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

Can you identify a funny looking bulb that I bought at the grocery store? Probably not..
May 06, 2010 - I looked through your data base and did not find what I was looking for. I bought this funny looking bulb at a grocery store. It looked like a giant shriveled spider when i bought them. Due to lack of...
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny tree with lemon-like fruit
October 14, 2010 - What would be a small lemon like fruit that grows on a bush with large thorns? The fruit is about the size of a golf ball, kind of fuzzy yellow skin like a lemon and smells like a cross between an or...
view the full question and answer

Is the Ashe juniper native from Round Mountain TX
June 23, 2010 - Some friends and I disagree on something, and I hope you will settle the argument. Are the cedars found in the Texas hill country (ashe juniper) native or not?
view the full question and answer

Identification of a tree at David Crockett Cabin Museum in Tennessee
October 22, 2012 - I was in Lawrenceburg TN and stopped by the David Crockett Cabin Museum. There was a tree and it dropped lemon sized balls on the ground. What kind of tree is it?
view the full question and answer

Plant in Las Vegas with fern-like foliage and yellow/orange/red flowers
August 21, 2011 - We were in North Las Vegas and saw a beautiful plant, I would love to find it. It had a fern like foliage at the bottom with long thin stems and a flower clump at the top with yellow/orange/red flower...
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.