Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Saturday - July 28, 2012

From: Lakeland, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a plant that looks like a suculent tree with a canopy like an umbrella. It grows every summer & is no more than 5 ft tall. It has tiny spines on it's trunk, which has white spots on it. the entire tree is a bright medium green color.the leaves look almost folded upward at the sides & there are 4 symetrical branches with leaves growing from the base all the way up. It grows next to my pond but is not submerged in any way. I have 3 of them- it honestly looks like a Dr. Suess tree. Do you have any idea what this is? I will send you a picture of it if you would like.

ANSWER:

The closest I can come to a plant that meets your description is Aralia spinosa (Devil's walkingstick).  Here are more photos from Duke University, Floridata and Missouri Plants.  These plants can grow to 20 feet, however.  Your question seems to indicate that yours disappear after the summer is gone.  Do you cut them down or do they die?

There is an African plant, Anchomanes dalzielii, that sounds a bit like your plant.   Here are photos.  However, I could not find any information about whether this plant has been found growing in Florida.

If neither of these happen to be the plant you have growing in your garden, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Devil's walkingstick
Aralia spinosa

Devil's walkingstick
Aralia spinosa

Devil's walkingstick
Aralia spinosa

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of small plant with lavendar flower
May 07, 2011 - I have something growing in my yard and pasture that for some odd reason is growing all over the place. I never noticed it being this abundant before. I'm not sure if it's listed as a wild flower or...
view the full question and answer

Identification of flower that looks like Callirhoe in NC
June 12, 2012 - Have a flower similar to callirhoe, but the blossum is fuchia, not purple and the foliage is light sage in color and fuzzy. It is very invasive. What is it? If you have an email address, I can send...
view the full question and answer

Identification of trees in Georgetown and Austin area from Chilton TX
April 24, 2011 - I recently visited Georgetown,Texas and the Austin, Texas area. There were many multi-trunk trees in yards and in landscaping at the hotel we stayed at. What kind of trees are these multi-trunk tr...
view the full question and answer

Looking for pink star grass (Rhodohypoxis milloides)
June 23, 2008 - I am looking for a wildflower/plant called Pink Star Grass (common name). I am not sure what the proper name is. Can you help me with this? I would like information on it, and also would like to pu...
view the full question and answer

Identity of dandelion-like weed in Utah
December 16, 2008 - What is the over-sized dandelion looking weed in utah that you can blow the seeds just like a dandelion?
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.