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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers Nan Hampton, Jimmy Mills and Barbara Medford to be the culpable and capable parties. Yet, others think staff members Damon Waitt, Joe Marcus and Philip Hawkins might 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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Amargosa Valley, NV
Lifespan of Screwbean mesquite from Amargosa Valley NV
I see the lifespan of the honey mesquite but not the screwbean (especially in the southern Nevada area - Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge area). What is their normal lifespan?
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pahrump, NV
Trimming bloom stalks of iris
Mr. Smarty: I live in Nevada, and have some very beautiful Iris plants. They have all blossomed and now I am left with stems. Is there any way I can cut them back so they blossom again? If so how shou...
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pahrump, NV
Browning of leaf tops on Iris plants
My Iris plants bloomed beautifully, now some of the leaves are turning brown from the top down, about half way. Is this normal? What can I do about it and should I cut off the brown leaves? Also, what...
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Pahrump, NV
Problems with Fantex ash in Pahrump NV
We planted a Fantex Ash tree over 3 years ago and it was thriving until recently. This year when the temperature began to warm up, it blossomed and then suddenly stopped growing. All the other trees...
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Pahrump, NV
What is the plant called wingspan?
I have a lot of environmental allergies and saw a positive result for "wingspan" yet I cannot find ANY information online about that particular plant. I was told it's "tumbleweed" by the medical ...
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Las Vegas, NV
Failure to thrive of pecan trees in Las Vegas NV
In April this year I purchased two 8-foot tall pecan trees in 3-foot square boxes from a local nursery and planted them here in Southern Nevada. I'm sure I dug a large enough hole to provide plenty ...
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Las Vegas, NV
How soon after stump grinding can something else be planted?
How soon after cutting down a Mulberry and grinding up the stump can we plant a new tree in its place?
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Las Vegas, NV
Vine for Nevada Sunny Wall
I want a non-invasive vine to grow on a block wall that receives approx 6-10 hrs of sun. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I want to put in a narrow walkway between our house and a block wall to add color ...
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Las Vegas, NV
Need a privacy screen beside a pool in Las Vegas, NV.
Hi, I need to plant a privacy screen fence next to the pool. There is only 4-5 feet between the wall and the pool. That leaves only about 2 feet for soil. What are my best options for non invasive r...
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Las Vegas, NV
Growing kudzu in Las Vegas NV
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about a known invasive species that I know you advise against, but I feel my situation may be different enough that it's worth asking about. Yes, I'm talk...
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Las Vegas, NV
Tree to plant by pool replacing mulberry in Las Vegas
I am looking for a tree to plant between my house and pool. We just cut down a mulberry that was here due to its invasive root system. Are there any plants that can tolerate Vegas weather, provide a...
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Las Vegas, NV
Identification of vine from Las Vegas NV
I'm interested in identifying the vine shown by the leaf in this photo: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zR3R4JSPYcCI4ESczNXWM4h8z33Cq5cyZNqSSYf9hx0?feat=directlink My mother-in-law got one o...
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Las Vegas, NV
Identifcation of fragrant, white camellia-like flower
My friend describes a beautiful, unusual smelling flower. It was a white camellia-like bloom, but was not a camellia. It was flowering in June or July in the Alabama and Mississippi region. It had ...
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Las Vegas, NV
Use of non-native pothos for outside wall from Las Vegas NV
I am in Las Vegas, NV. I live in a cottage-style apartment so I have a north facing porch with no one on the west so I get some there (and have an inherited cactus probably a yard all round) I would ...
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Las Vegas, NV
Failure to thrive of Magnolia grandiflora in Las Vegas NV
I live in Las Vegas, NV and have several Magnolia Grandiflora trees. They were doing well until 2 years ago when they started losing their leaves. The leaves turn brown or very dark on the edges. One ...
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Las Vegas, NV
Is Penstemon Poisonous to Dogs?
Is Penstemon palmeri poisonous to dogs? I couldn't find in ASPA guide.
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Las Vegas, NV
Vines and shrubs for Las Vegas, Nevada
We live in Las Vegas and would like to put some vines up on the walls of our backyard. One wall is full sun, one is partial sun partial shade, and two are all shade. We want something that is non-in...
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Las Vegas, NV
Decorative small evergreen tree for Las Vegas NV
I need a small decorative tree to be planted among a pine tree background; would prefer evergreen.
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Las Vegas, NV
Would like a small tree for yard in Las Vegas, NV.
would like a small tree with root system that grows down not spread on surface. Had raywood and medesto ash tree both died of desease. Diagnosed by arborist. Stated that these trees to big for my yard...
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Las Vegas, NV
Identification of shrub with purple flowers in Las Vegas, Nevada
Large purple flower shrub, flowers are on long stems. Round flowers with green leaves on the stalks, used as front yard landscaping in a new house in Las Vegas NV. Very drought tolerant, shrub grows ...
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Las Vegas, NV
Non-native bougainvillea annual or perennial in Las Vegas?
Are bouganvilleas annual or perianneal plants? What do you do w/them in the winter time. We live in Las Vegas NV
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