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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.

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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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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.

 
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Wednesday - August 25, 2010

From: EL Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification, possibly Datura wrightii
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a plant in my back yard, it had big white trumpet flowers, and now it has huge green pods. Doesn't smell very nice. Could you tell me what it is?

ANSWER:

This sounds like a Datura species.  There are 3 species that are native to Texas, Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple), Datura quercifolia (Chinese thorn-apple) and Datura inoxia (pricklyburr).  However, I suspect that it is Datura wrightii since it is the more common one. There is also a widespread introduced species, Datura stramonium (jimson weed), that it could possibly be.  Please be aware that all species of Datura are poisonous. If none of these appear to be the plant in your back yard, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  For instructions for submitting photos for identification, visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of the native species:


Datura wrightii

Datura wrightii

Datura quercifolia

Datura inoxia

Datura inoxia

 

 

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