Contact Us Host an Event 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

Sunday - August 10, 2014

From: Montpelier, VT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Identification of tree with outrageous thorns
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can you identify this tree? It has these outrageous thorns on its trunk. They are in clusters and are anywhere from 1" long to 4" long or so.

ANSWER:

All species of Crataegus (hawthorns) have thorns but probably the one with the most formidable ones is Crataegus crus-galli (Cockspur hawthorn).  Here are photos and more information from Plants of Wisconsin.

Here are some other hawthorns that can be found in Vermont: 

Crataegus brainerdii (Brainerd's hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from GoBotany.

Crataegus chrysocarpa (Fireberry hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Trees and Shrubs of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis, MN.

Crataegus dilatata (Broadleaf hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from FloraFinder.

Crataegus dodgei (Dodge's hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus flabellata (Fanleaf hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus holmesiana (Holmes' hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus intricata (Copenhagen hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus jonesiae (Miss jones' hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus mollis (Downy hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from University of Wisconsin Green Bay Herbarium.

Crataegus pruinosa (Waxyfruit hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus punctata (Dotted hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus scabrida (Rough hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus submollis (Quebec hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Crataegus succulenta (Fleshy hawthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Go Botany.

Michigan Flora has a key that contains most of the species of Crataegus that occur in Vermont in case you would like to key your plant out.

If none of the Crataegus species is your plant and you have (or can take) photos of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Cockspur hawthorn
Crataegus crus-galli

Arnold hawthorn
Crataegus x anomala

Brainerd's hawthorn
Crataegus brainerdii

Fanleaf hawthorn
Crataegus flabellata

Downy hawthorn
Crataegus mollis

More Trees Questions

Update on controlling live oak suckers with newspapers, cardboard and mulch
September 12, 2014 - Can we get an update on the march 2011 topic of live oak suckers? I am wondering if the newspaper/cardboard/mulch layers continued to take care of the problem. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Hardy taproot trees for Oklahoma City
June 13, 2013 - What are some hardy tap root trees for central Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen tree for horse pasture in New Jersey
April 05, 2009 - I just pulled out a laurel that was hiding a stand pipe in our horse paddock. We had trouble this winter with the horses eating it when there was little grass to graze on. Can you suggest an evergre...
view the full question and answer

Selection of native trees to replace trees lost in hurricane
September 28, 2008 - Hello, I have a tree replacement list I must choose from as I live in a HOA deeded area. I lost 2 pines to the hurricane. And according to them I need to replace with 2 large trees. The pines were 15 ...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native weeping birch in Brick NJ
August 16, 2009 - I have a young weeping birch-planted in spring-we water regularly, it gets good sun-and rain has been perfect--the leaves get yellow--and now they are a lot! Whats the matter? I love my little tree.I ...
view the full question and answer

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