En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plant identification in Georgia

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

Wednesday - September 14, 2011

From: Kennesaw, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Edible Plants, Poisonous Plants
Title: Plant identification in Georgia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I saw the same question that I was going to ask about the plant that folds its leaves at dusk, with sparse branches, rapid growth, small yellow flowers and long (whisker-like, but do not appear to be seed pods) hanging from the branches. We live in Georgia (near Atlanta) and have never seen this plant before (are originally from PA). Saw a post on another site with a picture of the plant from someone in PA. Very interested in finding out this plants name.

ANSWER:

After some confusion about your question on my part (e.g., "Where did you see the question—was it in Mr. Smarty Plants' database?"), I decided to Google "plants that fold their leaves at night" and I believe that I found the site with the photo from Pennsylvania you mentioned finding.  Clicking on "View Follow-Ups" at the bottom of their page I found comments from other readers with a name for the plant.   It is Senna obtusifolia (Java-bean or sicklepod).  Here are more photos.  Even though it is a plant native to North America, it is considered an invasive weed in several southeastern states.  The long whisker-like green objects that hang from the branches are its seed pods.  Poisonous Plants of North Carolina lists the seeds as poisonous if eaten in large quantities.  However, the mature seeds after being roasted, have been used as a substitute for coffee—thus, its alternate name of Java-weed or coffeeweed.  Additionally, the young shoots can be boiled and eaten as a vegetable.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Java-bean
Senna obtusifolia

Java-bean
Senna obtusifolia

More Poisonous Plants Questions

What is white sticky substance in the Mandevilla vine?
June 15, 2012 - When I was watering my Mandevilla one of the vines broke and there was a white, sticky substance that came out of the vine. I was just curious as to what that is.
view the full question and answer

Is Viburnum dentatum (Chicago Lustre) toxic to horses
May 26, 2009 - Are Chicago Lustre Viburnum -- Viburnum Dentatum -- toxic to horses?
view the full question and answer

Are oleanders poisonous?
July 18, 2008 - Are Oleanders poisonous?
view the full question and answer

Need to find a place to buy Western Soapberry in Paris, TX.
May 05, 2012 - Where is the closest place to purchase a Western Soapberry tree?
view the full question and answer

Beautyberries not poisonous to cats and dogs from Haddonfield NJ
December 11, 2012 - Are beauty berry plants poisonous to cats/dogs? Would like to use branches w/berries and leaves as indoor decorations.
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