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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

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

Albany, OR
Madrone too close to house in Oregon
I have a small Madrone tree (8ft tall) located approximatly 15 feet from my house, with a basement. Should I remove it? ie will it damage the foundation and is the tree strong enough that it will no...
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Corvallis, OR
Visiting Texas for bluebonnets
I know rainfall amounts in the winter affect the blooming of bluebonnets in the spring. I am thinking about visiting Texas this spring. What should I be looking for in rainfall amounts? I will watch...
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Salem, OR
Flowering evergreen plant for ceramic pot
I have a deep ceramic pot that I would like to put in a flowering evergreen plant or bush. It is on the deck facing west but with north and south exposure and afternoon sun.
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Salem, OR
Disposal of bulbs to control Arrowhead aquatic plant
How can I kill Arrowhead permanently? I have sprayed repeated years with Roundup, Crossbow, etc., but the arrowhead comes back from the bulb the next year!
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Springfield, OR
Plant ID in Springfield OR
I recently discovered a wildflower closely resembling the Oregon Lady Slipper, apparently a wild orchid, but with many blooms on a single long stem and with no apparent leaves. I'd like more informat...
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Eugene, OR
Vine for arbor in Eugene, OR
We have an arbor that is partial shade and stays fairly wet and want to plant a climbing plant on it with shallow roots, preferably with flowers. We had a wisteria but got roots and shooters everywher...
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Eugene, OR
Native Vines for Pacific Northwest
Hello, I recently built a shed/pen for my large dog. I have a trellis horizontal above the fence to hide the shed from street. I live in Pacific NW. Do you have any suggestions on a nontoxic evergr...
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Eugene, OR
Eliminating bindweed in Eugene OR
Any ideas on the best non-chemical way to get rid of bindweed in the Eugene, Oregon area? In addition to any other ideas you can suggest, are there any groundcovers that would do the job and be non-i...
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Toledo, OR
Evergreen Deck Plant for Oregon
Need evergreen shrub to grow in shade in container 5ft tall for deck.
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Aurora, OR
Plant identification
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, (love the name), I have found a plant in my yard. Underground it looks like a green onion, above ground it has a broad leaf, a thin 8-12 inch stalk and the top 2" of the stalk...
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Canby, OR
Non-native, invasive peanut butter tree from Canby, OR
I too have a peanut butter tree with the pink and white blooms, its about 5 years old and is beautiful, but 2 weeks ago it started wilting and losing all its leaves, I am afraid it is dying. Can I sav...
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Colton, OR
Deer-resistant native plants for Oregon
I have 21 acres of timber property in Oregon. We are converting part of that property to residential and I would like to plant wild flowers. I want to make sure I only plants native to Oregon and wo...
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Tualatin, OR
Was my grandmother growing a Honeysuckle Bush in Middleton, Idaho?
I would like to know the name of the flowering bush that grew in the backyard of my grandmother's house in Middleton, Idaho. I remember it to be purple in color and had petals with what I used to ca...
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West Linn, OR
Plant with orange berries in Oregon
I have a viney type plant that hangs down over and along a rock wall at my house in Portland, that is producing an orange colored berry. What is it? Is it edible? My neighbor just tried one and he ...
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West Linn, OR
Skin irritation caused by blanket flower (Gaillardia sp.)
Could you tell me whether it is the leaves or the spent flower heads, the seed heads, that cause irritation to bare legs after walking through a field of Indian Blankets? Gallardia I believe is the La...
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Oregon City, OR
200 year old white oak with no acorns in Oregon City OR
We have a white oak tree in our yard that is about 200 yrs old. We have lived in the house for 30+ years, and have never seen an acorn. We have had it pruned by an arborist, who said it is in good...
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Oregon City, OR
Non-native peanutbutter tree suckering in Oregon City OR
I have a beautiful 'peanutbutter tree' in my yard. I have noted that there are plantlets coming up that appear to be attached to the main root(s) of the tree. I have been breaking them off as I don...
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Lake Oswego, OR
Viability of Juniperus ashei for making furniture
My husband uses juniper from Oregon to make beautiful furniture. Underneath the ugly bark is a wonderful wood. Is this the same Juniper as we saw all around Austin, Texas.
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Beaverton, OR
Groundcover for Oregon gravel path
I'm looking for a native ground cover to grow in the gravel between flagstones in a path in my backyard. The gravel is 1/4-10 so it is very loose. The path gets midday sun but is shaded by the house ...
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Beaverton, OR
Vine Choices Scarce in Beaverton Oregon
Hi, I am looking for a hearty vine that we could use to cling to and cover a cement wall that is about 8 feet tall and 30 feet long. It is on the south side of our house but never gets direct sunli...
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Beaverton, OR
Care for California lilacs from Portland OR
Hi There, We live in the Portland Oregon area, so temps are moderate and winters are wet. We have several California Lilacs that are about 7ft in height and have created the perfect screen. Love th...
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