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

Tuesday - January 31, 2012

From: Peru, IL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Identification of bushes with red berries in Tennessee
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I was recently traveling thru Clarksville, TN and saw these bushes (at the shopping mall) that had clusters of small red berries on them. They were not a Holly that I know of. The leaves were not thick & shiny like holly..more of a narrow pointed leaf. The berries were in clusters hanging (such as grapes). I would love to find out what these are and if they would grow in Illinois. Thanks for your help :-)

ANSWER:

If it is a native shrub, you can search for it in our Native Plant Database by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH.  Choose "Tennessee" from the Select State or Province option and "Shrub" from Habit (general appearance).  This will give you a list of 150 species with thumbnail photos to do a preliminary search.  When you find a photo that is similar to the shrub, you can go to the species page to see a description and more photos.  I assume that the shrub is evergreen since you mention leaves and berries together.  You can also limit your search to evergreens under the heading Leaf retention.  I didn't find any evergreen shrubs that matched your description, but you should look through them yourself.     Here also is a webpage from Eastern Tennessee Wildflowers showing shrubs with fruits to look through.

The fact that you saw the shrubs at a shopping mall, however, is likely to mean that they are a cultivated import.  One shrub that comes to mind is Nandina domestica (heavenly bamboo).  Although it is an attractive evergreen shrub it, unfortunately, is listed by Invasive.org.  Here is more information about the invasiveness of heavenly bamboo from Texas Invasives.  If it is heavenly bamboo, we would hope you wouldn't want to try to grow it in Illinois because of its potential invasiveness.  Additionally, its "hardiness" is listed by Floridata as being Zones 6 to 9.  Clarksville, Tennessee appears to be in the USDA Hardiness Zone 7a; but Peru, Illinois in La Salle County appears to be USDA Hardiness Zone 5b.  Heavenly bamboo would probably have a difficult time growing there anyway since your temperatures fall below those of Zone 6.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problem with non-native bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)
September 27, 2011 - I live in Temecula, CA I have grown pink bower vines before with great success. I recently purchased 2 bower vines and planted them on each side of a trellis in full sun. They flower but do not grow...
view the full question and answer

Ridding property of Dichelostemma Firecracker Plant from Cleburne TX
April 11, 2012 - How do we get rid of Dichelostemma-Firecracker plant? It has invaded our yard & we hate it! How do we kill it?
view the full question and answer

Fungus on trunk of non-native weeping willow in California
August 21, 2008 - I live in Palo Cedro, CA and have a weeping willow tree with with what appears to be be some type of fungus growing all over the trunk of the tree. It is a brown color and can be broken off in big ch...
view the full question and answer

Cuttings from non-native weeping willow in California
October 01, 2008 - I have a large area to plant, I have a flourishing Weeping Willow and would like to harvest cuttings from it to start new trees. What is the best time of year for this in Central California?
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native aloe in Seguin TX
March 17, 2009 - I would love to grow aloe plants; both because I like the look of them and for their medicinal properties. Here in Texas people grow them both indoors and out. For some reason, I have not had any l...
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