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

Plant identification of plant with leaves like poison ivy
July 30, 2013 - I would like to identify a plant whose leaves look like poison ivy, but the stem is white and has thorns. It is not thready. It was prevalent in overgrown garden beds of a house in Litchfield, CT. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of purple flower in Washington state
July 19, 2013 - I need help. I am a 10 year old girl who just happens to have a brother. He has a deep purple flower with small, oval shaped petals. We would like to know what it is. We planted it in a garden thing a...
view the full question and answer

Information about native aconitum
February 27, 2008 - There was a picture of a plant in our local newspaper this past week. In the photo ID they called this plant an aconite, a member of the buttercup family. My questions are: is there such a plant? is i...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant in Ohio
May 11, 2009 - Trying to identify a tree/shrub in Ohio. It grows from 6-8', and blooms through the summer. It has small green glossy leaves, and bell/trumpet shaped flowers in pink, white, or yellow with stripes. T...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify a strange plant in my flowerbed
March 05, 2010 - I have a strange plant that I've called a weed in my flowerbed. It doesn't have many leaves but it has round white almost bulbs at the surface of the dirt. The "bulbs" look almost like a small oni...
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