Rent Shop 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

Thursday - May 06, 2010

From: Nacogdoches, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My neighbor has a few trees in his pasture that his horses love to eat the fruit off of. The fruit looks like a lemon but smaller and has lots of seeds inside of it. The trees have very long thorns on them also. Can you help me to identify what these trees are?

ANSWER:

This sounds like Poncirus trifoliata (hardy orange) a native of China and Korea.  It is also called trifoliate orange.  It is very hardy, surviving temperatures near 0 degrees F.  It is on the TexasInvasives.org list of invasive plants. If this isn't the tree you have seen in your neighbor's pasture, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to see the instructions for submitting photos.  You didn't ask, but it is listed as mildly toxic by the North Carolina Poisonous Plants Database but is not included in the ASPCA's Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List—Horses.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

ID of plant that looks like a pine cone?
October 29, 2009 - I have a plant that i was told it was a Pine Cone plant. When it blooms it looks just like a pine cone. but i can't fine anything on it.
view the full question and answer

Clarification for botanical (Latin) names for Herbertia
June 17, 2010 - I am looking for a clarification of scientific names. In the classic wildflower book 'Wildflowers of Texas' the author, Geyata Ajilvsgi, attributes the plant Herbertia with the name Alophia drummon...
view the full question and answer

Native orchids in Bowie and Harris Counties
July 02, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what types of orchids are native to Bowie County and Harris County.
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Apex NC
June 16, 2012 - Can you identify this plant? It is growing in our backyard in Apex, North Carolina. Picture of plant is here: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZLJzQZyqq0dkU2HJQe50A9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?fea...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a mint-like plant in California
July 21, 2013 - I found a plant growing near my apricot (in Fresno, California). It has a square stem which becomes more rounded toward the base. The leaves are smooth, opposite, and they have three to five leaflets ...
view the full question and answer

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