En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plant identification

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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 07, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please help me identify this volunteer plant in my back yard in Austin, TX. It has long thorns. Thank you.

ANSWER:

It would be nice to know what size your plant is and if it is a shrub or herbaceous plant since your photos were not uploaded with your question.   Our database will not accept photos. 

Here are some native possibilities for your thorny plant.  If it is a shrub (a woody plant), it could be:

All the above are natives.  There are also a couple of non-natives it might be, Pyracantha coccinea (pyracantha or firethorn) or Poncirus trifoliata (trifoliate orange).

If none of the above are your plant, you could send us a more complete description (whether it is woody or herbaceous, how large it is, the leaf shape and arrangement on the stem—alternate or opposite, whether it has conspicous flowers or fruits), we might have a better luck in identifying it.  You can also visit our Plant Identification page to find links for garden forums that accept photos for identification.

Here are photos of the above plants from our Image Gallery:


Sideroxylon lanuginosum

 


Zanthoxylum clava-herculis


Erythrina herbacea


Acacia farnesiana

 

 


Prosopis glandulosa


Parkinsonia aculeata


Maclura pomifera

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of Queen Anne's Lace look-alike
May 13, 2013 - I am trying to identify a plant/weed that grows here in Austin but I haven't found an exact match in your databases. It looks very similar to Queen Anne's lace and to your photos of yarrow but the l...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Sarasota, FL.
August 23, 2010 - Hi I recently went to Discovery Cove in Orlando Florida and saw a purple flowering tree/shrub that had branches similar to okra shape or starfruit shape, the leaves were very grainy similar to alligat...
view the full question and answer

Want to know the name of a string looking moss in OR.
August 02, 2011 - I want to know the name of a string looking moss or Licha that grows on pine trees? Thought was old mans whiskers, but this search brings up a flower; not what I am looking for. I found some in Glacie...
view the full question and answer

New thorn/bush tree in Central Texas
September 23, 2013 - In Central Texas, over the last 5 years we have seen a new variety of thorn bush appear. It has very long thorns much like mesquite tree but thorns are every inch or so along the branches. The tree is...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 16, 2009 - There is a plant growing on the side of the road near my home. The stalk of it is thistle like with many prickles. The flower on it is white and has 6 petals.
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center