Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
1 rating

Monday - August 04, 2008

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Tree resembling live oak, but with thorns
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm trying to ID a tree in our backyard, most of our trees are Live Oaks and the tree in question has a dark almost black and gray bark that looks just like a Live Oak. The leaves are similar but lighter and smaller with thorns on the new branches, What do you think?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks it could be Sideroxylon lanuginosum (gum bully) or one of its varieties, Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. lanuginosum (gum bully) or Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. rigidum (gum bully). Here are more photos showing the thorns.

If this doesn't look like your tree, please take photos of the tree as a whole and closeups of the bark, the leaves, and the thorns and send them to us and we will do our best to identify it. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read instructions (under 'Plant Identification') for submitting photos.

 


Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. lanuginosum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. rigidum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum

 

 

More Trees Questions

Is yellow tulip poplar alive from Gilbertsville PA
March 30, 2013 - How can I tell if my yellow tulip poplar is alive? thank you
view the full question and answer

Texas madrone trimmings for a wedding
July 26, 2011 - Looking for Texas madrone tree trimmings needed for a special wedding.
view the full question and answer

Identity of tree with fragrant yellow flowers and thorns
June 06, 2013 - 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...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for dead oak tree after hurricane
October 01, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, It still is hard to believe but my dead Oak tree survived H.Ike! Now that I've gotten that dreaded letter from the HOA, they want me to replace it with at least a 45 gallon tree....
view the full question and answer

Is my Crimson queen maple dying?
October 20, 2015 - Is my Crimson queen maple dying if it's leaves are turning brown?
view the full question and answer

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