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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - October 02, 2009

From: Ortonville, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant responsible for thorns in dogs' fur
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Do you know of a plant or bush that has very small, very thin triangle shaped thorn? My dogs have been coming in with these in their fur and I want to get rid of the plant/bush they are coming from.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants suspects that what is stuck in your dogs' fur are some type of grass seed.  Thorns from plants, whether shrubs or herbaceous plants, don't usually break away from the branch or stem that they are on.  If the dogs are coming in with just the thorns in their fur and not stems or branches with the thorns attached, then the best bet is that these are seeds from a grass or another plant.  If you can take a photo of these thorns and send it to us (high resolution in good focus), we will try to identify the source of the thorns.  Please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification called Touch-Me-Not, Impatiens sp.
July 03, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: My grandmother used to have a bed of plants that would come up every year that she called "Touch Me Nots". The flower was about 1 1/2" across, orangey with flat green leav...
view the full question and answer

Dodder, rootless, leafless, parisitic twining plants
May 29, 2006 - Hello, I have been studying wildflowers in California for many years. Yesterday I came across a surprise and I am thus far unable to identify it. As it is raining today, I cannot get a photo, but I...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 25, 2009 - Deer are devastating understory in our woods. We have a highly resistant shrub purchased years ago at the state arboretum plant sale. It is about 5-6' tall, somewhat wider than that, many suckers/o...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree in Ovilla TX area
May 04, 2010 - Can you identify a tall,(wild?) tree covered with fragrant, pink/lavender blooms? Have seen several in the Ovilla area this spring.
view the full question and answer

Identifying Rhus lanceolata in Texas
April 28, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I think I've identified two small trees, 4 to 5 feet high at the back fence line and two in the front yard flower beds as prairie flameleaf sumac (or at least some kind of s...
view the full question and answer

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