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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - October 25, 2009

From: Saddle River, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Deer are devastating understory in our woods. We have a highly resistant shrub purchased years ago at the state arboretum plant sale. It is about 5-6' tall, somewhat wider than that, many suckers/offshoots surrounding the parent shrub. It has simple, opposite finely and unevenly toothed leaves, prominent veins, particularly on the underside (about 8 big ones and then several small ones merging together at the end of the leaf.) Distinctive fruit - a 3 berried cluster only at the end of the stalk, each berry 1/4 in., currently with dried blue/black covering with a single seed inside. The seed is lt. beige/tan with "scaling" covering patterened a bit like overlaping in a pine cone. Fruit has 3 dried, open bracts behind the cluster. Plant has good sized white flowers about late May. To some extent, leaf is kind of like an arrow wood viburnum but not as rounded. It still is bright green while most other leaves are turning here in northern NJ. I work with a volunteer organization which is promoting deer-resistant plantings and want to propagate and distribute this shrub. What should I say it is ??

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks this sounds like a fascinating plant, but I don't think we are going to be able to identify it without some photos.  Please read the instructions on Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for submitting photos.  Please send several high-resolution photos in good focus illustrating the features you mention above.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014 - I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with red berries in Weatherford, Texas
October 17, 2014 - I have found a vine with red berries that I would appreciate an ID for. How can I send you a photo or two of it?
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Foster RI
April 05, 2012 - I have a weed flowering plant in bloom in a moist semi-shaded area. I would like to send a photo but I do not know how to upload.
view the full question and answer

Possible identification of Hydrocotyle bonariensis
July 01, 2007 - I went to Pedra Island two years ago I saw a plant that grew around the beach. It has a perfectly round leaf that has the stem in the middle of the back side of the leaf. It has small yellow flowers. ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a yellow-flowered wildflower with prickly burs
May 20, 2013 - Hi there. We have seen a wildflower, probably invasive, that is at least in Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties. We have tried to identify it without success, The structure of the plant is remark...
view the full question and answer

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