Contact Us Host an Event 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

Thursday - January 28, 2016

From: Weed, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identification of vining plant with red berries in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We found a vining plant next to and growing in our stream with gorgeous purple leaves in the fall after frost and a few sporadic clusters of smooth small red berries with little thorns on the vine. We live at 3,000 feet

ANSWER:

Searching the USDA Plants Database for vines that occur in Siskiyou County, California, I found Solanum dulcamara (Bittersweet nightshade or climbing nightshade) to be the one that best fit your description.  Most of the descriptions state that the leaves are green or tinged with purple.  None of the descriptions I found, however, reported thorns on the vine but many do report that the vines often have fine hairs, especially when young.  It is an introduced plant native to Eurasia and Northern Africa.  It is considered invasive in many areas and it has toxic characteristics.

Here are more descriptions from King County, Washington, the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) and Illinois Wildflowers.

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identifying a plant/weed blooming in Feb. in Texas
February 24, 2010 - Can you help me identify a flowering plant I have found growing in my yard? It is a tiny green plant most months of the year, with very tiny deep to pastel blue flowers on it in early spring ( it is i...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly Datura
September 07, 2007 - I have a wide green-leafed plant that has white flowers. This plant also has some thorny fruits in the shape of mines that float on the ocean. At the moment it is 2 feet high. I'm beginning to wo...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of bamboo-like plant in California
January 10, 2014 - We just bought a house in Cambria, CA. The plant I'd like to ID grows like bamboo -- spreading fibrous stalks abt 6' high with beautiful orange blossoms that protrude out the top of the stalk. The...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID in Woodbury TN
July 07, 2009 - Please help identify this unusual plant. I am in Middle TN, Cannon County. This plant comes up every year and looks like something tropical. It has huge leaves about 16 + inches wide. and grows abo...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
August 14, 2009 - a vine plant with small white flowers with a small red flower on the end of the bloom,looks like a little red bird sitting on the flower.It is beautiful.
view the full question and answer

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