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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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Questions From Near You

Brookfield, MA
slope stabilization in Massachusetts
My family and I recently put in a 120 x 100 horseback riding ring. It had to be built up in the back and, as a result, there is a 10 foot slope which could use stabilization. What plants native to Mas...
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Charlton, MA
Care for non-native 'Glacier Blues' from Charlton MA
Do you have to prune or cut down Glacier Blues in the garden? My plants look brown and wilted.
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Worcester, MA
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone of Worcester, Massachusetts
What zone is Worcester, Massachusetts?
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Worcester, MA
Commercial source of Malus x arnoldiana in Massachusetts
Looking for a commercial source for Malus x arnoldiana, a Massachusetts native apple/crabapple. I work for a Massachusetts conservation land trust with an interest in wildlife habitat and mast and nat...
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Worcester, MA
Souce for Houstonia caerulea in Massachusetts
I am looking for bluet (Houstonia caerulea or H. serpyllifolia). I can't find them anywhere. The two sites listed under possible distributors under H. caerulea have not gotten back to me. I read that...
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Worcester, MA
Problems with recently planted trumpet vine from Worcester MA
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about my recently planted Trumpet Vines. First of all, I live in Massachusetts, zone 6. The soil is perfect for the two vines, which I bought from a local nur...
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Belchertown, MA
Trumpet creeper with ants in Belchertown MA
My Campsis Vine is having one of the maximum blossom years it gets after a good pruning. This year, I have black carpenter ants on the blossoms and the flowers are rotting from the edges down on some...
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Millbury, MA
Deer-resistant plants for South Carolina
I have purchased a home in SC in an area that is overun with deer. What flowering plants for that area do deer not eat.
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Hubbardston, MA
Survivability of Texas wildflower seeds in Zone 5A or 5B
What are the recommended hardiness zones for Texas wildflowers? Could these seeds survive in a 5A and 5B climate? If so, when would be the correct time to plant seeds for zone 5A/5B?
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Woodstock, CT
Smarty Plants on staghorn sumac
I currently have staghorn sumac in my yard located in Woodstock, Connecticut. it appears to be of the Rhus typhina species. i am removing these from my yard using a chainsaw and creating a pile of ...
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Shrewsbury, MA
Landscape buffer in Bluffton SC
I have to install an irrigated landscape buffer along the outside of a 6'high x 42'long privacy fence about 8' from a public sidewalk in Bluffton, SC. The property owners association requires 4' t...
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Grafton, MA
Strange growth on oak tree
i have a very strange round segmented growth on a tree in my yard. i think the tree is a chinkapin oak and the growth is a reddish color. it looks like a ball with suction cups on it. it is very st...
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Ashford, CT
Windthrow Resistant Trees for Northeast Connecticut
We live in northeast CT, and prefer to plant native trees. Many people here do not want trees around their homes, despite the benefits of shade and shelter they provide, because they are afraid of win...
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Templeton, MA
Plant identification
We found this plant or something or other in our yard, in the area we found it usually stays wet and it was behind a old tree that was done. It has three big green leaves with a white stem that kind ...
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Amherst, MA
Flower color in shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia)
Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon meadia) come in the colors white, lavender and purple in the eastern U.S. Is this just genetic variability or does soil chemistry affect the flower color?
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amherst, MA
Drought-resistant ground cover for Massachusetts
Mr Smarty Plants I am looking for drought resistant,low maintenance ground cover for a LEED certified project in Florence MA. Any suggestions?
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Westminster, MA
Orange eggs on milkweed plants
Hello I have milk weed in my flower garden. Every year I find small orange 'eggs' on the leaves and stems of the plant. I don't think these are the monarch eggs, but not sure if they are other...
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Clinton, MA
Comptonia peregrina tea as topical treatment for poison ivy
I have been told that Sweet Fern stewed into a tea is a great topical treatment for poision ivy. Is this true?
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Springfield, MA
Plant identification from Springfield MA
We have a house next to us that is vacant. The lawn has not been mowed in months. a tall flower has grown amongst the grass and weeds. It is about 3 to 4 feet tall green stem and the flower is about 2...
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Springfield, MA
Locating Rosa rugosa for Massachusetts
There is a shrub that grows out on the Cape especially at the beach. I have always called it Beach Rose and I have heard other people call it a Beach Plum. However, the most recent picture of a Beac...
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Longmeadow, MA
Plants available for viewing in Wildflower Center in October
We are thinking of bringing a group to visit the Wildflower Center during the weekend of my son's wedding in Austin in early October. Will there be much to see at the garden at that time of year? ...
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