant it is. The shrub is stick-like and appr...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center