Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - March 10, 2009

From: Madison, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Need help identifying shrub with large thorns in Tennessee.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

A shrub?with very large thorns. Main stock of plant woody with a gray and white splotchy bark at base. Branches are green and shiney and have very large heavy thorns spaced several inches apart on opposite sides of the branch. Thorns start turning gray at terminus and eventually turn totally grey as do branches(from shiney green).Winter no leaves on plant.Growing in thicket of this plant on 19th century house site.

ANSWER:

You've provided some good information, but it is very difficult - and usually not possible - for Mr. Smarty Plants  to identify a plant from a written description.  However, we will be happy to try to ID your mystery plant from good-quality digital images.  Usually a series of well-focused, close-up images of the plant's leaves, flowers, stems (especially the thorns) , fruit (if available), and an overall shot of the plant yield the best results.  Please go to the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants Plant Identification page for specific details on submitting images for identification. 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
view the full question and answer

Growing Buttonbush in California
May 24, 2015 - For the Buttonbush, how do you keep it consistently moist?
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Native Plant Suggestions for Dripping Springs
August 02, 2011 - I have a very dry commercial property in Dripping Springs TX where the dry sand/dust isn't a good rain conductor (whenever we get rain). What can we plant there? We have no irrigation and use a rai...
view the full question and answer

Survivability of plants after freeze
December 08, 2003 - I have many beautiful plants that froze. Some were Lantana, Hummingbird Bush, Candlestick Trees, Esperanza, Some flowers, and Marigolds. I love all of my plants and flowers and I want them to grow bac...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.