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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

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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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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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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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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Norco, CA
Looking for plants for a privacy hedge, besides Ficus nitida, in Norco CA.
I am looking to plant a hedge for privacy along my property line. We have horses so I need to make sure that what I plant is not toxic. Would Ficus nitida 'Little Gem' be a good choice? I...
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Norco, CA
Plants resistant to Verticillium wilt in Norco CA
I'm looking for small trees, flowering shrubs & vines that are resistant to verticillium wilt. Fragrance would be a plus. Thank you so much!
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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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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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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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Anaheim Hills, CA
Flowering vine for trellis behind fountain in Anaheim Hills CA
We are looking for a flowering vine to plant on a trellis surrounding a water fountain. The fountain splashes leaving the soil constantly wet. We have tried numerous vines, but they all die due to t...
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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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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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Villa Park, CA
Plant identification--vine with spiny pods in California
I came across a vine while hiking in Orange County, CA. It didn't have flowers on it but has 3 or 4 inch spiny pods. What is it? The vine itself looks similar to a Morning Glory vine.
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irvine, CA
Evergreen trees for a Southern California yard
Hello I live in Irvine, CA and I am looking for a tree for our front yard. We recently planted oaks but they did not survive the clay soil. Our landscaper wants to replace them with oaks or with ...
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Irvine , CA
Getting a senna to fill out from Irvine CA
I have a Senna of some kind, started from a seed by a friend. I got it as a small,six in high) seedling. After two years it is now blooming beautifully, but is a single thin stem 4 feet tall with ve...
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Chino, CA
Project on natives in Connecticut from Chino CA
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My 10 yr. old daughter is doing a project on Ct., and would like to know what the most common plants, trees and flowers are found in this state. A few of each would be a great ...
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Yorba Linda, CA
Replacement for grass under non-native weeping willow from Yorba Linda CA
What would be a good replacement for the grass currently growing under a weeping willow? Something requiring low maintenance, the problem is with mowing over and around the roots.
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Orange, CA
Bioswale in Orange CA
Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm looking for plants for a bio-swale in Southern California. Do you have any suggestions for plants that do well in water but can also can handle long dry summers?
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Orange, CA
Plant identification of a potted vine in California
Hi, we have a tropical vine growing in a pot on our patio that my wife bought at the county fair. We've had it for a couple of years but I just noticed it now has a sort of pear like fruit on it. It ...
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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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