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Can anyone identify this wild thorny shrub?

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  • Can anyone identify this wild thorny shrub?

    I am seeking assistance in identifying a shrub.* This shrub grows wild and thrives near rivers in southeast central Texas.

    It grows 4-6 feet in height.* It has green branches and base (no bark), smooth 2-3 inch leaves and is green all year.* It grows a medium-sized (2 in.) round orange fruit and has huge 1-2 inch spines / thorns covering it.* The fruit resembles a miniature orange, but has a soft matte finish, rather than a waxy finish.

    I have scoured the internet with dozens of descriptive variations and have came up empty-handed.* It's definitely not a species of Asian ornamental orange tree, as they have smaller leaves and thorns (and don't grow wild in Texas.)* I have also found it commonly misidentified as a wild orange tree or Osage Orange which is completely different.

    I have 2 images attached.* Please help.

  • #2
    Hi Ewpnet,

    Did you ever find out what the thorny shrub is?* I was thinking of some type of hybrid kumquat.* This is a kumquat fortunell margarita hybrid.

    Have you cut one open?* Does it smell of citrus?



    • #3

      Thank you for your reply.*

      Your response gave me an idea.* I did some research into hybrid and invasive shrubs and have determined that its from the "Trifoliate orange" family.* Specifically, trifoliate orangeand poncirrus (AKA Bitter Lemon).

      This family of shrubs is native to China and has been used as a rootstock in the US, thus becoming naturalized and invading southeastern US.

      Finally, the mystery is solved..

      Thanks again!


      • #4
        You are so very welcome!* I'm really glad you found out what they are.*

        I don't know why the link I supplied is wrong.* I edited my post to show the correct link.

        Oddly enough I did look at the trifoliate orange but it said the fruit was fuzzy and it looked lighter then your photo.* Go figure.

        I'm really glad I was at least able to give you some ideas.* I hope you will be able to destroy them.

        Thanks so much for getting back to me.