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

Texas Redbud Suddenly Died in NM
November 06, 2014 - We had a Texas redbud, approximately 5 1/2 years old. It had been doing great then all of a sudden after it bloomed this spring, the leaves appeared but then shriveled right away. We noticed the trunk...
view the full question and answer

Tropical plants for a pool-side planter in Cape Coral FL
April 19, 2010 - I live in Southwest Florida and have a pool inside a cage with a pool planter built into the deck around part of the pool. What kind of tropical plants can I put in the planter that are not root inva...
view the full question and answer

List of Central Texas native shrubs
October 28, 2008 - Need to find a list of Central Texas native shrubs.
view the full question and answer

Turk's Cap and Pavonia insect problems
June 27, 2015 - My Turk's cap and Pavonia lasiopetala (rock rose) plants both have quite a few leaves that are skeletonized in appearance. I do not see any insects on the underside of the leaves. What could be cau...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for house landscaping in Virginia
September 01, 2009 - I would like suggestions for types of shrubs to be planted in front of my house.
view the full question and answer

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