En Español

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

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

Disagreement with HOA on raised beds placed beneath mature oak from Tequesta FL
April 05, 2014 - I have mature 30 year old oak trees on my property and I put a raised bed under each with very good soil and I used pavers for retaining the soil about about 1.5 ft high. I planted a perennial begonia...
view the full question and answer

Cold hardiness of native Wild Olive in Austin
October 11, 2008 - I am considering purchasing a Mexican/Texas Olive (Cordia boissieri) at the upcoming Wildflower Center plant sale to put in my yard in east Austin. I know this tree naturally occurring range extends ...
view the full question and answer

Replanting a Desert Willow
February 07, 2016 - My desert willow was damaged badly in a winter storm and had to be taken down. Do I need to remove the old root system below grade when I plant a new desert willow?
view the full question and answer

Deciduous tree with tap root
August 04, 2008 - I have a 13 foot space between two town houses and would like to plant a slender deciduous tree up to 30 feet in height with a tendency to tap root so as not to disturb the foundation of the houses. ...
view the full question and answer

Pacific dogwood not fruiting
September 30, 2009 - We have a beautiful Pacific Dogwood in front of our balcony. In some years it has fruit (berries) but has not for the past two years. When it does, it becomes a magnet for Northern Flickers. Is the pr...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center