Contact Us Host an Event 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

Friday - April 26, 2013

From: DeKalb, IL
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Identification of Wood from Frying Pan Ranch Near Amarillo, TX (possibly Cholla)
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I'm doing research for a museum exhibition and have been told the "holey" piece of wood from The Frying Pan Ranch near Amarillo Texas is "chollya" but I can find no information. Can you help?

ANSWER:

There is a good chance that the piece of wood you have is from Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree cholla). The USDA Plant Profile shows this plant is native to several counties in the Texas panhandle so cholla (pronounced "chollya") would have been available to early settlers.

As this image shows, "holey" is a good word to describe the dried wood (those holes are technically called "areoles"). The dried stems were fequently used as walking canes.

 

From the Image Gallery


Tree cholla
Cylindropuntia imbricata

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Prickly pear doing poorly on Long Island NY
December 27, 2012 - First, thanks for your reply on 11-3-12, re.Can a prickly pear cutting from Harker Heights, TX find happiness in Long Island, NY. The plants were set before a southern window in the attic, temp. ra...
view the full question and answer

Controlling agave pups from Galveston, TX
July 26, 2013 - I live in Galveston, Tx.I have several large 5ft tall century plants in my yard and the pups are coming up everywhere..how do I control these??? HELP!!
view the full question and answer

Selenicereus anthonyanus, Rickrack or Fishbone Cactus
February 28, 2007 - A friend of mine gave me a plant he said was a rick rack plant. I have tried to research it on line with no luck and I don't know the scientific name...any help?
view the full question and answer

Non-native jade plant from Pauline SC
August 24, 2012 - Do jade plants grow in South Carolina; if, so where?
view the full question and answer

Speeding up growth of Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca)
January 12, 2012 - I have germinated Hesperaloe parviflora, Red Yucca, for our Caddo Native plant sale. I have kept in the cool greenhouse for 2 months and they are about 2 inches. A friend put one outside and they froz...
view the full question and answer

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