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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

Bridgewater, MA
Is there a flower that blooms only once in seven years?
Just wanted to know if there exists a flower that blooms only once in seven years? Thank you!
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Brockton, MA
Groundcover for Massachusetts campus
Our campus is converting to more sustainable landscaping practices, and in the process we are planting native plants and removing lawn. Thus we would like to replace the lawn, and some invasive groun...
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Middleboro, MA
Need to identify orange tube-like plants in Middleboro, MA
Mr. Smarty Plants~ I live near some industrial companies, and lately I have been finding these orange plants, like tubes almost the top being brownish all over my backyard in the mulch. They have a...
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Abington, MA
Perennial for cemetery plot in Massachusetts
What perennial would work well in a cemetery plot that has very dry sun?
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rockland, MA
Looking for a tall ornamental grass native to Massachusetts.
I am looking for a tall (4-8 ft) ornamental grass, native to Massachusetts/ New England. It needs to be tolerant of moist to wet soil, and preferably colorful. Thanks for your help.
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Pembroke, MA
Native plants for morning sun in Pembroke MA
Could you please suggest native groundcover,plants/shrubs/grasses for eastern facing slope which gets morning sun? It is my front yard which slopes down toward driveway so it would be a major focal po...
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Pembroke, MA
Poison Ivy in Semi-wetland Massachusetts
You answered this question for Tennessee, but I would like an answer for a Massachusetts semi-wetlands area: What can I plant to discourage poison ivy, or at least make it very clear that it is poison...
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Stoughton, MA
Possible medicinal uses of Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides)
I recently read an article about the healing properties of Spanish Moss. It mentioned reducing bad cholesterol in the human body. What exactly are the properties in this plant that are good for you, ...
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Berkley, MA
Plant identification
I was wondering if you could help me identify a plant in the carrot family that has invaded a portion of my property that I fear may be toxic. It looks most like the water hemlock plant (leaf-wise, ...
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Weymouth, MA
Native evergreen for privacy shield in Weymouth, MA
I am trying to find a good native evergreen tree that I can plant in a hedgerow to block noise and light coming from our neighbors property. We would need something that would grow tall because our h...
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Braintree, MA
Transplanting non-native mimosas in Braintree MA
I want to transplant some baby mimosa trees. Have tried in past and they just die.
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Braintree, MA
Plant identification
I have a plant that I always thought was poison ivy. This spring however I saw an unusual flower on several of these plants. Three leaves and the flower almost looks like a wilted calla lily, but is a...
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Attleboro, MA
Lippia alba for sale at Wildflower Center
Do you have this plant for sale Lippia Alba. thanks
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Somerset , MA
Non-native Chamaedorea cataractarum question from Somerset MA
I have a Chamaedorea Cataractarum palm and I was wondering what a clumping palm is. From what part of the plant do the new fronds emerge? Was trying to look all over the web but can't find it. If you...
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Somerset, MA
Identity of recently purchased plant from Somerset MA
I just bought a plant at Home Depot but it came with no tag. It has fairly large greyish green paddle shaped leaves, the leave stalks are pretty thick. Can you tell me what kind of plant do I have? I ...
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Cohasset, MA
Gaillardia suavis and salvia penstemonoides propagation
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, if that is your real name, How long, if at all, will I need to stratify my gaillardia suavis and salvia penstemonoides seeds to have them come up this summer?
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Pawtucket, RI
Plant identification
I have a plant that I think is called a Brookmania or Bookmania. It has beautiful purple flowers with white centers and darker leaves. I cannot find any info on this flower.
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South Boston , MA
Planter boxes on a roof deck in Boston MA
What will grow in planter boxes on a roof deck in Boston ma? We are planning to make our own planters to sit on the framing "outside" our deck rail. We have 4 ft from the rail to the edge of the ho...
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Dorchester, MA
Smarty Plants on Tamarisk
Where can I buy Tamarisk, and will it survive in Massachusetts? I've seen it in Provincetown, on Cape Cod.
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East Providence, RI
Seed source for non-native Cenipa americana
The Genipa americana plant or seeds, do you have it on sale too?
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Mattapoisett, MA
Propagating mimosa from seed
I have a seed pod from a Mimosa tree. What is the best way to start this beautiful tree from seed. Thank you!
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