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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 23, 2013

From: Cranford, NJ
Region: Canada
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of purple-leafed plant in formal garden in Quebec City
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I saw a plant in a formal garden in Quebec City that was low growing with purple leaves and clusters of deep purple pods/seeds about the size of grapes.


Our focus and expertise are with plants native to North America.  Since the plant you saw was growing in a formal garden, It is very unlikely that it is a native plant.   It is more likely an ornamental cultivar introduced from somewhere outside North America.

Now, having told you all that, I will show you a cultivar of the North American native, Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin).  It is called Capsicum annuum 'Black Pearl' and fits your description very well.   Here is a description of it from the US National Arboretum where it was developed.  The leaves are described as black but could certainly be called dark purple.  It is an annual and hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-10.  Canadian provinces and cities aren't shown on the USDA Hardiness Zone map, but Quebec City appears to fall in the Zone 4 range on the Canadian Plant Hardiness Zone map.  The fruits are edible and described as hot.

If this isn't the plant you saw and you have a photo of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.


More Plant Identification Questions

Dodder, rootless, leafless, parisitic twining plants
May 29, 2006 - Hello, I have been studying wildflowers in California for many years. Yesterday I came across a surprise and I am thus far unable to identify it. As it is raining today, I cannot get a photo, but I...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 23, 2008 - Hi from Baton Rouge, I was out in Livingston Parish a week ago and saw a small tree that I had never seen before. I can't paste a picture here. It's sort of like an Osage Orange but the flowers a...
view the full question and answer

Identification of growth on possible oak tree
March 24, 2008 - We have photographed a very unusual bloom or growth on a tree we suspect may be an oak, and would like to submit photos of the bloom, bark, and (leafless) tree to someone for identification. My wild ...
view the full question and answer

Care for Vauquelinia angustifolia (Chisos Rosewood)
June 08, 2008 - Hello, I have another question for you. A friend has given me a plant called "Chisos Rosewood" which they bought on a whim but decided they couldn't use. It's said to be evergreen. It's about...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 24, 2008 - I found a flower about 5 inches tall and it is Pinkish White the head of it hangs down and looks like a rose that hasn't bloomed yet. It reminds me of an Orchid like Fairy . Its Mystic like! what is ...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center