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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 02, 2011

From: Clarksville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a plant that I would like to identify. It is a tall shrub/woody vine? (approx. 8-10 feet) that has very large thorns on its branches and stems. The stems remain green during winter. It loses its leaves (groups of 3, 1 to 1 oval leaves together) over the winter. The thorns on this plant are approx. 1-2 inches long. The fruit is about 1 in diameter and looks like a small orange. It smells like citrus and is packed with seeds. Any ideas what this might be?

ANSWER:

This sounds like Poncirus trifoliata (Trifoliate orange).  It is a native of eastern Asia and considered invasive in many parts of the US.  Here are more photos and information.

If this is not your plant and you have photos, please visit our Plant Identification page where you will find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Snails in the ice plants in California
May 31, 2011 - Ice plants and snails. Every morning when I go outside I see at least 20 or more snails. Is there a certain way that I should have planted them that would have prevented them from destroying my plant?...
view the full question and answer

Invasive horesetail in Belvedere CA
August 23, 2009 - Can I ever get rid of horsetail? It was planted without a barrier and is now in my garden, not quite everywhere yet.
view the full question and answer

Flowering landscape plants for Montgomery TX
March 07, 2013 - Hello I live in Montgomery TX. I am looking for low growing evergreen flowering plants for the front of my three deep beds. The first plant closest to the foundation is loropetalum, then I have a blue...
view the full question and answer

Aggressive vine with purple flowers in South Carolina
September 12, 2014 - Found an aggressive climbing vine with purple flowers in out vegetable garden. This garden was cleaned and new dirt, mulch and manure was put in in the spring. It was raked out after the infusion of d...
view the full question and answer

Another plant with ice plant as the common name from Corpus Christi
June 17, 2010 - This is not a question, but your "ice plant" answer to El Cajon did not consider Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, which I believe is the common roadside succulent that ate California. God have mercy ...
view the full question and answer

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