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?


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


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?


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

Differentiation between Amorpha roemeriana and A. fruticosa
April 25, 2006 - How do I differentiate Amorpha roemeriana and A. fruticosa? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Identity of invasive vine in The Woodlands, Texas
December 02, 2013 - What is the invasive vine covering trees in The Woodlands, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine in New York
September 30, 2013 - Hey there. I've recently found a "Wild Cucumber" vine in my backyard, which has been taking over our electric fence. Now I've stumbled across another very similar vine. They fruits are clustere...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Spaeralcea sp. Globe Mallow
March 31, 2008 - Let's do it again....my computer had some "issues" and I lost your answer.... I purchased a mallow from the WFC about two years ago...I was told at the time they had not yet identified the plant...
view the full question and answer

How to distinguish white-flowered Baptisias?
June 07, 2010 - How can I tell the difference between Baptisia alba and Baptisia alba var. macrophylla
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center