En EspaŅol
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.

Support NPINHelp grow the Native Plant Information Network by giving to the Plant Database Fund or subcribing to Wildflower magazine.

Subscribe online now
Mr. Smarty Plants would give Wildflower magazine two thumbs up...if he had two thumbs.
Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Arlington, MA
Height of tree to block sun on deck in Arlington MA
I am trying to figure out how tall a tree I should buy in order to make sure to block out the sun on my deck
view the full question and answer

Arlington, MA
Native invasives question from Arlington MA
When I searched your website for creepers in Massachusetts, I found the following recommendations: Campsis radicans and Parthenocissus quinquefolia. But in response to a reader's question, you called...
view the full question and answer

Belmont, MA
Identification of all-white small plants growing in the woods in Belmont, MA.
I have just seen a group of completely ALL-WHITE small plants growing in the woods. They have 4-8in. stalks with a kind of bell-shaped flower growing at the top. There is no green anywhere on this pla...
view the full question and answer

Medford, MA
Native trees for Medford MA
Two quick questions. 1) what trees would grow happily along the banks of the Mystic River in Medford, MA? 2) Would it be o.k. to plant weeping willows? Are they indigenous to the area? I'm not a pur...
view the full question and answer

Lexington, MA
How to get rid of invasive vine
We moved into our very old (300+ year house) several years ago and I am slowly getting round to cleaning up and replanting flower beds. When I cleared the space to grow clematis along a fence in the b...
view the full question and answer

Cambridge, MA
Groundcover for area with impact from rain from roof
The small garden on the side of my townhouse gets some hard rainfall during every storm. We've found ways of redirecting and using much of the rainfall (gutter and downspout to rain barrel, permeable...
view the full question and answer

Cambridge, MA
Plants to stabilize sandy slope in Massachusetts
Dear Mr. Smartypants, I am working on a small public housing project in Chelmsford, MA, northwest of Boston. We have a steep, sunny and SANDY slope and I am stumped as to what to recommend that wi...
view the full question and answer

Cambridge, MA
Source for native Orobanche plant seeds for research
I'm looking for native Orobanche plant seeds for a research project, but have had no luck so far. We've been able to locate lots of sources for the noxious weed Orobanche (from Europe), but none for...
view the full question and answer

Woburn, MA
Is common milkweed considered endangered from Woburn MA
Is common milkweed, a food source for monarchs, considered federally protected, endangered, rare or threatened? Does any state protect common milkweed? It would be nice; if not, if state parks and nat...
view the full question and answer

Woburn, MA
Virginia wild strawberry plants for New Hampshire or Massachusetts
Where can I find Virginia wild strawberry plants or seeds for my garden and will they grow up north in New Hampshire or Massachusetts?
view the full question and answer

Woburn, MA
Why are Virginia strawberries native to Massachusetts?
Thank you for your answer regarding Virginia wild strawberries. I thought they were only native to Virginia and that Virginia fragaria duchesne is the accepted name for them. Why do strawberries of Ne...
view the full question and answer

Melrose, MA
Arborvitae as privacy screen in Maine
I want to plant privacy bushes (arborvitae shrubs) around my back yard. My husband built a wall to retain the soil behind it. My neighbors' yards abut mine. They have a fence, but not high enough to...
view the full question and answer

Melrose, MA
Erosion control for steep shady hillside in Massachusetts
What would be a good plant for erosion control on a steep, very shady hillside in Massachusetts?
view the full question and answer

Newton, MA
Low-Maintenance Hedge for Massachusetts
I want to put in a native low-maintenance hedge in a sunny spot with plants that can take dry soil. I would like the plants to grow to less than 4 feet wide. It can be an informal hedge, but I don't ...
view the full question and answer

Newton, MA
Plant identification
I have had a plant for 37 years! It is a vine with leaves that grow in groups of three and they typically have 5 points. The leaves are dark green and shiny. I would love to know what this old friend ...
view the full question and answer

Newton, MA
Preserving endangered plants in Massachusetts
I've recently visited the national registry of threatened or endangered plants for my Massachusetts home, with a hope of : 1. Identifying rare, threatened or endangered species in my state. 2. fi...
view the full question and answer

Burlington, MA
Groundcover for erosion control
I have a sloped area in my back yard where we need to plant some erosion control plants. The area is above a large (100 foot long x 4 foot tall) stone wall and another smaller wall of natural stone. ...
view the full question and answer

Burlington, MA
Dwarf native plants for shade in Burlington, MA
Hi, I removed all of the evergreen shrubs in front of my house in Zone 6. It is in full shade all summer but has some sun during the spring because of a huge beech tree in front yard. there is 2 8'...
view the full question and answer

Boston, MA
Native vine to cover chain link fence in Massachusetts
I have a chain link fence I don't want to bother taking down, any suggestions on a clinging vine that will rapidly attach itself to the links and eventually cover it with a green "blanket"? thanks
view the full question and answer

Boston, MA
Definition of what constitutes a native plant
Hello, I am doing research concerning "native plants" for the Northeast. I am "befuddled" as I am finding conflicting definitions for what constitutes a native plant. Do you have a good definiti...
view the full question and answer

Boston, MA
Groundcover for Boston MA
We have a small back yard that gets great sun in spring before the leaves are fully back on the tall trees surrounding the perimeter, and then a lot of shade in summer. We have weird patchy grass and ...
view the full question and answer

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center