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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 17, 2010

From: El Monte, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification site
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is there a site I can use to identify plants by photos of leaves, flowers, berries etc? I found a plant in my yard I cannot identify. The nursery near us could not identify it. It has some groups/clusters of 3 - 5 "berries" that are about 1/4 inch and some have turned purpley black. It also has small white flowers with a yellow center.

ANSWER:

If your plant is native to North America, you might be able to find it on our website.  Go to our Native Plant Database and do a COMBINATION SEARCH, entering 'California' in the Select State or Province slot and then try 'Shrub' in the Habit (general appearance) slot.  You can change that entry to search other plant types.  You could also enter 'White' under Bloom Color.  When I read your description of the plant again, one plant popped into my mind that sort of matches your description—Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed).  Birds could have brought the seeds into your garden.

If this doesn't happen to be the plant and you couldn't find it by searching our database, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read the instructions for submitting photos.

Here are photos of American pokeweed from our Image Gallery:


Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification
April 16, 2009 - I have a vine in my flowerbed that has three leaves and thorns and it looks like poison ivy. How can I tell if it is?
view the full question and answer

Mystery Ground Cover in WI
July 11, 2011 - I am trying to identify a ground cover plant that has started growing in my yard (I'm in central Wisconsin). It is very short, only about 1-2 inches tall and is very thick covering the ground. It h...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Pearland TX
August 10, 2013 - I am looking for a native plant; was told it was called Hummingbird Weed. Came from Coryell County. I let mine freeze and cannot find more. It has long spikes with small red trumpet-shaped blooms on ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant similar to Lindheimer's senna (Senna lindheimeriana)
October 27, 2011 - I purchased "Lindheimer's Senna" at our MG plant sale in Williamson Co. two years ago. My three plants are now 6 ft. tall but I don't think they are Lindheimers. I've searched your plant files ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of cattail look-alike, except red
June 21, 2008 - I would like help identify the wildflowers growing beside the highways in my area so I can plant some at my house. We live in Sherwood Arkansas which is just north of Little Rock.The Highway where ...
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