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 plant from Tennessee
June 06, 2011 - I was trying to find the identity of a plant my Grandmother grew around her house in West Tennessee. It was a nonflowering plant, about 12-24 in tall, had thornless leaves similar in shape to holly l...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant that smells like oranges in Alpine, TX
August 16, 2012 - There are patches of flat bushy like plants in lawn, smells like orange. Areas may be 10" and spreading, but when pulled has small root. How can I get rid of this plant and what is it?
view the full question and answer

Plant called crows foot/feet used to make wreaths at Christmas
December 20, 2008 - In Pennsylvania there was a green ground hugging vine I knew as "crow's feet/foot" we used in the 1950s at Christmas time for wreaths and window and door borders. It looked like a cluster of bird'...
view the full question and answer

Instructions for sending photos for identifying plants
May 18, 2008 - Mr. Plants, Does your Ask.... form allow photo attachments, so you can see the uncommon native plants that interest us. Thanx.
view the full question and answer

Dfferences between Argemone arizonica and other Argemones
October 27, 2005 - I am trying to find information about the differences between the Argemone arizonica which grows only in the Grand Canyon and the other Argemones which grow in the rest of the U.S. Do you have any...
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