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

Saturday - June 11, 2005

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Smarty Plants on Parkinsonia aculeata
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the name of the tall shrub I see growing wild around Austin that is delicate, with thin stems and branches, and lacy, with multiple leaves, and yellow flowers? It looks lovely growing in a mass on the south slope of Barton Creek Mall. Someone told me it is huisache, but I find out now it is not. Have I given you enough information to know what I am talking about? Thanks so much.

ANSWER:

What you have seen is Retama (Parkinsonia aculeata). Some of its other common names are Paloverde, Crown-of-thorns, Jerusalem-thorn, and others. You can read a really good description of it in Robert A. Vines "Trees of Central Texas", 1984. Austin: University of Texas Press, which you might find at your local library. Here are some other web sites that describe the plant: Floridata Marketplace and TAMU Aggie Horticulture.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification of plant with leaves like poison ivy
July 30, 2013 - I would like to identify a plant whose leaves look like poison ivy, but the stem is white and has thorns. It is not thready. It was prevalent in overgrown garden beds of a house in Litchfield, CT. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification in Tennessee
September 02, 2008 - I live in upper East Tennessee and all my life I have seen a flowering bush we call a Bubbie (or Bubby). It grows to an average approximate height of 6 feet and blooms in the early summer. The blooms ...
view the full question and answer

Book for identifying Texas plants by dichotomous key from Seguin TX
October 12, 2009 - What is the best book(s) for identifying Texas plants using a dichotomous key?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
December 24, 2007 - I have a question about a plant that looks like a fern that has small red looking flowers and has thorns. Also it is very small (probably 2-3 inches tall). I'm just wondering what it is cause it grow...
view the full question and answer

Good website for identifying wildflowers
April 27, 2008 - What is a good website to identify wildflowers? I have done Google searches and none of the websites seem to help. Where should I go?
view the full question and answer

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