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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - October 02, 2009

From: Ortonville, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant responsible for thorns in dogs' fur
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Do you know of a plant or bush that has very small, very thin triangle shaped thorn? My dogs have been coming in with these in their fur and I want to get rid of the plant/bush they are coming from.


Mr. Smarty Plants suspects that what is stuck in your dogs' fur are some type of grass seed.  Thorns from plants, whether shrubs or herbaceous plants, don't usually break away from the branch or stem that they are on.  If the dogs are coming in with just the thorns in their fur and not stems or branches with the thorns attached, then the best bet is that these are seeds from a grass or another plant.  If you can take a photo of these thorns and send it to us (high resolution in good focus), we will try to identify the source of the thorns.  Please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos.

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