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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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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

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