Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Verifying safety of berries on a red mulberry tree in Austin
May 06, 2009 - I think I have a red mulberry tree on a newly purchased property. The property sits on Lake Austin and the tree is at least 40 feet tall with red fruits about an inch long that look like skinny black...
view the full question and answer

Identification of 3 small flowers in Hays County, Texas
June 25, 2012 - Trying to identify three (3) wildflowers growing on my property in the northwest corner of Hays Co, all very, very small blooms of about 1 cm. (roughly 1/4 inch): (1) small white blooms with five peta...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification of plant similar to Oxytropis campestris
June 08, 2012 - This plant was found in Breckenridge Texas. Yellow flowers like Oxytropis campestris, yet it is not supposed to be in Texas. Is this possible? Soil is gravelly, sandy and yellow clay. sorry no pho...
view the full question and answer

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

Identification of willow-like tree
April 22, 2012 - Hi. My daughter is trying to identify a native tree that is like a "scrub" tree here in pastures in Austin, Texas (for a school project). It sort of looks like weeping willow, but most aren't very ...
view the full question and answer

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