Sunday, January 03, 2010

It's Time To Play "What's That Plant?"

You, my trusty readers, have never let me down when it comes to identifying the plants I have growing around the house.

Here's one for you:

This photo was taken around August.

• Earlier in the summer, it has clusters of white flowers.
• After the flowers come the berries you see here.
• The plant now grows to about 4' tall and about as wide.
• The broad (4"?), long (8"?), oval shaped leaves come to a point.
• It has multiple main supports that are like stalks, the more mature of which are 2"-3" in diameter. They are more fibrous than woody, and I can cut them with hand clippers and a good deal of force. I cut it to the ground every year and it grows back vigorously.
• The berries aren't poisonous, although I've never eaten them. The plant is covered with them. They start off green and turn purple as they ripen. The deer love them. As the plant appeared here at random, it must have been a previous deposit from a deer or bird.
• The berries are supported on complex, fuschia-colored stems.
• It grows under a pine tree, getting morning shade and strong direct sun during summer afternoons.

Any ideas?

8 comments:

Sean said...

I know that plant well. I call it a weed. If let it grow, it will be the size of a small tree by the end of the summer.

Lacey said...

Nightshade. Also known as Deadly Nightshate. Strangely, it's related to the potato. It's invasive. Kill it!

Lacey said...

shade, not shate...sheesh...

Y | O | Y said...

I'm not sure if this is nightshade. I looked it up on Wiki and Google images.

The description of the stalk and leaves sounds accurate but the berries on Nightshade look like they have longer straight stems with leafy "hoods" around each berry. Those berries look smooth all around while these have a sort of open crown like a blueberry.

As I've searched for this, it's the structure of the stems and their color that I can't match. I thought I'd found it with "Aronia" but that wasn't it, either, based on the pics of the berries.

Lacey said...

you dare to doubt me?

that does it.

we're through.

Anonymous said...

Looks like pokeweed to me...there was a ton of it in Southern Indiana where I grew up. Get rid of it!
--Alex

Anonymous said...

It is elderberry

Y | O | Y said...

I checked into pokeweed and elderberry on wikipedia and I think that pokeweed looks most likely.

Both are toxic, however. I've seen the deer munching on them but maybe they only eat the leaves? I have to pay more attention this summer.

I am tempted to kill it, but to be honest, it thrives under the pine trees where I can't get much to grow except hostas. It gives good height, dense foliage, and large clusters of flowers.