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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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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.

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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


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.


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. 



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