Do you need to identify some plants that you’ve discovered with red stems? Then we’ve got a quick guide to some of the most common for you.
Phytolacca Americana (AKA Pokeweed)
This plant grows in most regions of America and it’s commonly known as pokeweed. Though some of you may know it as “dragonberries” or even “poke sallet”.
It’s quite a large pant with dark purple and thick red stems. It’s more of a shrub than a standard weed and once fully mature, it can reach up to 10 feet in height.
As you might expect for a plant called “dragon berries” it’s known for berries too and the fruit it produces are dark purple berries or grape-like green berries with a touch of green similar to the green leaves of the plant.
It’s important to note that you must not eat the berries or any part of this plant – it’s a highly toxic poison to people and animals alike.
Oddly, some birds can eat the berries with no ill effects and they help to re-seed the pokeweed in other locations with their poop.
You can grow this plant in almost any location but you should be aware that its aggressive nature makes it an “invasive plants with red stems” in many parts of the country.
Amaranthus (AKA Pigweed)
There are over 70 different types of Amaranthus and you can find them scattered across the world, unlike our last entry on this list – their red stems do not indicate poison, but instead, they are nearly all edible species!
You can grow them as veggies, a cereal substitute, or even for ornamental purposes.
They often have green and red leaves in addition to the red stem. They can also produce red flowers, though sometimes they can be white, or an orange/red-brown too. These flowers can be used as a dye but are potentially carcinogenic. So, be careful.
Rubus Phoenicolasius (AKA Wineberry)
You can find wineberry (or dewberry or wine raspberry) plants in North America and Europe where they were introduced from the Far East where they are native plants.
They have green or reddish stems with side shoots, and large green leaves. You’ll also find the stems are covered in hair and spines.
The fruits produced are edible and taste very much like a sourer version of raspberries.
Portulaca Oleracea (AKA Common Purslane)
This is also known as hogweed, duckweed, wild portulaca, and little hogweed. It has lime green leaves and small yellow flowers (which are eventually replaced by seed capsules).
Though it’s considered to be a weed, it’s completely edible, and in some regions, it is considered to be a valuable vegetable and it can be eaten raw or in cooked products.
Portulacaria Afra (AKA Elephant Bush)
This hardy plant is a succulent which grows wild in South Africa and has been brought to the US as a winter landscape plant.
It has wonderful glossy green leaves and the plant has bright red stems. It can grow over 13 feet in height too!
It can easily be mistaken for bonsai trees and for common purslane too!
Ricinus Communis (AKA The Castor Bean)
The red and green leaves of this shrub otherwise known as the castor oil plant are beautiful to look and it is often grown as an ornamental plant.
However, as ornamental plants go this one isn’t bearing something cute like light pink flowers, it has castor bean seeds and they contain ricin.
This is an extremely toxic poison that has been used in assassinations. It is literally one of the most poisonous plants in the world.
Impatiens Glandulifera (AKA Himalayan Balsam)
The light pink flowers of the Impatiens glandulifera are found in the Himalayas mountainous regions and these flowering herbaceous perennials are generally non-native to the Americas.
This means they are considered an invasive plant and its clever explosive seed dispersal mechanism allow it to spread its seeds at huge distances away from the parent plant.
Cornus Sericea (AKA Red Osier Dogwood)
Thes ornamental shrub has dark green leaves which occasionally take on a reddish hue of their own. It can grow up to 13 feet tall and up to 16 feet wide.
It loses its leaves in winter. And it is the red coloring of the twigs which remain that make it popular in winter garden environments.
What Garden Plant Has A Red Stem?
Many garden plants have red stems and, perhaps, the most common is dogwood.
Final Thoughts On Red Stemmed Plants
It can be hard to get identifications of plants right particularly when you have something really unusual like a red-stemmed lady’s mantle or a jade plant.
The good news is that these Plant ID apps can make it super easy to get an ID on even the most unusual plants.