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

Friday - August 31, 2012

From: Port Saint Lucie, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Identification of small tree in Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Port Saint Lucie, FL. We have a few trees (?) growing in our yard I would like to i.d. They seem to grow quickly have smooth leaves that grow opposite one another and the underside of the leaves are purple and the top side is green. Also, the largest one is at least 8 feet tall.

ANSWER:

You description doesn't  bring to my mind a tree or shrub native to Florida.  You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database choosing "Florida" from the Select State or Province option and "Tree" from Habit (general appearance).  You should also try the same search but substitute "Shrub" for "Tree."  I have done this search but didn't see a tree that looked like your description.  However, I don't know what the shape or size of the leaves are and whether the leaves grow up the stem in pairs or they grow on branches that come off the main stem or trunk so I could have missed your tree/shrub.  You should do the search yourself in case I missed it.  

It is entirely possible that your tree/shrub is not a native plant.   If it isn't native to North America, it won't be in our Native Plant Database.   Florida's mild climate makes it easy for non-native tropical and semi-tropical plants to grow there.  If you don't find your tree in our Native Plant Database, you should take photos of it and then visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identifcation of fragrant, white camellia-like flower
August 04, 2008 - My friend describes a beautiful, unusual smelling flower. It was a white camellia-like bloom, but was not a camellia. It was flowering in June or July in the Alabama and Mississippi region. It had ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of yellow flowers in Wisconsin
June 19, 2012 - We have plants near Madison, Wisconsin that some call lanceleaf coreoposis however I believe they are some type of invasive species. They have yellow flowers, seem to spread by seed. and don't grown ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed)
September 07, 2010 - What wild growing plant has dark purple berries with a pinkish stem? The purple berries grow on their own stem and not in among the leaves, the leaves are green.
view the full question and answer

Dyes from native North American plants
November 29, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have been working as a textile designer for many years and am now interested in harvesting native North American plants in order to create natural dyes. Which plant ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of low plant with like waterlily pad
May 04, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a low growing plant with leaves the shape of a waterlily pad, approx.1" growing all over my yard. I actually like them but would like to know the name of the plant. Thank y...
view the full question and answer

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