En Español

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
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 Plant Identification Questions

Identification of small plant with lavendar flower
May 07, 2011 - I have something growing in my yard and pasture that for some odd reason is growing all over the place. I never noticed it being this abundant before. I'm not sure if it's listed as a wild flower or...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
March 15, 2012 - My daughter took the attached picture of a plant growing along a road in Austin, TX. I've searched the database and several wildflower books and can't find the flower. Can you identify it? Thanks fo...
view the full question and answer

What is a Demaree Rose?
August 14, 2013 - Have been told the Apache Plume is the Wild Rose after which the Wild Rose Pass north of Ft. Davis was named. However, other research indicates it was the Demaree Rose. What is true and are there ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with red berries in Tennessee
January 24, 2014 - Hello, I've got a shrub in my backyard; it has leaves off in groups of 3 and it has multiple reddish berries in groups by the dozens. I'm not sure what plant it is. The shrub is stick-like and appr...
view the full question and answer

Ivy with holes in its leaves
May 31, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Pants, Please help me, I was given an ivy (origin unknown). It is peculiar. It has holes in the leaves, not from bugs or from bacteria, etc. It is natural, the holes develop in some type...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center