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

Monday - December 12, 2011

From: Monckscorner, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Identification of shrub in South Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

First, I'm in Iraq but trying to write a book and have a question on a plant that grows in South Carolina. All I can do is describe it. The bush is normally green but turns red, has large leaves, kind of waxy and produces black or deep purple berries that stain. Any info that you can provide would be much needed. Thank you.

ANSWER:

You can search for shrubs native to South Carolina in our Native Plant Database by choosing COMBINATION SEARCH and selecting "South Carolina" from Select State or Province and "Shrub" from Habit (general appearance).  This search will give you more than 160 choices to look through.

 Here are some of the most likely possibilities from that list:

Photinia floribunda (Purple chokeberry) and here are more photos and information.  (Aronia floribunda is a synonym for Photinia floribunda.)

Photinia melanocarpa (Black chokeberry) and here are photos.

Here are some more photos of Photinias with some non-native Photinia spp. included.

Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush blueberry) and here are more photos.

Vaccinium fuscatum (Black highbush blueberry) and here are photos.

Vaccinium myrsinites (Shiny blueberry and here are photos.

Viburnum nudum (Possumhaw viburnum) and here are more photos.

Viburnum prunifolium (Blackhaw) and here are more photos.

Viburnum rafinesquianum (Downy arrowwood)

Here are other possibilities from the list:

Amelanchier arborea (Common serviceberry) and here are more photos.

Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry) and here are more photos.

Amelanchier obovalis (Coastal juneberry) on the threatened and endangered list in Maryland and Pennsylvania.  Here are photos.

Amelanchier stolonifera (Running serviceberry) and here are photos.

Gaylussacia baccata (Black huckleberry) and here are more photos.

Gaylussacia frondosa (Blue huckleberry) and here are photos.

Ilex coriacea (Large gallberry) with evergreen leaves and here are photos.

Ilex glabra (Inkberry) with evergreen leaves.

Persea palustris (Swamp bay) and here are more photos.

Finally, here is one more species that is shrub-like but is not a perennial.   It does have dark purple berries that stain.  It is Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed).

I hope you find your shrub in the ones shown above.  Good luck with your book!

Here are photos of some the shrubs listed above:

 

From the Image Gallery


Purple chokeberry
Photinia floribunda

Black highbush blueberry
Vaccinium fuscatum

Velvetleaf huckleberry
Vaccinium myrtilloides

Possumhaw viburnum
Viburnum nudum

Blackhaw
Viburnum prunifolium

Downy arrowwood
Viburnum rafinesquianum

Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Black huckleberry
Gaylussacia baccata

American pokeweed
Phytolacca americana

American pokeweed
Phytolacca americana

More Shrubs Questions

Freeze damage to esperanza in pot from Brady TX
December 10, 2009 - My esperanza, currently in a container, has suffered some freeze damage. I have prepared a planting spot for it and am not sure whether to plant now, trim it back if I do plant it, etc. I would appr...
view the full question and answer

Information about a red-flowered Pavonia lasiopetala in central TX.
September 07, 2010 - I have grown Pavonia for years and just let it re-seed where it wants (and remove if I don't want it where it falls). This year I created a new 6 inch raised bed amended with compost and some manure...
view the full question and answer

Death of Tecoma stans after heavy rain
July 21, 2008 - I had two esperanza plants. They have been planted for about four months, this spring. They were blooming and growing. We had six inches of rain in five days and they began to wilt - and then they d...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Austin thicket underlayer
July 25, 2014 - We live in Austin, west of 183. We are planning to put a thicket in our backyard, where there is no threat of deer. Anchoring the thicket are a clump of live oaks, a Texas persimmon, an Eve's Necklac...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for Salem IN
September 02, 2014 - We've recently had a new pond dug. It is on a hill side and has some very steep and tall banks. We were advised that our best chance of keeping soil from eroding was to plant fescue. I'm not thrille...
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