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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

Studio City, CA
Eliminating and replacing Tradescantia species
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I need advice. I recently figured out my 10 month old dog is highly allergic to Tradescantia sp, commonly known as the Spiderworts, and "Wandering Jew" which covers about h...
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Studio City,, CA
Plants for steep slope in California
Where do I find out about the specific root structure of various California native plants? Are there shrubs that have tap roots & hence are good for steep slopes? The genus of any such plants that y...
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Toluca Lake, CA
Problems with non-native Carrotwood tree in Toluca Lake CA
My Carrotwood tree leaves are turning yellow and curling down, Why? Also due to a bad trim, the outer limbs are dying. Can you tell me what is wrong? It is an old tree and I would like to save it!
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Burbank, CA
Native trees for shade in Burbank, CA
I need a few ideas for a non-deciduous (or nearly non-deciduous)tree that grows fast and will provide shade. Shade need not be total. Chinese Elms come to mind but I'm not sure of the growth rate. ...
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Burbank, CA
Native vegetation of Burbank, CA
What is the native vegetation of Burbank, CA?
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Burbank, CA
Source of non-native Cutweed from Burbank CA
Where to find Cutweed in southern California? If not, which nursery sell cutweed? or any cutweed powder to buy?
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Sherman Oaks, CA
Evergreen tree for planter in Sherman Oaks CA
We have a large cinder block planter, 6ftx6ftx6ft,in the back of our building and would love to find a good evergreen accent tree (but not pine like). Planter is near a building so preferable it shoul...
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Beverly Hills, CA
Smoketree not flowering in Beverly Hills CA
Why is my Smoke tree not flowering? It is big and the leaves are beautiful but no blooms.
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Van Nuys, CA
Identification of spiny plant in Yucca Mesa, CA
I have a very prickly bush on my property near Yucca Mesa, CA, (high desert). 2 to 3 feet high. Branches mostly starting from the center near ground. Lots of 1 to 2 inch spines on branches. Dormant in...
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Tujunga, CA
Groundcover for clay soil in Southern California
I live in Southern California and have hard packed clay soil in my yard. Could you recommend ground cover that would be green, low to the ground, require little water and survive in clay? I can't a...
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Tarzana, , CA
Is it OK to plant Huisache in southern California?
We have a wonderful huisache growing on a very dry rocky/dusty slope. It has now sprouted babies and we are delighted because we have room for several more on this slope. I have some room on our front...
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Los Angeles, CA
Smarty Plants on poisonous plants
Do you have a list of plants that are poisonous to children and pets?
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Los Angeles, CA
Trees around the inland waterways in Virginia
I am writing a piece about Virginia Beach, Virginia. Could you tell me other than Pine what trees are found in the forests around the inland waterways? Thank-you very much!
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Los Angeles, CA
Native grasses to replace mondo grass in California
Hello - I live in the Southern California coastal zone, and am looking for a drought resistant, turf alternative. My husband wants to use "Mondo Grass", but I know that is not native to the regi...
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Los Angeles, CA
Ground covering around cypresses in pool area
We have multiple cypress trees planted along our pool area..they shed way too much..but I'm looking for something to put under and around them over the dirt..do you suggest wood chips or a ground cov...
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Los Angeles, CA
Native shrubs for containers in Los Angeles, CA
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants - We are looking for some non-vine potted plants to grow on our balcony for privacy in Los Angeles. The balcony receives partial direct sunlight & we would like the growth to...
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Los Angeles, CA
Eugenia Substitutes for Southern California
Is there a eugenia bush (preferable one that can grow tall) without berries. We like this plant but the berries create a problem. We live in Los Angeles, CA. Thank you.
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Los Angeles, CA
Privacy screen in front of cinderblock wall in Los Angeles
I'm looking for a privacy hedge to plant along my backyard's cinderblock wall in Los Angeles, CA. I need it to grow 10 - 15 feet and it can't be toxic to dogs. Any advice would be great!
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Los Angeles, CA
Vine for privacy on a deck in Southern California
I am looking for a climbing vine/plant that is non-flowering and can be grown year round in Southern California. We are looking to help create a private area along a deck for my grandmother because h...
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Los Angeles, CA
Are palm leaves poisonous?
Are palm tree leaves poisionous? Because my dad was doing yard work and was stuck by a palm tree leaf in his calf. His calf has swollen and in he thinks it broke off in his calf.
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Los Angeles, CA
Brown flakes on prickly pear in Los Angeles
I live in Los Angeles CA. I have desert type plants in my landscape. I have prickly pear cactus that have developed some light brown, almost golden flakes on the skin of the pads. I believe it is call...
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