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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

Cherry Hill , NJ
Mystery plant in New Jersey
We are trying to find the name of a shrub, growing in Southern New Jersey. with red berries that grow in a group much like lilac or oak leaf hydrangea. It is "feathery", not dense. A neighbor dug u...
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Collingswood, NJ
Shrubby options for a bird lover in New Jersey
Could you please recommend a native shrub to NJ that grows to about 3-4 feet, is very low maintenance, does well in afternoon sun and is also something the birds will like? Thank you.
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Haddonfield, NJ
Beautyberries not poisonous to cats and dogs from Haddonfield NJ
Are beauty berry plants poisonous to cats/dogs? Would like to use branches w/berries and leaves as indoor decorations.
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Cherry Hill, NJ
Is crape myrtle deer resistant
Is Crape Myrtle deer resistant?
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Audubon, NJ
Roots in foundation of home in Audubon NJ
I live in an old house (almost 90 years old), and within the past year I have noticed in one area the concrete basement floor breaking. Today I finally made time to investigate. In these old houses ...
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Moorestown, NJ
Information on creating and maintaining a meadow
Would you please share information about creating and maintaining a meadow?
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Moorestown, NJ
ID of plant from florist in Moorestown NJ
I recently purchased a cut stem from the local florist for an autumn flower arrangement. The leaves are very, very small and bamboo-like in looks. They are not oval and are 1/8 inches long. The bra...
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Mt Laurel, NJ
Small trees for NJ shore
Hello! What's a good native shrub or small tree to feature in my front yard in Brigantine, NJ, on the Jersey shore. Sunny site, dry, sandy soil. The yard is very small. I'm trying to design a l...
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Voorhees, NJ
Buds disappearing from magnolia in New Jersey
I live in New Jersey.I planted my 5.gal Vulcan magnolia in December. It came with 4 big buds and 3 small buds.I planted in good location where it gets lots of sun. The tree is well settled and looked ...
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Glendora, NJ
Seeds native to New Jersey from Glendora NJ
My sister is getting married and would like to send out native wildflower seeds to the guests in her save the dates. We want these seeds to be NJ native seeds, but we are actually having some trouble ...
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Philadelphia, PA
Is Panicum virgatum native to Pennsylvania
Is Panicum virgatum native to PA? I do not see it in your database but it is listed as a native in many places.
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Philadelphia, PA
Bloom stalks on agave plants
Hi, We have Agave plants in our garden for years. But in the past few weeks, we noticed a giant asparagus looking thing growing out in the middle of the plants. We don't know what it is, but every d...
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Philadelphia, PA
Best time to plant wetland plants in NY
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants - I'm working on a fresh water, shoreline wetland creation project in New York State. I've created two zones of native wetland plantings, an emergent shallow marsh zone ...
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Philadelphia, PA
Water seepage problems in basement in Philadelphia
I am interested in stopping/limiting water seepage into my basement by placing water absorbing ground plants along one or both sides. The grass we planted when home was new in July 2007 has taken on o...
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Philadelphia, PA
Identification of shrub with thorns
I have a plant in my garden that I need to identify. It is a tall shrub (approx. 10 feet) that has very large thorns on its green branches. It is now showing small white flowers. I don't know if i...
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Philadelphia, PA
Care of native black-eyed susans after blooming
What is the best way to take care of black-eyed susans once they have lost their blooms? Am I supposed to cut them down to the base, or just let them die out naturally. Also, they all have a white re...
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Philadelphia, PA
Nomenclatural puzzles
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. I have been looking all day for this information. I am look for a plant that is in the genus Cucumis but not in the family Cucurbitacea. A plant that is in the family Cucurbit...
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Philadelphia, PA
Powdery growth in hydrangea in Philadelphia
My hydrangea plants have a weird growth on their leaves that looks like white rice. It looks like it would be powdery if brushed, but I don't want to touch it for fear that it some type of mold. Any...
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Philadelphia, PA
Native plants for area shaded by crabapple in Philadelphia
Can you recommend native plants about 4' tall to plant under a crabapple in the corner of a yard in front of a fence? Thank you.
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Philadelphia, PA
Identifying tiny plant from Philadelphia PA
I would like help identifying a tiny plant. I tried using using the plant identification page, but I don't know enough about this plant and plant terminology to use it. I would like to send you som...
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Philadelphia, PA
Lists of edible plants in region of Pennsylvania for school project
Please Help! I'm a grade four teacher in Philadelphia. My students and I are assigned a theme project that involves listing edible plants that grow in our region. Can you recommend a web site(s)...
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