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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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Questions From Near You

Wildomar, CA
Red spots on white flower of Anemopsis californica
Do you know what the red spots are on the white flower of the California native, Anemopsis californica? Is it a fungus, insect, or just physiological?
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Murrieta, CA
Will arctostaphylos grow in Austin, from Murrieta CA
I currently live in Murrieta, CA at 2,000 ft. We planted 800 native plants on our slopes so they were extremely drought tolerant. One of my favorites is the Arctostaphylos family that will take the fr...
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Murrieta, CA
Selection of shade tree and distance from house
I live in California in zone 8b. I have seen the lists of trees for my area. I am still not clear on what tree to select. I would like to plant a nice tall shady tree very close to my house, but I wan...
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Temecula, CA
Privacy screen from Temecula CA
I live in Temecula and need a fast growing tree by our pool that is good to block neighbors house.
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Temecula, CA
Replacement for non-native wisteria in Temecula CA
We recently moved into a house that has a Wisteria bush that has taken over the patio cover. I wish to take it out because it is so messy and looks bad when it is dormant. I am trying to figure out ...
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Temecula, CA
Problem with non-native bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)
I live in Temecula, CA I have grown pink bower vines before with great success. I recently purchased 2 bower vines and planted them on each side of a trellis in full sun. They flower but do not grow...
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Temecula, CA
Water-wise plants for clay soil in southern California
My yard is clay. I'm removing turf to put in water-wise plants and bushes. I need some low growing bushes and medium height bushes that will grow in clay and that will stay green in the summer. Hopef...
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Fallbrook, CA
Season to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle from Fallbrook CA
Would like to know which season would be the best to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle in Fallbrook, CA area? I presently have invading bamboo, which I want to get rid of. Thank you!
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Arcilla, CA
What gives the Creosote bush its characteristic smell?
Good evening, Mr. Smarty Plants, There is a question which I would please like to ask regarding a plant called "Creosote Bush" (Larrea tridentata)- does it actually smell like the creosote...
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Trabuco Canyon, CA
Fast-growing tree for horse arena in Southern California
I live in Trabuco Canyon, CA, and we just lost an old Sycamore in our horse arena. I would like to replace it with some thing that is fast growing, and will be able to withstand life around horses, o...
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Bonsall, CA
Groundcover for Bonsall, CA
I live in Bonsall, CA. (San Diego) I have 3 acres, flat and sloped that are graded dirt. (DG and sheep poop from previous owner). It is getting close to mud season and I'd like to plant winter cover...
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San Clemente, CA
Trees & shrubs, low water, no maintenance, disease & pest resistant
We need few Trees and shrubs to meet the following needs: - Low Water or best with a taproot for Ground Water - Clay Soil in Steep Slopes (25-40 degrees) - Low or No Maintenance. (hillside, no trim...
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Moreno Valley , CA
Groundcovers for Moreno Valley, CA
Hi, I live in Moreno Valley, CA I have a huge flower bed area surrounding our grass I am looking for the best ground cover that will have minimal up keep.
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Lake Forest, CA
Small to medium drought-tolerant trees for Southern California
I am looking for drought tolerant trees to line one side of our 70 foot driveway. We live in Southern California. Currently, we have queen palms, but I would like something more native or drought to...
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Laguna Hills, CA
Ground cover for Orange County, California
What ground cover do you suggest for an Orange Co., CA, backyard with a steep slope in 3-4 hours of sun? Needs to grow fast to beat the weeds. Something pretty would be nice! Thanks
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Riverside, CA
When to plant wildflowers in California
When is the best time to plant wildflowers in California?
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Riverside, CA
Is the non-native California pepper tree (Schinus molle) toxic for horses?
Is it safe and a good idea to put a horse corral around an established California pepper tree? Thank you, Mr. Smarty Plants
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Riverside, CA
Plants to grow under pine trees in Riverside, CA
Please tell me what plants would do well under pine trees in somewhat moist soil in Riverside, Ca. Also, I would prefer perennials that are easy to weed. (I currently have violets which are overrun wi...
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Corona, CA
Transplanting Indian Paintbrush in Corona CA
I have a very mature Indian Paintbrush Plant that was becoming too large for the area I had originally planted it in, so I transplanted it to an area much more suited for its size. I reviewed the que...
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Corona, CA
Low maintenance ground cover for pool area in Corona CA
Hi, I have this slope in my backyard that goes up to the neighbors yard. I'm looking for a low maintenance ground cover type plant that will stop erosion and won't cause a mess for my pool which is...
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Laguna Niguel, CA
Evergreen tree for Southern California coast
I need a tree that is evergreen, non invasive roots that is not messy that can be kept at around 20 feet. We are at the edge of the thermal layer from the ocean. Thanks.
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