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

Wednesday - September 07, 2011

From: Roxboro, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Plant Identification, Poisonous Plants
Title: Plant identification of tree in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in North Carolina have found a tree on our property that has thorny branches and round fruit (perfectly round) with a fuzzy outer layer that starts out green but then turns yellow. The inside resembles some kind of citrus fruit. They grow separately and not in clusters. What kind of tree is this? Thanks, Tara

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants believes your tree is Poncirus trifoliata (trifoliate orange) an invasive plant from China and North Korea.  Here are more photos and information.  You shouldn't try eating the fruit since it is listed as mildly toxic in the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina database.  It can also cause skin irritation. 

If this isn't the plant you described and you have photos of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Aggressive vine with purple flowers in South Carolina
September 12, 2014 - Found an aggressive climbing vine with purple flowers in out vegetable garden. This garden was cleaned and new dirt, mulch and manure was put in in the spring. It was raked out after the infusion of d...
view the full question and answer

Removing non-native plants appearing in Austin in early spring
March 14, 2012 - In order to know which plants to keep and which to remove, is there a source to look up and identify common non-native plants that are seen in Austin about this time of the year (late winter, early Sp...
view the full question and answer

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming wisteria in Oklahoma
June 24, 2008 - I have a wisteria bush that doesn't bloom. It's two years old. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Native alternatives for invasive species
April 05, 2011 - I'm a native plant landscape designer in central Texas, and know our plants well. Still looking for any help I can get on replacements for Asian jasmine, English ivy, Nandina, and Red tipped photin...
view the full question and answer

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