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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

Corning, CA
Specifications for a property in Corning CA
Drought resistant, deer resistant, low growing (ground cover), and shade tolerant request: I am looking for a variety of species that not only fit the above preferences, but also a few other things. ...
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Chico, CA
Toxicity of Fan Tex Ash tree to horses
Is the Fan Tex Ash tree toxic to horses?
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Chico, CA
Shrubs for hedge not toxic to horses and llamas in California
I have goats llamas and horses, and need a short hedge that is non-toxic to them. It will be along a section of no-climb fencing, but they would be able to get to it. I lost a foal this morning and co...
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Paradise, CA
Plants to replace poison ivy and brush
I am right next to a highway in Paradise, CA 95969. I am having brush and poison oak removed in that area and want to plant something fast growing and draught resistant. I am thinking about Oleander...
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Palo Cedro, CA
Fungus on trunk of non-native weeping willow in California
I live in Palo Cedro, CA and have a weeping willow tree with with what appears to be be some type of fungus growing all over the trunk of the tree. It is a brown color and can be broken off in big ch...
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Redding, CA
Evergreen replacement for bamboo in Redding CA
We have just removed bamboo from our backyard and need to replace it with a plant that will give us the same type of privacy. What plant would you suggest to plant along a fence line that will surviv...
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Redding, CA
Damaged non-native weeping willow in California
I have a weeping willow that has no leaves and branches seems to have turned brittle. I don't see any bugs or burrows on the tree. The type of willow I have is very common in this area, although I'm...
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Redding, CA
Plant identification for Redding, CA
I have a volunteer plant that has dull green leaf with tiny white flowers that turn into a small black berry the size of a raisin. Can you identify it? I live in Redding, Ca. They are popping up in th...
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Redding, CA
Trees non-toxic for horses in California
I would like to plant next to my pasture. Please send a good variety of nontoxic (for horses) plants for shade. I live in Redding Cal.
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Redding, CA
Why do some flowers open during the day and close at night?
My son is doing a science fair project on the California Poppies. We are trying to find the definitive answer on why the flowers open during the day and close at night.
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Redding, CA
Are the leaves of the Fruitless Palm Tree poisonous in Redding California?
Are Fruitless Palm Tree leaves poisonous? I was poked in the hand with a leaf of one of the branches. It was a dead leaf/Branch? Please Help!
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Redding, CA
Problems with maple tree in Redding CA
I have a 2 yr. old October Glory tree that is looking bad. It leafed out this spring, but not as much as the others. In total I have 9 red maples along a fence row about 15 feet apart. The trees on ei...
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Redding, CA
Identification of small dome-shaped furry plant, smells like bubblegum
Hi, I always see this plant when I'm on the river trail in Redding CA. and I can't find it anywhere on the internet. The plant is very small, I think it is some type of weeds that grow. It's a ligh...
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Dobbins, CA
Shrub to scrren house from dust from gravel road
HI: We live in the foothills of Dobbins, California (2 hours North of Sacramento, Ca). I live on a gravel dirt road with traffic that goes about 45 miles an hour. When they drive by our house it lo...
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Willits, CA
Plantings for sides of retention pond in Willits CA
I am looking for recommendations for ground cover for the outside of embankments which impound wastewater. This is to improve the aesthetics and deter weeds. The slopes are 1V:2H, so if we can avoid...
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Nevada City, CA
Dodder, rootless, leafless, parisitic twining plants
Hello, I have been studying wildflowers in California for many years. Yesterday I came across a surprise and I am thus far unable to identify it. As it is raining today, I cannot get a photo, but I...
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Lincoln, CA
Small tree for Northern California backyard
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a small tree for backyard (west side of house). I'm replacing a Calif.Laurel which is not doing well because it is planted on a downward slope and gets too m...
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Redway, CA
Damage to plants after sudden freeze in Redway CA
I live on the North Coast of California near "The Avenue of the Giants" and Redwoods State Park along the Eel River. We recently have had below freezing weather, constant rain and even snow! I have...
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Cloverdale, CA
Picking flowers of bulbs from Cloverdale CA
Will picking the flowers of native bulb plants, such as Trillium, Blue Dicks, Fawn Lilies, kill the plant or keep it from reproducing? I do not condone this action but know people who do it.
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Janesville, CA
Groundcovers for hillside in Northern California
I have read numerous posts on here, but I have not found my exact situation. I live in Northern California. I am looking for some type of ground cover to grow on a hillside. Directly above the hillsid...
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Janesville , CA
Books for plant identification of native California species
When I was going to college, many years ago, there was a field book for plant identification for California native species. I am trying to find that book again or at least a good pocket book on plant...
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