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
4 ratings

Wednesday - August 25, 2010

From: EL Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification, possibly Datura wrightii
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a plant in my back yard, it had big white trumpet flowers, and now it has huge green pods. Doesn't smell very nice. Could you tell me what it is?

ANSWER:

This sounds like a Datura species.  There are 3 species that are native to Texas, Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple), Datura quercifolia (Chinese thorn-apple) and Datura inoxia (pricklyburr).  However, I suspect that it is Datura wrightii since it is the more common one. There is also a widespread introduced species, Datura stramonium (jimson weed), that it could possibly be.  Please be aware that all species of Datura are poisonous. If none of these appear to be the plant in your back yard, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  For instructions for submitting photos for identification, visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of the native species:


Datura wrightii

Datura wrightii

Datura quercifolia

Datura inoxia

Datura inoxia

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of gourd plant growing in central California
August 10, 2012 - I am not sure if this flowering plant is native to North America. It is found in dry land grazing fields at about 100 feet in elevation in central California. It is large--2-6 feet across with a sti...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant with opposite leaves in Washington
June 09, 2009 - My friend just bought a house and in the front yard are some bushes. I don't have a picture, but they are only 1-2 feet tall now. They have these unusual stems, throughout the entire bush. They are v...
view the full question and answer

Plant similar to a cattail
June 06, 2012 - I don't know where this plant grows normally, but I am looking for a plant that is similar to a cat tail, but the petals are not feathery, they are red and waxy and the petals are round almost. Plea...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with long skinny stems and red flowers
May 07, 2008 - I keep seeing around this very pretty plant that has long skinny stems and bright red flowers that are tube like and skinny too. I would love to get this plant but do not know what it is called.
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny plant in Michigan
June 16, 2008 - i live in southern michigan and have a thorny plant with oval leaves growing in my flower beds. this used to be a grassy area how did it get there. i live on the edge of town. what plants in my area h...
view the full question and answer

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