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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 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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Tuesday - August 18, 2015

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Tree with light-colored bark, thorns and long white clumps of flowers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I bought a tree at the LBJWC plant sale a couple years ago but lost the name of the tree. I'm finally ready to plant it in the ground and would like to learn more about what its needs are. Can you suggest some trees it might be? Its got very light colored, almost white bark, with thorns. Smallish compound leaves. It has long clumps of cream-ish white flowers. The flowers are similar to acacia flowers but are long rather than a little ball. Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:

On our webpage under Events in the menu bar you will find Plant Sales.  If you scroll to near the bottom of the Plant Sales page, you will find plant lists.  These are the preliminary list for the Fall 2015 Sale. This list doesn't necessarily have the same plants as the sale where you bought your tree.  However, it's a good place to start to look for your tree.  On the Plant List you can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH options to limit the list to the trees available for sale by choosing "Tree" from the GENERAL APPEARANCE option.

I found one tree with thorns listed that matches your description of the leaves and flowers. 

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey locust)

There are three other trees that match your description that aren't on the Fall 2015 Sale list that could have possibly been offerings at a previous sale.

Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)

Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony)  Here are more photos from the USDA Plants Database and Commons.Wikipedia.

Acacia rigidula (Blackbrush acacia)

 

From the Image Gallery


Honey locust
Gleditsia triacanthos

Honey locust
Gleditsia triacanthos

Honey locust
Gleditsia triacanthos

Honey mesquite
Prosopis glandulosa

Honey mesquite
Prosopis glandulosa



Texas ebony
Ebenopsis ebano

Texas ebony
Ebenopsis ebano

Blackbrush acacia
Vachellia rigidula

Blackbrush acacia
Vachellia rigidula

Blackbrush acacia
Vachellia rigidula

Blackbrush acacia
Vachellia rigidula

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