Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 rafinesqueanum

Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Black huckleberry
Gaylussacia baccata

American pokeweed
Phytolacca americana

American pokeweed
Phytolacca americana

More Shrubs Questions

What's attacking my Nellie Stevens Holly plants in Iredell, TX?
June 27, 2011 - I just bought 10 Nellie R. Stevens holly bushes and planted them as a screen. The leaves on some of the plants are at least half white - not yellow but white. Apparently they were like that when I b...
view the full question and answer

Native Plant Suggestions for Dripping Springs
August 02, 2011 - I have a very dry commercial property in Dripping Springs TX where the dry sand/dust isn't a good rain conductor (whenever we get rain). What can we plant there? We have no irrigation and use a rai...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Screening of House Next Door in NC
June 26, 2013 - Hello, I live in the house my parents bought in 1971 in Winston-Salem, NC. The house beside me is an eyesore and for sale at a very low price. I am afraid the condition of the house and yard next door...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing privacy shrub for Northern California home
January 22, 2014 - We have purchased a home in Anderson CA. We want a privacy shrub along the roadside of our home to reduce noise. 60'x 25' of full sun with rocky soil and many Oak trees.We want something that will ...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistance and Erosion Control for St. Louis County MO
January 03, 2014 - I am looking for deer and rabbit resistant native plants for erosion control on a steep ravine slope with part sun and part shade in St. Louis County MO.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.