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
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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

Weird-looking rootless plant, perhaps a fungus
August 23, 2008 - While out it my backyard (i.e. the Black Hills of South Dakota), I spotted a weird-looking rootless plant (I think it may be a fungus) growing beneath the Ponderosa Pines. It was the only one in the a...
view the full question and answer

Identification of orange hydrangea-like flower
April 19, 2008 - I am trying to identify a tree...It is a tree like bush if that makes any sense...It has tree limbs and it is bushy like a bush...I thought it might be a hydrangea bush that grows straight up instead ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of pink bell-shaped flowers in Kansas
June 01, 2013 - I have a beautiful array of pink bell shaped flowers with a white shaping on the inside of them they are about 2 feet tall. I cant seem to figure out what they are.
view the full question and answer

Plant ID–maybe a lupine?
February 02, 2015 - We have a strange plant growing in our flowerbed that we did not knowingly plant. It sprang up last summer and has continued to grow throughout the winter in spite of several freezes. We live just eas...
view the full question and answer

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

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