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
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

Plant identification in Parker County, Texas
June 14, 2011 - Hi. Growing alongside a country road, here in Parker County I photographed what I thought might be cardinal flowers. However, in searching books and on the net, I cannot find any quite like these. ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine with orangish flowers
July 09, 2014 - I am looking to ID what I believe is a vine growing plant that blooms orangish flowers. I have pictures of the plant, and have attempted to use multiple plant ID websites. But have been unsuccessful. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 29, 2008 - I have found what resembles a gooseberry growing from what appears to be a grapevine trellising on a fence beside a lake in East Texas. The stems are smooth and slender, nad as I stated before vine up...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 06, 2014 - I have a plant my kids got me, but I cant figure out what it is. It has long thick waxy leaves and instead of flowers the leaves at the top turn white. Do you know what it is?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 03, 2008 - 6 2 ft. spikes appeared in an infertile part of my garden. They have a huge quantity of very tiny ochid-like flowers, mostly white with pink tinge. I took it to the master gardeners here and no one co...
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