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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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Petaluma, CA
Evergreen thorny bush for California
I need to find an evergreen thorny type bush, shrub or tree that will grow with about 3-4 hours of morning sun only. Prefer CA native, inland/semi coastal. Purpose: To provide a deterrent for "tag...
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Petaluma, CA
Non-endangered medicinal plants to Echinacea
A recent issue of the Wildflower Center said that echinacea is endangered and it is best to use a substitute, but did not give a good substitute. (Only oregon grape was listed as a substitute for gold...
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Penngrove, CA
Trees and shrubs for adobe soil in Penngrove CA
Hi, I'd like to find a list of trees that are native, drought tolerant and suitable to the adobe soil in Penngrove. We will be landscaping a bare .5 acre parcel starting later this fall. Another fea...
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Penngrove, CA
The invasiveness of Lupinus arboreus
Hi, Researching Lupinus arboreus, I found that it is considered a serious invasive in Northern California coastal areas, especially Humbolt Bay. Scotch broom, of course, is an awful pest on the coast...
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Novato, CA
Evergreen shrub for hedge in pasture in California
I am looking at putting in a hedge along a pasture between my neighbor and me. I was considering a podacarpus plant about every 4' for 100'. is this a fast growing, full thickness, tall evergreen bu...
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Novato, CA
Sources of native plants for Marin County, CA
Where in Marin County, California can I get native area plants?
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Santa Rosa, CA
Plants for heavy clay in Sonoma County, California
Hi, I live in Northern California, Sonoma County, and would like to transition my front garden into mostly native plants. Trouble is, my soil is clay, yicky, heavy clay, and some of the natives I've ...
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Santa Rosa, CA
Plant identification
I don't know where this plant is from! I hope you can still help! I was given a plant,about 8in tall,stem and limbs are yellow it doesn't grow leaves it just has thorns do you have any idea what it ...
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Santa Rosa, CA
Low maintenance plants for crack in concrete
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to grow some very low maintenance weeds, mosses and flowers out of a crack in a slab of concrete. Can you recommend any species that would do well in this sort...
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Santa Rosa, CA
Acorns for craft project in Santa Rosa CA
Where can I find mature northern red oaks, northern pin oaks in Santa Rosa, CA 95404 in order to get their cute chubby acorns for a craft project I'm doing?
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Santa Rosa, CA
Plant Identification
I have small shiny red berries growing on a tropical appearing shrub with green and marled yellow leaves. The leaves have widely serrated edges. The berries have a large seed inside and very little fl...
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Santa Rosa, CA
Problems with non-native mimosa
We have 2 large mimosa trees in front of our house that are close to 50 years old. They have not been cared for over the past 8 years (we did not live here). This year, I trimmed them, removed dead ...
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Santa Rosa, CA
Privacy screen for Santa Rosa CA
I am looking for a very fast growing privacy hedge/screen, 15-20 ft., requires not much pruning. I want an evergreen with not a lot of mess. The area gets full sun and after the plant is established...
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Santa Rosa, CA
Weeds safe for rabbits to eat
I have several types of weeds running rampant in my large backyard. I can't seem to keep up with them. I have a couple rabbits and was wondering if the weeds are edible and would be okay to feed to...
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Santa Rosa, CA
Rash from non-native potato vines
Here in No. CA we have two potato vines that over the last 5-6 years have flourished gloriously. Just this year, we went to prune them (as we normally do once or twice a year), and both my husband an...
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94933, CA
Vine for Marin County, CA
Looking for relatively fast growing evergreen vine (not Ivy). Plant along sturdy 7 foot wire fence. Mostly sun, some shade. Soil drains reasonably well. I had some success w/ star jasmine, but too...
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Fairfax, CA
Native vine for California deck
Can you recommend a native California vine to grow on our deck to cover a trellis under a deck? There is a canopy of live coast oak above the deck so there is bright, filtered light. Thank you.
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San Anselmo, CA
Plant ID from San Anselmo CA
I have a spreading ground cover that no one has been able to ID in years of searching. I have taken photos of flower and foliage. I want to ID to try to improve site conditions and increase covera...
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San Anselmo, CA
Problems with non-native Mayten tree
Hi. Our Mayten tree was doing really well, but just in the last month has last a great amount of its leaves, and it seems to be tilting slightly now. We placed some small plants in the same area of ...
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San Anselmo, CA
Vine for complete shade in California
I'm looking for a vine to put over my back door which is in complete shade.
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San Rafael, CA
The perfect tree for San Rafael CA
Want to plant a tree that is slow growing and has shallow root system that won't lift the concrete, that does not shed, and is green throughout the year.
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