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

Sunday - April 26, 2009

From: Edwardsburg, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My brother in law just bought a parcel of land that is bespeckled with shrubs we cannot identify. The land is located in south west Michigan. It is zoned agricultural. Due to the fact that it is early spring I cannot describe any leaves. However, it has smooth reddish colored thorny stems. At first I thought it to be roses. It also produces some sort of seed pod? that is round, empty, yellow in color and approximately the size of cherry tomatoes. These plants may have been planted there as they appear to be growing in rows and columns. However the sizes vary enough that I am puzzled as to whether or not they are native.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants agrees that if your plants do appear in rows/columns, they are likely to be native or non-native agricultural plants such as raspberries or blackberries, or perhaps roses.  Looking through the native shrubs in Michigan Mr. Smarty Plants found 11 native roses and 26 native species of Rubus (blackberries, raspberries, etc.), but your description doesn't really sound like these and there weren't any other obvious likely candidates with thorns.  We are very happy to try to identify your plants, but I think we are going to need photographs to do so.  Please wait until they have leaves to photograph them.  Then, take photos of the entire plant, closeup of the leaves and, if possible, take photos of the flowers as well. Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read the instructions on submitting photos for identification.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of ivy-like plant with large purplish leaves.
March 27, 2015 - Can you ID this ivy-like growing plant with a big purplish elephant ear type leaf and a big green stem pouch?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
November 08, 2012 - I have visited this page and 18 more! I am still trying to find a plant that I found on a creek that runs through our land. I have pics. Great ones! Can I send the pic? If you like it, use it. I ...
view the full question and answer

Winterberry holly not fruiting
October 22, 2009 - Regarding Ilex verticillata, which I have planted in a partial sun, somewhere between all dry and all wet location, i don't see any red berries, and it's mid-october. We are in the 'burbs of just ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant in SE Georgia
May 06, 2009 - Identity of a plant- This plant is growing wild in SE GA, but I have never seen it before until this year. The plant has a stolon "root" system it forms an upright stem and a cluster of flowers begi...
view the full question and answer

Identification of fragrant, white-flowered bush in Arizona
April 14, 2013 - I'd like to identify a flowering bush which has white sweet-smelling flowers. It is growing in the Coconino National Forest in the area near the Airport vortex/Airport mesa in Sedona, Arizona. ...
view the full question and answer

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