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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
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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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
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
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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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
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
Is the palm tree a true tree?
Hello, There has been constant debate here about the Palm Tree. I'm in Las Vegas and I have heard everything from it not being a true tree but a cacti or a giant thistle?! I've tried to research...
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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
Proper deadheading of non-natives Arabian Jasmine and Crape myrtle from Las Vegas
Advise please on proper deadheading of Arabian Jasmine, and of Crape Myrtle. They are both blooming great but I want to know once the petals fall should I deadhead and will it help them to bloom agai...
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Las Vegas, NV
Shade, Heat, Drought and Acidic Soil Tolerant Perennials for Las Vegas?
What can I grow under my pine trees that is shade and heat (and acidity) tolerant? I live in Las Vegas, NV and would like perennials to plant under my pine trees.
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Las Vegas, NV
Arizona ash tree with brown leaf tips in Las Vegas NV
We've had an Arizona Ash Tree in our yard for over 7 years it was doing fine until last summer, the tree seems to be struggling with the heat, its leaves look like they are burning up and turning bro...
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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
Vine for Nevada Sunny Wall
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Las Vegas, NV
Non blooming Texas Mountain Laurel from Las Vegas NV
Hi, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and have a Texas Laurel and have had it for 2 years and still no purple flowers on it. Why won't it bloom ? Thank you.
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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
Starting Venus Flytrap From Seed
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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
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
Yellowing leaves on Carolina jessamine from Las Vegas NV
Carolina jessamine, has yellow leaves. 3 years old, grows on south wall, full sun. Same plant, in partial shade, has green leaves. Should I feed yellowish plant some nitrogen? If yes how much?
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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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