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 Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification
April 25, 2009 - What is: square stalk perennial with bright yellow flowers at the top (mainly)? Starts growing first thing in spring, invades surrounding areas, puts out long serrated leaves along the 7-8 ft stalks....
view the full question and answer

Identity of purple-leafed plant in formal garden in Quebec City
August 23, 2013 - I saw a plant in a formal garden in Quebec City that was low growing with purple leaves and clusters of deep purple pods/seeds about the size of grapes.
view the full question and answer

Need Plant Identification from Bon Aqua, Tennessee?
September 01, 2010 - By a creek, I found a plant that I have never seen in my life. It has a tall stalk and has leaves like a weed or grass, and the flower looks like a pine tree. The plant looks like a mix of a grass, a...
view the full question and answer

Tentative identification of Echinacea purpurea
June 29, 2007 - We have a garden plant that is 18 inches high with a purple coned shaped flower sticking straight into the air. Can someone help us identify it?
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine with green flowers
November 03, 2012 - What is this trailing plant with half inch green flowers with gold metallic centers? Looks like a milkweed plant or gourd plant of some kind. I found it off Hamilton Pool road. West of Austin TX
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