Hello, Could you please help me identify this plant? I could have sworn I saw...

Asked May 19, 2013, 7:40 PM EDT

Hello, Could you please help me identify this plant? I could have sworn I saw a tree that had these same leaves, only all-green at that point. But I am having no luck finding images of it anywhere...driving me nuts! As far as location, it's along the border between a disturbed area (our home was built in 2011) and a not-recently-disturbed forest conservation area that's mostly tulip poplars, American hollies, and silver maples. Thanks! Rebecca Hill

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

This appears to be the seedling of a willow oak. (look at search engine photos to confirm). You've probably see willow oaks in the area, but, yes, their leaves would be bright green. Willow oak seedlings are usually bright green also, but these may be showing a purplish tint because of the cold weather we've been having. Purple color is often a temporary result of cold weather and is caused because the plants can't utilize nutrients as they usually do and are suffering a temporary nutrient deficiency. If you are thinking of keeping the seedlings, the discoloration should be temporary.