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
1 rating

Saturday - January 14, 2012

From: London, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Identification of shrub with red berries in Kentucky
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Laurel CO, KY. I am trying to identify a shrub/tree. The leaves are green and may turn reddish orange. There are huge pods of red berries hanging.

ANSWER:

If your shrub/tree is native to North America, you might be able to find it in our Native Plant Database by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH and choosing "Kentucky" from Select State or Province and "Shrub" from Habit (general appearance).  You can also do the same search but substitute "Tree" for "Shrub" in your search.  Not all of the species that come up in the list will have photos of the fruit of the shrub or tree.  You can, however, scroll down to near the bottom of the species page and, under ADDITIONAL RESOURCES, choose Google.   On the Google page, choose Images from the menu at the top and you might find photos of the shrub or tree with its fruit.

You should try the searches above in case I missed something, but here are some possibilities that I found doing the searches described above:

Amelanchier arborea (Common serviceberry) and here are photos of the fruit and fall leaves.

Crataegus phaenopyrum (Washington hawthorn) and here are fall leaves.

Crataegus spathulata (Littlehip hawthorn) and here are photos of the fruit.

Photinia pyrifolia (Red chokeberry)

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)

Rhus copallinum (Winged sumac)

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac)

Rhus typhina (Staghorn sumac)

Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa (Red elderberry)

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American cranberry bush) and here are photos of fall leaves.

Crataegus dilatata (Broadleaf hawthorn) and here are photos of the plant.

Frangula caroliniana (Carolina buckthorn)

If you suspect it is a cultivated landscape shrub or tree rather than a native one and you have (or can take) photos of it, your best bet is to visit our Plant Identification page where you will find links to plant identification forums that will accept photos for identification

 

More Shrubs Questions

Tiny red bugs on Mountain Laurel from San Antonio TX
April 02, 2014 - Hordes of solid bright red tiny bugs are all over the bark of my Mountain Laurels. The infestation has me very worried. How can I deal with them? Thank you in advance for helping solve this problem.
view the full question and answer

Wax myrtle or cherry laurel in Austin?
November 15, 2009 - For a very shady area under a large old oak tree with oak toxic soil, would a Wax Myrtle or a Cherry Laurel (caroliniana) be better? Looking for an evergreen screening tree up to 20ft, but it only get...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool privacy from Peachtree GA
March 20, 2012 - We currently reside in Georgia and have a pool surrounded by a fence. However, because our house is located on a hill, my neighbor on the left side can very easily still see my backyard and we can see...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub in South Carolina
December 12, 2011 - First, I'm in Iraq but trying to write a book and have a question on a plant that grows in South Carolina. All I can do is describe it. The bush is normally green but turns red, has large leaves, kin...
view the full question and answer

Problems with red tip photinia in San Antonio
March 29, 2009 - I have a red tip photinia that's about 20 years old and about 20 feet high--it is big! I noticed last summer the highest leaves looked droopy all the time even with deep watering and now that portion...
view the full question and answer

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