En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - August 09, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Tree that looks like cedar elm but with smooth bark
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What tree looks like a cedar elm, but has smooth bark?

ANSWER:

When you say that it looks like Ulmus crassifolia (Cedar elm) do you mean the leaves are the same shape and approximately the same size?  That is what I am assuming and I have 3 suggestions.  The first, I think, is the most likely:

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)  The leaves are almost the same shape, they are heavily veined and are toothed along the edges.  The trunk in mature plants is smooth, described as "satiny".

The other two are Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) and Ilex decidua (Possumhaw).  They both have smooth trunks and their leaves, though not as heavily veined or toothed, are somewhat similar to cedar elm leaves.

If none of these trees is the one you think looks like the cedar elm and you have (or can take) a photo of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
April 16, 2009 - There is a plant growing on the side of the road near my home. The stalk of it is thistle like with many prickles. The flower on it is white and has 6 petals.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 21, 2012 - Can't i.d a small aroid, arisaema(?) sp.; 5" tall. tuber 12" tall by 1" beginning 8" beneath the soil level. flowers are black spathes with white spots. leaves are alternate. common plant but d...
view the full question and answer

Unusual vine in San Diego County, California
May 12, 2012 - Dear Mr. or Ms. Smarty Pants, I came across an unusual vine winding through a young Zumaque growing off the edge of a mesa in San Diego (coastal sage scrub). The small (fingernail-sized)leaves rough...
view the full question and answer

Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
July 28, 2012 - I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
view the full question and answer

Difference between Convallaria majalis and Convallaria majuscula
May 17, 2012 - How do you tell the difference in the native convallaria from the European species?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center