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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.

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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.

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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Friday - June 29, 2012

From: Lewiston, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of a pink-flowering bush with flowers like sweet peas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have found a pink flowering small tree / bush that has picky branches kind of looks like sweet pea flowers and the leaves kind of look like shumac. Growing near the thick woods of northern MI

ANSWER:

To look for your the bush you saw I did a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database, choosing "Michigan" from Select State or Province, "Shrub" from Habit (general appearance) and "Pink" from Bloom Color.  I also did another COMBINATION SEARCH in which I substituted "Tree" for "Shrub".

Robinia hispida (Bristly locust) is the plant that best fits your description.  Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) also has pink flowers that look like sweetpea flowers, but the leaves are wrong and it isn't prickly.

You should try for yourself the COMBINATION SEARCHES described above to see if any of the results look more like your plant than the ones I selected.

If the Bristly locust isn't your plant and you have photos of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants to identify.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bristly locust
Robinia hispida

Bristly locust
Robinia hispida

Bristly locust
Robinia hispida

Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

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