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

Tuesday - May 19, 2009

From: Adamsville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I found a large shrub/tree behind an old building on my place. It has small smooth oval leaves 3/4-1 inch; x 1/2 inch, small somewhat clusters of a blue fruit 1/4-1/2 inch diam with one seed in it. Can you identify. I live about 65 miles north of Austin Kathy

ANSWER:

Here are three possibilties for your mystery tree:

1.  Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet) is non-native and is considered to be an invasive species.

2.  Forestiera pubescens (stretchberry or elbowbush) is a large bush or small tree that grows up to 12 feet tall.  Here are more photos that show the fruits better. The fruits are blue.

3.  Styphnolobium affine (Eve's necklacepod) grows to 15 to 30 feet and here is another set of photos under its synonym, Sophora affinis.  The seeds are more black than blue.

If none of these look like the tree that you saw, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification
June 29, 2011 - I live in east Austin Texas, close to Manor. I was pulling a particular "weed" out of the cracks of my driveway on 06-12-11. This weed has always reminded me of moss rose, but the flowers are not as...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID at Wildflower Center from Waco TX
June 18, 2012 - I was at the Center last weekend and no one was able to answer these two questions: 1. Where can I buy Silver Ponyfoot groundcover? 2. What is the name of the plant with coral blossoms in front of...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a white beebalm
October 03, 2009 - I have a photo of what looks like Bee Balm but it is white in color. What is the name of this wildflower?
view the full question and answer

Difference between Convallaria majalis and Convallaria majuscula
May 17, 2012 - How do you tell the difference in the native convallaria from the European species?
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from San Anselmo CA
June 12, 2012 - I have a spreading ground cover that no one has been able to ID in years of searching. I have taken photos of flower and foliage. I want to ID to try to improve site conditions and increase covera...
view the full question and answer

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