En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Tuesday - May 24, 2011

From: Thorndale, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Identification of thorny shrub with blue berries
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Thorny shrub with blue berries. In our acid sandy loam we have many thorn bushes. This one has small leaves like a wild pomegranate, long thorns. berries of the size and color of blueberries and is very invasive and hard to get rid of. What is this rascal?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants' best guess is that you have Sideroxylon lanuginosum (Gum bumelia) shrubs.  The gum bumelia has long sharp thorns and produces blue berries.  Its leaves do somewhat resemble those of Punica granatum (pomegranate). It can grow to be more than 40 feet high but doesn't reach that height very quickly.  It can form loose thickets of shrubs that are hard to remove because of the long thorns.  Here are photos that show the long thorns and more photos showing the blue berry.

Here are a few photos from our Image Gallery:


Sideroxylon lanuginosum


Sideroxylon lanuginosum


Sideroxylon lanuginosum


Sideroxylon lanuginosum

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Replacing shrubs with perennials in NY
June 29, 2011 - We removed a lot of shrubs from our back yard that had been there for many years. We now want to plant perennials but there seems to be a lot of very deep roots in the soil. The roots look dead but I...
view the full question and answer

Planting dogwood in Baytown TX
April 23, 2010 - I live in Baytown Texas and was wondering if this would be a good area to plant a dogwood tree?
view the full question and answer

Drought-resistant plants for Paradise, California
January 23, 2009 - We are moving to a new home in Paradise, CA. What drought resistant plants do well in Paradise ? Thank you !!
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and ground covers for slope in Southern California
March 13, 2010 - Need suggestions for shrubs & ground covers for a west facing, 45 degree angle, sunny slope with compacted, poor draining soil. We live 2-3 miles from the ocean. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Alternative shrub for Greyowl Juniper from Cincinnati OH
March 28, 2013 - I don't love Greyowl Juniper which our landscaper is recommending for a low planting in front of the house. Can you recommend an alternative? I don't care for the grayish color or the spiky look o...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center