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

Wildflower in southeastern Pennsylvania
May 20, 2008 - I live in southeastern Pennsylvania and want to identify a wild flower that is common along small town and rural roads and highways. It is blooming now (Mid May), has a flower spike similar to a larks...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small plant
May 31, 2011 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, We are doing a biology project where we have to identify certain plants found in our area. We encountered a infinity symbol-shaped light green plant, about 4 cm high, and light...
view the full question and answer

Plant with stalk of purple berries
August 27, 2008 - I have a plant that just grows.large hollow purple stalk, purple berries in long clusters , grows very tall any thoughts.. it grows like a weed
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 07, 2010 - There are large trees with brilliant orange flowers around Naples FL. Can you tell me what this is?
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
October 23, 2008 - We live near Milwaukee Wisconsin. This summer a 5' plant grew by itself in the middle of my flower bed. It has elongated oval green leaves, but its the flowers that are exceptional. They are long,...
view the full question and answer

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