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

Thursday - November 17, 2011

From: Norfolk, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of perennial with dark red/purple flowers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Need to identify a lovely perennial here in Norfolk, Virginia. It reseeds itself, spreads, and lingers into the late fall. It has rather thick, dark green, alternate spatulate leaves at the base with thin stalks of tiny lovely dark red/purple flowers which look like small beads. Total height is about 18 inches. The "beads" come off the main stalk in alternate arrangements with each bead occupying an end of a fine, hair-like "branch." It is very shallow rooted and the leaves and base are very tender and easily snapped. I was told it was "Jewels of the Nile," but it is not a hosta or the large blue "Jewel of the Nile." I have photos which I can forward if desired. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Searching for your plant, I did a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database and selected "Virginia" from the Select State or Province option, "Herb" from Habit (general appearance), "September", "October" and "November" from Bloom Time and "Red" and "Purple" from Bloom Color.  This resulted in 98 plants native to Virginia, but none of them appeared to match your description.   You should try doing the search yourself to see if, perhaps, I missed it; but, I suspect that your plant is not a North American native.  Since our expertise and focus here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with North American native plants, we are not the best source for identifying cultivated non-native plants.  If you visit our Plant Identification page, you will find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos for identification.  However, the best option would probably be to contact the Norfolk Master Gardener Association and/or the Norfolk Botanical Garden—sources closer to you that would have expertise in cultivated plants of your area.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identity of shrub with brownish flowers called cinnamon bush
April 25, 2012 - When I lived in Vernon, CT, my neighbor had a small shrub/tree approximately 5 ft tall with small ovate slightly serrated leaves. In spring it produced reddish brown flowers that were of a hardened p...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 29, 2010 - I live outside of Cincinnati and I have a bush that has long yellowish leaves that grow like a spider plant. Just recently long purple things have grown in the middle of them. Is this normal or should...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree or shrub in Massachusetts
May 16, 2013 - Good morning, We are in Zone 5 and have a tree/shrub I cannot identify in the backyard of our new home. Tall (6')and growing, green stems,and when the stems are broken the branches smell of lemon o...
view the full question and answer

Is there a variety of bluebonnet called black gumbo
February 04, 2008 - I live in Grimes County, Texas on the eastern edge of the Blackland Prairie. A few years ago my hillside of Bluebonnet seed was harvested. I was told it was a rare 'black gumbo' variety of bluebon...
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny vine in Michigan
May 21, 2013 - We have a species growing around our rural SW Michigan property that I'm trying to identify: I either see stalks up to 3 ft tall, or much longer vines if they find anchor. The most notable characte...
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