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

Plant identification
May 11, 2008 - Can you identify a plant in a shady part of our yard. I have a pictrure I would like to send and I don't see a way to do that here. Can you provide that assistance? Perhaps a direct email address so ...
view the full question and answer

Weed identification
February 27, 2012 - Weeds / Wildflower. I dream of a photo identification for weeds / wildflowers that pop up in my garden here in Austin, Texas. Maybe I don't want to pull them up. How do I know? Do you know of a b...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 21, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, Hopefully you can help identify the following plant. I've had a bush type of weed growing near my hay feeder for the cows this year that's about 2' tall has massive spikes o...
view the full question and answer

Iris brevicaulis in Southwest Michigan
April 22, 2007 - We live in Kalamazoo, MI (Southwest Michigan Zone 6) and discovered last year that we have an iris brevicaulis (we think) growing (and very pretty) on our property. It has the "zig zag" stem. It see...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 16, 2009 - There is a plant growing on the side of the road near my home. The stalk of it is thistle like with many prickles. The flower on it is white and has 6 petals.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center