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

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

Need fast growing deciduous trees for Austin, TX
February 14, 2015 - We'd like to plant several fast growing deciduous trees in a full sun yard with a hard alkaline soil in the western edge of Travis Heights in South Austin. I've noted several locations in our neighb...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for horses in Austin
October 27, 2012 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants We just bought 4.5 acres in Travis County off HWY 290. We have 3 horses we keep on it but there is very little grass in the pastures. What is the best type of grass to seed ...
view the full question and answer

When is the appropriate time to prune pecan trees in Hewitt?
September 07, 2008 - Labor Day Weekend my husband decided to trim all the low branches on a big pecan tree in our back yard which I thought should had been done at the first of the year, our temprature is in the mid 90's...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with red feathery leaves
March 08, 2012 - What is the name of a tree with dark red leaves, feathery, slim trunk; maybe in the pepper family? Jedi?
view the full question and answer

Trees to hide telephone poles and wires
September 28, 2009 - I am looking for trees to plant between my house and the street to hide telephone poles and wires. My top priority is to add strong, gold color in the fall. Spring flowers would be a plus. Because ...
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