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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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Rockaway Beach, OR
Pictures and sources for black trilliums
Do you have pictures and/or sources for Black Trilliums?
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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Portlandia, OR
Plants native to Hudson River
What plants grow along/in the Hudson River?
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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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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
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
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
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
Rubber (latex) in Balloon plant (Asclepias physocarpa)
I need milkweed leaves that contain rubber. The common milkweed species Asclepias syriaca has rubber in it. Do the milkweed of Balloon plant milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa) contain rubber?
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Portland, OR
Cutting back of non-native Salvia Elegans in Portland OR
I did not trim back my pineapple sage in the fall. It is now winter and the plants are bare sticks. Should I cut them back or leave them alone?
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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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