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

Friday - August 23, 2013

From: Cranford, NJ
Region: Canada
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of purple-leafed plant in formal garden in Quebec City
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I saw a plant in a formal garden in Quebec City that was low growing with purple leaves and clusters of deep purple pods/seeds about the size of grapes.

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise are with plants native to North America.  Since the plant you saw was growing in a formal garden, It is very unlikely that it is a native plant.   It is more likely an ornamental cultivar introduced from somewhere outside North America.

Now, having told you all that, I will show you a cultivar of the North American native, Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin).  It is called Capsicum annuum 'Black Pearl' and fits your description very well.   Here is a description of it from the US National Arboretum where it was developed.  The leaves are described as black but could certainly be called dark purple.  It is an annual and hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-10.  Canadian provinces and cities aren't shown on the USDA Hardiness Zone map, but Quebec City appears to fall in the Zone 4 range on the Canadian Plant Hardiness Zone map.  The fruits are edible and described as hot.

If this isn't the plant you saw and you have a photo of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identity of tree with pumpkin-like fruit in Florida
October 02, 2012 - Hello. I live in a small town called Molino FL. I was walking on the side of our road and found a tree with pumpkin type fruit on the limbs. I have been trying to figure this tree out for about 3 mont...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant on shores of Lake Erie
September 27, 2011 - I've used Newcomb's and several other guides but cannot ID: Green small dot like flowers, found on the beach of Lake Erie in Dunkirk NY, many of them growing right in the sand. Smells very much, a...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
April 25, 2009 - What is: square stalk perennial with bright yellow flowers at the top (mainly)? Starts growing first thing in spring, invades surrounding areas, puts out long serrated leaves along the 7-8 ft stalks....
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Hesperaloe parviflora
August 22, 2005 - On your home website there is an orange flower that is tall and has tall leaves. is it a cactus? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Want to identify thorny vines growing in Charlotte Hall, MD
April 25, 2013 - I have vines with thorns growing in my wood, vining around the trees and killing them. It grows and vines go up trees of any height all the way to the top. It has green pointy leaves. If it doesn't...
view the full question and answer

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