Rent Shop 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

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

Plant identification
September 30, 2008 - I was just in Alabama this weekend and all alongside the road-side were these georgeous pink flowers. I finally stopped to pick one and thet are even prettier up close! The stem is smooth and leafle...
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrub growing wild in Austin Texas area
September 23, 2013 - Hi! I need help identifying a bush growing wild in my area. I have pictures of leaves fruit and bark. I cant find a good place to post these in order to ID plant. I'm in Austin TX area. Thank...
view the full question and answer

Identification of rose campion
August 04, 2007 - My friend shared a plant with me and I cannot identify it. She said that it was Rose Campriow? or something like this. It has very small pink/purplish blooms with grey green foliage. It is a perenn...
view the full question and answer

How to distinguish white-flowered Baptisias?
June 07, 2010 - How can I tell the difference between Baptisia alba and Baptisia alba var. macrophylla
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
October 23, 2008 - We live near Milwaukee Wisconsin. This summer a 5' plant grew by itself in the middle of my flower bed. It has elongated oval green leaves, but its the flowers that are exceptional. They are long,...
view the full question and answer

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