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 - June 25, 2012

From: Maroa, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Tall lily with dark berry at leaf attachment
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A lily showed up in my flower garden last year (central Illinois); about 3' tall, a single dark berry at the stem where each leaf is attached. It didn't flower. This year it's approaching 4' tall and it's going to flower. Do you know what it is?

ANSWER:

Although the native Clintonia borealis (Bluebead) grows in Illinois, its bluebeads occur on stalks where the flowers occurred.

The plant you describe, however, is most likely an introduced ornamental from AsiaLilium lancifolium (Tiger lily)  [synonym = Lilium tigrinum].  This Asian native produces bulbils in leaf axils that are dark blue or black.  These bulbils can be used to propagate the species.  Here is more information about the stem bulbils and here are more photos and information.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Picture of Castilleja purpurea
February 08, 2015 - Can you tell me what the seedling for Castilleja purpurea looks like? Or do you have a picture?
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant in Kentucky with fuzzy grayish-green leaves
September 03, 2012 - I would like to know about a plant that I do not know what it is. I had this plant just come up in my flowerbed, that looked like a tobacco plant but the leaves looked like a lambs ear plant. It was ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Michigan
May 26, 2010 - We are trying to identify a plant in our yard. It is seven inches tall in May, grows to about knee high, has red leaves, flowers in late June, early July. The flower is light pink. It is a perennia...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
December 17, 2009 - For a few weeks now the front of our school has had an on and off smell that to some was like a dead animal. To others it smelled like dirty fish fry oil. Maintenance people came out and found the sou...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of tree on Kent State University in Ohio
August 09, 2011 - Hello. I am fond of a very large (wide) tree on a university campus in Ohio. I have tried many plant ID search engines to try to figure out what it is. It is at least 12 feet tall and at least that ...
view the full question and answer

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