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

Questions From Near You

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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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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Providence, RI
Is non-native Tillandsia air plant poisonous to cats?
Are Tillandsia/air plants poisonous to cats? Please help!
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Providence, RI
Non-native sedum 'Burrito' sunburned in Providence RI?
I have a sedum burrito that I keep outside and receives bright sun for around 6 hours a day. it looks like it's getting sunburned, the leaves are getting shriveled and browning on the tips. I've bro...
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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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Cranston, RI
Need help identifying a tree with wintergreen-flavored bark that grew in my backyard during my youth in Cumberland, RI.
Growing up in Cumberland, Rhode Island (a town in the northern part of the state) there was a tree in our backyard with thin, brown peel-able bark. The bark itself had white stripes. Under the layer o...
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Blackstone, MA
Zucchini blooms but no fruit
My zuchinni has lots of flowers, but they seem to fall and I am getting no fruit.. WHY
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Warwick, RI
Invasiveness of native Viola sororia
I live in Warwick, RI and have a section of my backyard overgrown with common blue violets. My husband and I would like to relocate them to a more scenic location if possible. The advice the cooperat...
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Warwick, RI
Propagation of non-native Selenicereus Antonyanus from Warwick RI
I just purchased a Selenicereus Anthonyanus, Rick Rack Cactus unrooted. I have searched on the web of the proper way to root the plant and have had no luck except it says easy rooting but not how to r...
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Warwick, RI
Source for air plant from Warwick RI
Would you know of any store in Rhode Island that would sell the air plant (tillandsia plant)? I've been searching around and no luck! I would appreciate the help!! Thank you and take care
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West Warwick, RI
Need low-maintenance plants for courtyard in full sun in Rhode Island
I live in West Warwick, Rhode Island. I am designing a courtyard which because of its shape and design receives full sun all day. I am looking for flowers and plants which thrive in the sun yet are ...
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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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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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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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Chepachet, RI
Native, deer-resistant evergreen trees for Rhode Island
What deer proof evergreens can I plant in RI that may make nice xmas trees in a few years?
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East Greenwich, RI
Plants for farm animals from East Greenwich RI
What type of perennial flowers and shrubs are safe to plant around farm animals (dogs, horses, chickens, turkeys) in New England climate?
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Medway, MA
Do all tuliptrees (Liriodendron tulipifera) flower?
Do all tulip trees flower? We planted a baby one about 5 years ago and its grown considerably however it has never flowered. Is that normal? Thank you!
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Medway, MA
Pruning tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Thank you for your answer regarding when my tulip tree will flower. I also understand it can/will grow to over 100 feet so should we be pruning it a certain way to keep it contained? thank you
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Foster, RI
Plant ID from Foster RI
I have a weed flowering plant in bloom in a moist semi-shaded area. I would like to send a photo but I do not know how to upload.
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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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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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