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
1 rating

Thursday - March 08, 2012

From: Los Angeles, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Identification of tree with red feathery leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the name of a tree with dark red leaves, feathery, slim trunk; maybe in the pepper family? Jedi?

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center are with plants native to North America.  I could find only one native California tree that sounds anything like your description.  It is Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac) that has feathery green leaves that turn red in the fall.  Your description, however, does sound a bit like the non-native Acer palmaturm (Japanese maple) that grows readily in California.  Here are more photographs of the Japanese maple.  There is the South American native, Schinus molle (Brazilian or Peruvian peppertree), that has feathery green leaves and red berries.   It is on the California Invasive Plant Council's list of invasive plants.  If you have photos of the tree (or can take them), there are links to several plant identification forums on our Plant Identification page that accept photos for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

More Trees Questions

Affect of poisonous plant roots in soils for vegetables from Rusk TX
May 11, 2013 - I have a huge old flowerbed in front of my house that I want to plant veggies in, but I'm afraid to. It has a catalpa tree there, which I sell the worms from, but the entire tree (bark, leaves, flowe...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistance of non-native Leyland Cypress from Kerrville TX
April 19, 2014 - Are Leyland cypress deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Solution for wet area near fence
April 07, 2010 - I just moved into a house that is 10 years old on the north side of Houston, Texas. When it rains the water pools about 1 to 3 inches deep around the beds with trees (pine, sweet gum and chinaberry) ...
view the full question and answer

Native specimen tree for Houston, Texas
September 23, 2009 - Looking for recommendations for a specimen tree to flank our front steps. Evergreen, 15 feet tall, maybe 10 feet wide. Will be near icee blue Japanese yews and nearly wild rose bushes. Ideas?
view the full question and answer

Season to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle from Fallbrook CA
July 25, 2013 - Would like to know which season would be the best to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle in Fallbrook, CA area? I presently have invading bamboo, which I want to get rid of. Thank you!
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