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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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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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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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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chehalis, WA
Identity of a plant with opposite leaves in Washington
My friend just bought a house and in the front yard are some bushes. I don't have a picture, but they are only 1-2 feet tall now. They have these unusual stems, throughout the entire bush. They are v...
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Centralia, WA
Plant identification of purple flower in Washington state
I need help. I am a 10 year old girl who just happens to have a brother. He has a deep purple flower with small, oval shaped petals. We would like to know what it is. We planted it in a garden thing a...
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Astoria, OR
Buffaloberry from Grandma
I have a "BUFFALO BERRY" that my Grandma brought back from South Dakota.It is approx.8yrs.old.All was well until this spring.It was budding out when we had a very hard freeze and got 3" of snow.Now...
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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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Eatonville, WA
How fast do trees grow?
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants I would like to know how to tell how much a tree will grow if the average of the trees are growing at the rate of approximately 3 to 3.5% annually. And how do they come up wi...
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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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Olympia, WA
Failure to thrive of Actaea simplex in Washington State
I have a Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' that I planted in mid August 2007 in a partial, almost full shade spot. This year it came back , but the foliage is brown with dark and light green a...
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Olympia, WA
What are those bushes with purple flowers around the Wildflower Center?
Hello! We were just at the Wildflower Center earlier this week (March 1 or so, 2009), and there were several large bushes with purple flowers on them. The very helpful docent told me what they wer...
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Portland, OR
Trees for traffic buffer in Portland OR
Hi, saw the question about small space plants. On this topic, our street in Portland OR is looking for a fast growing, 20-30 ft tree that can go in a 12" wide parking strip along our road (we have ma...
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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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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
Spreading Poison Oak to Clothes and Shoes
I had a poison oak rash about 2 years ago and during that time I had to attend a wedding. At the wedding I wore a pair of dress shoes and a pair of cowboy boots. Can I wear these shoes again? Is there...
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Portland, OR
Leaf burn on hydrangeas
What causes my leaves to burn on my healthy hydrangeas?
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