En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plant identification site

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

Tall plant with bell-shaped upside-down white flowers
July 18, 2014 - 2 tall plants grew outside my suburban New York house in June, blossomed late June. They looked like giant asparagus stalks, and the flowers were white, bell shaped, upside down, look like fairy skirt...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 03, 2009 - I have a tree growing in my backyard that has started to produce bean shaped blue berries the interior of the berry is red and the leaf shape is long and triangle and the stems the berries grow on are...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant growing in Plumbago
August 01, 2007 - Help - I have a strange looking plant that recently shot up in a potted Plumbago. I planted the Plumbago in its pot with Miracle Gro potting soil, and have been fertilizing with Miracle Gro as well. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 10, 2010 - I have a tall leafy green plant growing in my garden. It has long flowering limbs that bear a pod that looks like a tiny green pepper. It then turns purple and falls off. The flower that remains is...
view the full question and answer

Identity of rubbery-looking tree with long green thorns
March 21, 2012 - I am trying to identify a tree that has a green rubbery look with long, sharp, green thorns. This tree is on my property in Conroe, TX and the soil type is Gladwater clay frequently flooded.
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center