Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

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 Trees Questions

Diagnosis of problem and treatment of damaged Cedar Elm
February 01, 2007 - Part of our mature Cedar Elm looked damaged last summer. We were advised by a landscape designer to spray it with Kocide in late January as a treatment. Is there an alternative to this? Should we h...
view the full question and answer

Pruning lower branches of Cordia Boissieri from San Antonio
December 08, 2013 - My Texas Wild Olive Tree is about 6 feet high now. I bought it at the 2012 plant sale. This past summer it put on new branches near the base of the tree which I would like to cut off (to encourage u...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Solution for Lorton, VA
February 07, 2014 - We have a steep slope in our common area of our homeowners association. Trees that were planted have died. It is a large area around a pond. What should we plant that will hold the soil? The soil...
view the full question and answer

Soapberry tree problems in North Richland Hills, TX
September 01, 2010 - We have a small grove of soapberry trees. The city recently reconstructed the street and added a side walk which now sets as close at 1 foot from the nearest tree. Everything seemed fine until they ...
view the full question and answer

Cedar elm with brown leaves
August 12, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We feel we may have limited time to save our beautiful Ceder Elm. We have many trees in our yard (Post Oaks and Cedar Elms) and have been told they are all between 50 - 75 year...
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.