Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - August 10, 2014

From: Montpelier, VT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Identification of tree with outrageous thorns
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can you identify this tree? It has these outrageous thorns on its trunk. They are in clusters and are anywhere from 1" long to 4" long or so.

ANSWER:

All species of Crataegus (hawthorns) have thorns but probably the one with the most formidable ones is Crataegus crus-galli (Cockspur hawthorn).  Here are photos and more information from Plants of Wisconsin.

Here are some other hawthorns that can be found in Vermont: 

Crataegus brainerdii (Brainerd's hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from GoBotany.

Crataegus chrysocarpa (Fireberry hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Trees and Shrubs of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis, MN.

Crataegus dilatata (Broadleaf hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from FloraFinder.

Crataegus dodgei (Dodge's hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus flabellata (Fanleaf hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus holmesiana (Holmes' hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus intricata (Copenhagen hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus jonesiae (Miss jones' hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus mollis (Downy hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from University of Wisconsin Green Bay Herbarium.

Crataegus pruinosa (Waxyfruit hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus punctata (Dotted hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus scabrida (Rough hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus submollis (Quebec hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus succulenta (Fleshy hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Michigan Flora has a key that contains most of the species of Crataegus that occur in Vermont in case you would like to key your plant out.

If none of the Crataegus species is your plant and you have (or can take) photos of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Cockspur hawthorn
Crataegus crus-galli

Arnold hawthorn
Crataegus x anomala

Brainerd's hawthorn
Crataegus brainerdii

Fanleaf hawthorn
Crataegus flabellata

Downy hawthorn
Crataegus mollis

More Trees Questions

Disappearing oranges from Satsuma orange in Austin
June 25, 2008 - I had many tiny future oranges on my Satsuma Orange Tree until a few days ago. Suddenly, all were gone except one. They weren't on the ground and the tree itself seems incredibly healthy. It is gr...
view the full question and answer

Floristic Quality Assessment program in Texas?
January 19, 2009 - Do you have knowledge of a Floristic Quality Assessment program for Texas such as the ones used in Indiana and Illinois?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for Texarkana, TX
March 31, 2011 - I've been searching for a dependable list of attractive north east native plants, for gardens, landscaping, etc. Specifically, native flowers and shrubs.
view the full question and answer

Pruning lower branches of Cordia Boissieri from San Antonio
December 08, 2013 - My Texas Wild Olive Tree is about 6 feet high now. I bought it at the 2012 plant sale. This past summer it put on new branches near the base of the tree which I would like to cut off (to encourage u...
view the full question and answer

Bark problems with Monterrey oak from Austin
September 15, 2012 - I planted a 65 gallon Monterrey Oak (White Oak) in my front yard in February of this year. I water it once a week. All of the leaves and branches appear very healthy and there is no discoloration....
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.