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

Thursday - June 06, 2013

From: South Pomfret, VT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Identity of tree with fragrant yellow flowers and thorns
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm not sure if this is a native plant. It's a tree, around 15" tall. The leaves are in bunches with 3-4 very sharp small spines at each bunch. Flowers are small, yellow, hang down from the leaf bunches in little groups. Has a nice smell.

ANSWER:

There is a native tree that grows in Vermont that sounds as if it could be the tree you have seen—Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey locust).  It occurs in Vermont and has thorns and small yellow fragrant flowers.  Here are more photos and information from Virginia Tech and Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

If this is not your tree and you have (or can take) photos, 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


Honey locust
Gleditsia triacanthos

Honey locust
Gleditsia triacanthos

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
June 07, 2011 - Please help me identify this volunteer plant in my back yard in Austin, TX. It has long thorns. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Identity of tree in South Carolina
August 18, 2015 - I don't know if this is native as I'm new to South Carolina. This is a tree about 40' tall. The leaves are trilobal, 10" to a foot across/long and are trilobal, not glossy and have big veins. T...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly Datura
September 07, 2007 - I have a wide green-leafed plant that has white flowers. This plant also has some thorny fruits in the shape of mines that float on the ocean. At the moment it is 2 feet high. I'm beginning to wo...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 19, 2013 - My nephew bought an old farmhouse in Southeast Texas. There is a plant there that has glossy leaves similar to a lemon leaf. I cannot tell from the pic if it is a shrub or a vine. It is blooming now, ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree or shrub in Massachusetts
May 16, 2013 - Good morning, We are in Zone 5 and have a tree/shrub I cannot identify in the backyard of our new home. Tall (6')and growing, green stems,and when the stems are broken the branches smell of lemon o...
view the full question and answer

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