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 - September 01, 2007

From: Deleon, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identifying
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

i have a tree that i cannot identify. the leaf looks like a "pot plant"(yes, cannabis!!), but the leaf does not have serrated edges. it has a long bloom of numerous small white flowers that form a spike. my home was built in 1921 and i believe the plant(tree/shrub) to be from that period.

ANSWER:

There are "pot plants" and there are potted plants, and Mr. Smarty Plants would surmise that you have neither. The description of the flowering spike eliminates Cannabis and when you say its a tree, its probably not in a pot.

From the description of the leaves and the flowers, we're betting that you have a Chaste Tree, Vitex agnus-castus. This is an introduced shrub that is widely used as an ornamental throughout the southern US. While commonly referred to as the lilac chaste tree, its flower colors can also be pink and white. Although many gardeners favor Vitex for its fragrance, and the fact that it attracts butterflies and humming birds, it does appear on the Texas Invasive Plants list. This website provides alternative plants, such as Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood) should you wish to eliminate the Chaste Tree from your landscape.

Vitex berries may be used in spice mixtures , and the plant has a long history of use in various herbal remedies.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas kidneywood
Eysenhardtia texana

More Plant Identification Questions

Identity of small "Pitcher" plants growing in backyard
July 25, 2013 - I have small pitcher plants growing in the grass in my backyard. Looks like very dark cobra. Come every summer when very hot. They are about 4 or 5 inches from base to tip of hood. I have a pic. le...
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

Yellow-blossomed Shrub that Occurs in Arizona and Texas
May 08, 2012 - What is the name of the large shrubs you will see in Arizona with the bright yellow blossoms. They grow wild everywhere, and I also see them in the town. Could you please tell me the name of them, s...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 01, 2010 - I have a grandchild that said the seed pod on a plant that looks like a clover is edible. It has clover like leaves and a little yellow flower. I did taste it and it kind of taste like a pickle. Th...
view the full question and answer

Sombrerito Mexicano
May 16, 2010 - Ratibida columnifera, almost universally called Mexican hat in English, is native to Texas and also to parts of Mexico, which leads me to wonder what the vernacular name is in Mexican Spanish. Google...
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