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

Sunday - March 28, 2010

From: Cumberland, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Found thorny bush in woods near my home that I need to identify. It is a tall shrub (approx. 10 feet) that has very large thorns on its green branches. I don't see any flowers yet. It doesn't appear to lose its leaves (groups of 3 leaves together) over the winter. I never noticed this bush before this Spring, although it has been there due to it's size. The thorns on this plant are approx. 1-2 inches long and cover the entire plant. Any ideas what this might be? I've never seen anything like it. Please help to identify!

ANSWER:

This sounds a lot like Poncirus trifoliata, trifoliate orange, a native of China and Korea.  It is considered an invasive plant in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast US.  Here are more photos and information from Henderson State University in Arkansas.

If this isn't the plant you described, please take photos and send them to us—we will do our very best to identify it. To read the instructions for submitting photos, please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of vining plant with red berries in California
January 28, 2016 - We found a vining plant next to and growing in our stream with gorgeous purple leaves in the fall after frost and a few sporadic clusters of smooth small red berries with little thorns on the vine. We...
view the full question and answer

Origin of thorned plant-like object falling from the sky
September 01, 2011 - This morning while walking I felt a prick on my arm, like something had bitten me. I looked and saw what appeared to be a very tiny little plant with a thorn on it sticking out of my arm. I pulled i...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with fuschia berries in Pennsylvania
October 26, 2008 - Northeastern Pennsylvania tree with fuschia berries in autumn. Found one in woods,never saw one before.
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
May 01, 2009 - Curious about the identification of the foxglove-looking plants flowering along the railroad tracks that parallel Lancaster in Handley. Some are white while others are purple. Leaves are about 2-3 inc...
view the full question and answer

Looking for the identification of spice or cinnamon bush
May 30, 2011 - My grandmother had a flowering bush that had little yellow flowers on it and smelled like cinnamon to me. She called it a spice bush. Could you help me name that bush?
view the full question and answer

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