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
1 rating

Saturday - June 25, 2011

From: Charlotte, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I see a previous question from Ohio on this plant, so I will copy the description and try to submit photos. "A year later a weed-like plant started growing beside it. It has very thorny leaves, stems and stalk. Little purple flowers are growing from it. On some of the stems/branches there are three small watermelon looking pods growing. What could this be. The thorns are extremely strong and you can not pull it without some gloves. The stalk, stems, and leaves are all a solid light green. The pods look very much like "mini" watermelons. The flowers are a light purple with long petals that have not opened up yet - almost tear drop formed. What is this?

ANSWER:

 This, I believe, is Solanum carolinense (Carolina horse-nettle).  Here are more photos and information.  Although it is a native plant, it is considered invasive in some areas.  The blossoms can be dark purple through shades of lavender to almost white.

If this isn't your plant, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that allow photo uploads.  Our Mr. Smarty Plants page does not support the attachment of photos by questioners.

 

From the Image Gallery


Carolina horse-nettle
Solanum carolinense

Carolina horse-nettle
Solanum carolinense

Carolina horse-nettle
Solanum carolinense

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of a plant similar to wild lettuc
March 24, 2008 - I have a plant that was growing by my swimming pool last summer. Its some sort of wild lettuce, but i have been unable to identify it with the resources i have.
view the full question and answer

ID of plant that looks like a pine cone?
October 29, 2009 - I have a plant that i was told it was a Pine Cone plant. When it blooms it looks just like a pine cone. but i can't fine anything on it.
view the full question and answer

Dill-like plant in veggie garden in California
September 28, 2011 - I have a plant that appeared in my veggie garden. Looks like dill in spring when green, but the leaves smell more like turpentine! Now, 4-5 foot tall, brown, it produces lots of small, oval - not cr...
view the full question and answer

Looking for the identification of spice or cinnamon bush
May 30, 2011 - My grandmother had a flowering bush that had little yellow flowers on it and smelled like cinnamon to me. She called it a spice bush. Could you help me name that bush?
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
August 29, 2011 - Hi- I am currently am AP Biology student and have two plants left to identify that I found at a lily pool in Chicago. Can you help me identify them? One I believe is a fern, the other a flower. Th...
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