R.V.R. Farris
R.V.R. Farris
  • Hometalker
  • Natchitoches, LA
Asked on Aug 6, 2013

Could Use Some Help Identifying This Little Plant.

Andrea SAngela CCarole
+54

Answered

These small plants don't grow very tall, have pink-tinted tiny white flowers in the spring, and berries in the late fall. They are evergreen and I've seen them used down town in the historic district, almost as a ground cover under magnolias. We did have a large maple that was taken down several weeks ago, now they get a LOT of sun. I would like to try and save them but not quite sure what to do. We have limited space available for transplanting.
The leaves are starting to show the effects of too much sun.
The leaves are starting to show the effects of too much sun.
A side shot, they haven't gotten any taller. I've seen them in town, they look almost the same.
A side shot, they haven't gotten any taller. I've seen them in town, they look almost the same.
Some that are still in the shade of a camellia.
Some that are still in the shade of a camellia.
54 answers
  • Deborah M
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Kinda looks like Gardenia.

  • Fastnacht Shavout
    on Aug 6, 2013

    By any chance is this what the berries look like? i hope this helps. http://www.finegardening.com/item/16690/twiggy-shrub-tiny-flowers-red-berries-possible-ilex

  • Julya
    on Aug 6, 2013

    It looks like it's laurel or salal

  • Harlee Jenkins
    on Aug 6, 2013

    cotoneaster...grows everywhere...pretty much...bug resistant.

  • Jeanne
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Do the leaves smell like wintergreen if you crush them? To me that's what it looks like.

  • Barb Keryan
    on Aug 6, 2013

    The above link from Fine Gardening certainly makes me think it's a cottoneaster. Tiny flowers is not a camellia! :)

  • Carolyn Richrath
    on Aug 6, 2013

    It looks like a gardenia to me...you are lucky it is growing

  • Julya
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Gardenias don't have berries...

  • Karen
    on Aug 6, 2013

    the leaves are too big to be cotoneaster...I am thinking mountain laurel

  • Colleen S
    on Aug 6, 2013

    bayleaf maybe

  • Phyllis M
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Looks like gardenia

  • Meredith bungard
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Hellebores?

  • Rhonda Kress
    on Aug 6, 2013

    It looks like a poke weed to me.

  • Barbara
    on Aug 6, 2013

    I am sure it's not cotoneaster . Leaves too big

  • It's gaultheria. (perennial wintergreen) This is the plant used for wintergreen scent and is a nice little ground cover...white flowers and blueberry-sized red berries. http://www.finegardening.com/plantguide/gaultheria-procumbens-wintergreen.aspx

  • Carolyn Doherty
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Looks like a Croton from here!

  • Jo Nelson
    on Aug 6, 2013

    I also thought Croton

  • Diana Kiley
    on Aug 6, 2013

    The shape of the leaves do not match for the gaultheria. Those are rounded, mystery plant is pointed. Definitely not cotoneaster either-- leaves too big. The order of the leaves do not match the suggestion from Fastnacht--those are much smaller and almost opposite each other, these are not. sorry no suggestions, just observations.

  • Bonnie Mckenzie
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Looks like it could be a Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow plant!

  • Shi209159
    on Aug 6, 2013

    a variation of Vinca

  • Marcia R
    on Aug 6, 2013

    I agree with Rhonda Kress ...it looks like poke weed to me too! The birds eat the seeds and then drop them..wherever!

    could use some help identifying this little plant, flowers, gardeningcould use some help identifying this little plant, flowers, gardening
  • Liz Conway
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Camilla plant

  • Jul209167
    on Aug 6, 2013

    I believe it's Ardisia Japonica - Japonica ground cover.

  • Susie Martin
    on Aug 6, 2013

    I believe it is ardisia. an evergreen ground cover..cool little plant..I grew the green variety and the variegated one as well In Houston Tx..loves the shade

  • Deanna Riles-Cox
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Do the berries and flower look like this? http://tryonfarm.org/share/node/39 .

  • Cathy
    on Aug 6, 2013

    looks like bay leaf or a laurel

  • Linda Hassenmayer
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Looks like pokeweed. A very invasive weed that takes over everything...pull one up and see if the root resembles a carrot. If it does, kill it fast!

  • Cathy
    on Aug 6, 2013

    viburnum tinus?

  • Cathy
    on Aug 6, 2013

    could it be viburnum tinus?

    could use some help identifying this little plant, flowers, gardening, viburnum tinus
  • My 1929 Charmer
    on Aug 6, 2013

    It's looks like pokeweed (picture attached) but height description doesn't match. Pokeweek is usually 6-10 feet tall, BUT never less than 3 feet tall. So that doesn't fit.

    could use some help identifying this little plant, flowers, gardening
  • Gladys Poore
    on Aug 6, 2013

    I wonder if it is a creeper like Ajuga or wintercreeper?

  • Melinda
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Not Mountain Laurel. Mountain Laurels don't have tiny white flowers in the spring nor berries.

  • My 1929 Charmer
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Also poke weed if VERY toxic, roots most toxic, then berries and leaves. Very toxic to children and animals. Poke weed roots smell like fennel, queen anne's roots smell like carrot.

  • Sharon Bartel-Reeves
    on Aug 6, 2013

    looks like Gardenia to me.

  • My 1929 Charmer
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Not ajuga or wintercreeper, pictures below. Leaves for both don't match.

    could use some help identifying this little plant, flowers, gardening, wintercreepercould use some help identifying this little plant, flowers, gardening, Ajuga
  • Charlie G
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Looks like gardenia to me also .

  • My 1929 Charmer
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Does look like Ardisia Japonica, color and leaf edge match. Click on you photo to enlarge and both have a "jagged" edge, kind of spiky.

    could use some help identifying this little plant, flowers, gardening
  • R.V.R. Farris
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Thanks to everyone that offered a suggestion. I Googled most of the suggestions and @JULE and @Susie Martin offered the right suggestion. It is Ardisia Japonica. Thanks again.

  • Melinda
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Gardenias don't have tiny flowers and they grow up to five feet tall.

  • R.V.R. Farris
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Thanks @ Cathy Barbeauld, I never would have figured this one without the help of Hometalkers.

  • Mary E
    on Aug 6, 2013

    callicarpa americana? i can't tell from the picture, as it gets real long branches with pink or purple berries on the stems. it's called a beauty berry.

  • GD
    on Aug 6, 2013

    it looks to be a begonia

  • Sandy Mcdonald
    on Aug 6, 2013

    WHEN I FIRST SAW IT ---I THOUGHT LEMON TREE---SO I WENT TO GOOGLE AND FOUND THIS---WHAT U THINK?

    could use some help identifying this little plant, flowers, gardening
  • Angela C
    on Aug 6, 2013

    This is definitely Ardisia japonica. Definitely. If you ever have it, it will take several years to get rid of it. It's OK as a ground cover on the Gulf Coast, but I would not rate it in the top 20.

  • Lorene Carlin
    on Aug 6, 2013

    It is ardisia and I love it. It is invasive but is a great ground cover under trees where nothing else will grow. It is found in the yards of most old plantation homes in the South.

  • Jch209237
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Totally agree with newest posts from Angela, Lorene; Jule, Susie - earlier. I got mine from a local plant swap and admired the red berries...leaves are prettiest as dk green in shade, summer sun yellows them a bit. At has become invasive now and no longer enjoy it as it crowds smaller plants I enjoy as dwarf gardenia and competing for moisture with Japanese Maple,and is popping up everywhere - even on the lawn nearby. I am pulling but be warned - there are tough underground runners which sneak up elsewhere. It's on my DESTROY list now after 6 yrs. Loves southern climate, doubt it survives above TN...if so it might be prized as rarity.

  • Ann Brownlee
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Gardenias grow large, definitely not polk weed, I think you got your answer, above.

  • Brenda Patterson
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Poke salad is delicious treat my mom used to fix. Now it is true the berries are poisonous but not the leaves.

    • Shannon W
      on Aug 7, 2013

      @Brenda Patterson I was watching Absolutely Alabama the other week, had an herb guy on. said the berries weren't poisonous, but the seed were.

  • Kim A
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Not a Gardenia Kinda looks like it but not

  • Dana Corby
    on Aug 6, 2013

    Depending on your location and the shape of the flowers, it could be salal (accent on the second syllable.) It's in the same family as heather, huckleberries, and madrone trees. They all have small white, pinkish, or pink flowers in what's called an 'urn' shape, and all but heather have berries in the fall.

  • Janelle Wakefield
    on Aug 7, 2013

    The leaf liooks like a gardenia leaf..

  • Carole
    on Aug 7, 2013

    If you are still in doubt after the replies received here, then I would suggest you take your photo to your nearest plant nursery or garden centre and see if they can identify it for you. A snippet of the plant might also aid identification - texture or scent does not come through in a photo. Hope you are able to identify it! Good luck!

  • Angela C
    on Aug 7, 2013

    I am enjoying all the guesses, but there is no doubt that this is Ardisia japonica. There is a solid green variety and a variegated variety. The variegated is less hardy than the solid green. There is also a version of Ardisia that is much more desirable; Ardisia crenata. That one is a small, upright shrub that produces clusters of attractive red berries all through the winter, which is why it is called Christmas Berry. It is not invasive like the groundcover version.

    • R.V.R. Farris
      on Aug 7, 2013

      @Angela C Thanks for the additional info, I've had Christmas Berry at our previous home and was lucky enough to find it here when we moved in three years ago. I had no idea they were related.

  • Andrea S
    on Aug 7, 2013

    It looks invasive.

    • R.V.R. Farris
      on Aug 7, 2013

      @Andrea S We've lived here for just under four years, and they really haven't taken over the area they're in. Several people have made that comment, however, we haven't experienced that happening.

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