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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.

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Monday - August 04, 2008

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Tree resembling live oak, but with thorns
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I'm trying to ID a tree in our backyard, most of our trees are Live Oaks and the tree in question has a dark almost black and gray bark that looks just like a Live Oak. The leaves are similar but lighter and smaller with thorns on the new branches, What do you think?


Mr. Smarty Plants thinks it could be Sideroxylon lanuginosum (gum bully) or one of its varieties, Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. lanuginosum (gum bully) or Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. rigidum (gum bully). Here are more photos showing the thorns.

If this doesn't look like your tree, please take photos of the tree as a whole and closeups of the bark, the leaves, and the thorns and send them to us and we will do our best to identify it. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read instructions (under 'Plant Identification') for submitting photos.


Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. lanuginosum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. rigidum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum



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