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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

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

Kalama , WA
Comment on poisonous sweet pea plant from Kalama WA
No question, comment only. I am aware of the story of Christopher McCandless (Call of the Wild)and the belief that he was poisoned by ingesting part of the sweet pea plant; however I am curious what ...
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Kelso, WA
How to get rid of devils club (Oplopanax horridus)
please tell me how to get rid of devils club!!!
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Castle Rock, WA
Plants for pavilion over fountain in Washington State
I have a tall fountain in a 7 foot square which is surrounded by pavers. Inside the 7' square there is about a 2' mulched soil bed around the center fountain and an iron type pavilion that goes up h...
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Toutle , WA
Can you identify a funny looking bulb that I bought at the grocery store? Probably not..
I looked through your data base and did not find what I was looking for. I bought this funny looking bulb at a grocery store. It looked like a giant shriveled spider when i bought them. Due to lack of...
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Vancouver, WA
Purple bellshaped flowers in Washington state
on Larch mountain, in the state of Washington, I saw purple, bell shaped flowers growing on a stalk. what are they?
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Vancouver, WA
Huckleberries and blueberries from Vancouver WA
Can you plant a blueberry next to a huckleberry?
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Banks, OR
Want to know the name of a string looking moss in OR.
I want to know the name of a string looking moss or Licha that grows on pine trees? Thought was old mans whiskers, but this search brings up a flower; not what I am looking for. I found some in Glacie...
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Hillsboro, OR
Brown dead spots on arborvitae in Hillsboro OR
Hello. I live in Hillsboro, OR and have several mature arborvitae as a privacy screen in my backyard. They are on our side of a black chainlink fence separating our yard from a drainage area maintaine...
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Hillsboro, OR
Why are my lemon Cyprees trees turning Black?
I have 3 lemon Cypress plants - all are about 6 feet tall. One of them has started turning black on one side - like it's been burnt. The inside of the plant is also turning black. I assume something ...
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Portlandia, OR
Plants native to Hudson River
What plants grow along/in the Hudson River?
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Portland, OR
Shade tree for Portland, OR
Looking for shade tree for Portland, Oregon, with non-invasive root system. House will be 20 ft away, with basement.
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Portland, OR
Walnut tree root coming through basement floor in Portland, OR
I have a walnut tree root coming through my basement floor. I need advice as to what will it do to tree when I remove the root, like another root though a different part of my home. It is a large tree...
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Portland, OR
Leaf burn on hydrangeas
What causes my leaves to burn on my healthy hydrangeas?
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Portland, OR
Plants for wall with afternoon sun in Oregon
Portland, Or. We have a stacked cement wall about 30 feet long that receives afternoon sun from the west. we would like to plant something edible along that wall that can tolerate afternoon sun. G...
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Portland, OR
Alleotrophic effects of caffeine found in Ilex species
I'm doing research for my biology class on the alleotrophic effects of caffeine. I'm planning to use Ilex vomitoria as the caffeine-producing plant. As the control I want to use another non-c...
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Portland, OR
Grape Vines and spacing for Portland, OR
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a somewhat small south-facing yard next to my home (less than 8' wide). I would like to build a tall arbor for grapes that runs along the length of my home (about 4...
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Portland, OR
Flower with spike of yellow flowers with hairy purple filaments
Fuzzy purple stamens! I can't find this plant identified anywhere. Blooms abt 1" or a little more across. 5 yellow petals, 5 sepals, & 5 stamens with yellow anthers, & the filaments are covered wi...
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Portland, OR
Plant ID from Chicago
When I was hiking in Portland, OR, my friend had me eat a leaf off of a trail-side plant. It tasted very much like sour apple, it was delicious. It has average-sized green leaves and in July it had no...
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Portland, OR
Looking for leaves of milkweed plants for experiment
I am an undergraduate chemistry student at the University of Portland and want to perform an experiment using milkweed leaves. How would I get milkweed leaves at this time of year? Any help you can p...
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Portland, OR
Vines for a shady porch in Oregon
My husband and I just bought our first home this fall in St. Johns, Portland. We would like to grow a vine on our front porch, but it is in full shade. It faces north east. We planted some jasmine vin...
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Portland, OR
A nice-looking, fast-growing privacy hedge for Oregon
Would you please suggest a fast growing option to create a privacy hedge? I need to get my husband off the boxwoods he is touting.. The ideal solution would grow to 8 feet high, look interesting all y...
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