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

Monday - June 25, 2012

From: Maroa, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Tall lily with dark berry at leaf attachment
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A lily showed up in my flower garden last year (central Illinois); about 3' tall, a single dark berry at the stem where each leaf is attached. It didn't flower. This year it's approaching 4' tall and it's going to flower. Do you know what it is?

ANSWER:

Although the native Clintonia borealis (Bluebead) grows in Illinois, its bluebeads occur on stalks where the flowers occurred.

The plant you describe, however, is most likely an introduced ornamental from AsiaLilium lancifolium (Tiger lily)  [synonym = Lilium tigrinum].  This Asian native produces bulbils in leaf axils that are dark blue or black.  These bulbils can be used to propagate the species.  Here is more information about the stem bulbils and here are more photos and information.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Cottage pink
October 07, 2007 - What is the flower cottage pink?
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant that smells like passion fruits at Westcave
September 07, 2012 - Green greetings! I saw a plant in the canyon at Westcave Preserve last weekend. They are small bushes with elliptic leaves. They are impressive because the leaves smell like passion fruits. Do you hav...
view the full question and answer

Bulb identification
December 10, 2009 - My pinecone ginger (Zingiber zerumbet), my white ginger (Hedychium coronarium) and my cana lilly roots were all accidently put in the same box and now I can't tell which is which. Is there some sort ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of stinging plant in Central Texas
July 02, 2012 - I live on 15 acres on Nameless Road. When walking on property, occasionally my leg/ankle brushes against some plant that "stings" me. Like little needles in my skin. Doesn't last long, but becau...
view the full question and answer

What is the weed of Cortez from Shreveport, LA
November 13, 2009 - I am trying to locate the weed of Cortez. I live in northern Louisiana. Can you please let me know if you have ever heard of this? I was told that is a very rare large red flower that blooms in the sp...
view the full question and answer

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