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

Tuesday - July 21, 2009

From: Springtown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Identity of a plant that may be a horse apple (Maclura) in Springtown, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a tree that I think is a crab apple, however, I can't find it in any collection on internet. The fruit looks like light green colored apples, however, they are very hard and very course textured on the outside. You would not want to eat them, they are so tough you could not eat them. The tree is about 30 ft. tall and the leaves are around 5" long with smooth scalloped sides and a pointy tip. The leaves are soft and not waxy. Please tell me what this is, I need the scientific name, also. Is this tree native to Texas? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

Generally is is very difficult if not impossible for us to identfy a plant from a written description, but you have given  enough clues that Mr. Smarty Plants is going to guess that you have a bois d'arc tree,  Maclura pomifera (osage orange). This Texas Native has a long and interesting history of use in Texas.

Compare your tree with the images on this University of Connecticut site to confirm the identification. If I guessed wrong, go to our Plant Identification page and follow the directions for sending us a photo of your plant. Once we have that, we can give it another try.

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Will damage to live oak root make it more susceptible to oak wilt
December 24, 2012 - Hi. I knicked the root of a live oak when digging. Will this hurt the tree and make it more succeptible to wilt? Is there something I can use to protect the exposed part of the root and make it les...
view the full question and answer

Name of the cedar tree at Lake Travis
May 27, 2009 - What is the name of the cedar tree that is at Lake Travis?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Mexican Olive tree from Edinburg TX
October 06, 2013 - My Mexican olive (anacahuita) shows no obvious signs of pest or disease, but over the last years has more and more dead limbs and smaller and smaller leaves. It's in a yard with a sprinkler system t...
view the full question and answer

Tan, rough, fan-shaped growth on mountain laurels
July 01, 2014 - A tan rough fan-shaped "something" is growing at the end of the mountain laurel branch where the flowers would be .. what is it and can it harm the plant?
view the full question and answer

Leafing out problems with oaks in Towson MD
June 02, 2012 - 3 native 5-year-old oaks kept old leaves until March and are not leafing by the end of May. The few leaves that have emerged are shriveled. WHAT'S WRONG?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center