Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Smarty Plants on epiphyllums
March 25, 2005 - I don't have a digital cameria, but I hope you can identify my plants easily by description. I believe they are called something similar to the word "epithelium". They look like a "mother-in-la...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Cercis canadensis or Cornus florida
July 03, 2007 - I have what I think is a dogwood tree of some sort but I'm not sure. I wondered if I sent you a picture you could identify it. So far no one has. It's different because of its branches. They are red...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 28, 2010 - I am trying to identify a plant that was given as a gift.It is growing outside in a pot, it is about 20 inches tall. Has green leaves on top, purple underneath and lovely purple flowers. Seems to lik...
view the full question and answer

Identity of 50 ft. tree
May 20, 2008 - I live in Austin and I have a tall (50-ft) tree outside my window. It's deciduous and has shiny, deep green, spear-tip, serrated leaves that vary in size from about hand- to dinner-plate size. I've ...
view the full question and answer

Instructions for pictures from Red Bud IL
January 29, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I followed your instructions on how to submit pictures for you to identify "If you would like to know what the plant is that came up, Mr. Smarty Plants loves to identify plan...
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.