En EspaŅol

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
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

Friday - April 17, 2009

From: Beach Lake, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Plant identification of tall stalk with many thorns
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Pants: After we raked all the leaves, I found three or four plants on my property that are thin tall stalks with many thorns. Leaves are just growing, so I cannot describe them. They are between two to three feet tall. Are they invasive? I want to move them closer to our deck to keep the deer away. Thanks.

ANSWER:

From your description I think the most likely suspect is Aralia spinosa (devil's walkingstick). Here are more photos from the USDA, Missouri Plants, and from Vanderbilt University. It is listed in the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health database at Invasive.org.

Another possibility is that it is one of the greenbriers such as Smilax tamnoides (bristly greenbrier)Smilax glauca (cat greenbrier) or Smilax rotundifolia (roundleaf greenbrier)

If one of these isn't your plant, please take photos and send them to us and we will do our best to identify it.  For instructions on how to submit photos please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.


Aralia spinosa

 

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Replacement for Amber Jubilee Ninebark in California
November 22, 2014 - AMBER JUBILEE bush separating my neighbor and me, is spreading its roots into our water pipes. Want to rip out. What plants are root friendly and also give you privacy?
view the full question and answer

More on oak problems in Carrollton TX
April 04, 2011 - Thank you for answering me, I will contact a specialist to see if we can determine the cause. but since writing you we have pulled down a small twig to see the leaf more closely, it is more of a reddi...
view the full question and answer

Edibility of peppervine berries from Madison MS
February 09, 2012 - I am following up on a question I've posed to many well experienced foragers and naturalists regarding the pepper vine plant or Ampelopsis arbor. There are many conflicting stories regarding the edib...
view the full question and answer

Removing three-seeded mercury in Austin
November 09, 2009 - How can I get rid of Three Seeded Mercury (Acalypha phleoides)? Even if I try to dig it up, the roots go down forever and it ends up just breaking at 6-8" down. Just breaking it off at the surface,...
view the full question and answer

Do white-tailed deer consume King Ranch bluestem?
October 25, 2013 - Will white-tail deer in central Texas consume King Ranch bluestem ?
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center