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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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Ambler, PA
Plant with stalk of purple berries
I have a plant that just grows.large hollow purple stalk, purple berries in long clusters , grows very tall any thoughts.. it grows like a weed
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Lansdale, PA
Need a tree to grow in the middle of a retention pond in Pennsylvania
I have a shallow retention pond in my yard in South Eastern Pennsylvania. The pond is used for rainwater runoff and also for natural springs that are located below the surface. If I plant a tree in th...
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Ivyland, PA
Deer resistant trees and shrubs for PA
My yard backs up to woods, and we have a herd of 12 deer who peruse the neighborhood. This winter, the deer went after bushes and trees that they previously have not touched: euonomous and leyland cyp...
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king of prussia, PA
Bignonia capreolata with brown leaves in Pennsylvania
3 year old crossvine leaves brown and dead looking. Will it come back and bud out? Crossvine on fence southern exposure. Crossvine on fence in another area has leaves and are dark green/purple - sa...
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Villanova, PA
Evergreen, deer resistant privacy screen for Villanova PA
Looking for something that is deer resistant and ideally evergreen to block a shed and fence that my neighbor recently installed. Live in Eastern PA. Not the best drainage and also shade for most of...
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Villanova, PA
Problems with non-native weeping willow in Villanova PA
My weeping willow (6 years old,80+ft tall),up until this year used to be full and healthy. Last year I trimmed the lower portion of the trunk by cutting off the low hanging branches, but this year so ...
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Wynnewood, PA
Winter-interest plants in Wynnewood PA
Could you please suggest flowering plants that provide winter interest after drying out (ie with seed pods or interesting dried flower heads)? I'm looking for something that grows in full sun. Thank ...
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Wynnewood, PA
Evergreen for privacy in Pennsylvania
I would like to plant a tall, thin evergreen in my yard (the taller and thinner the better). Privacy is a goal, so we're looking for dense branches. The area gets full sun, and the soil in this area ...
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Radnor, PA
Low maintenance, native plants for sloping drive near Philadelphia
My cabin is located in the northwest suburbs of Philadelphia. I am looking for low maintenance plants that would look good on the sides of a driveway that slopes upward. This is a potential project fo...
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Wayne, PA
Resources for a green roof project from Wayne PA
Hello! I am researching a project to create a native wildflower/ turf mix for a green roof. I would ideally like to grow it as a sod mat, and then install it in rolls. I am currently working as an i...
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Collegeville, PA
Location of Taxus baccata
Where in the USA may I purchase taxus baccata? I can't find them anywhere on the internet or at local nurseries. I need about 125! So, saplings would be preferred even though they are slow growing...
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Collegeville, PA
Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?...
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Collegeville, PA
Understory Shrubs for Pennsylvania Clay
I want to replace three non-native Euonymus alatus with native shrubs that will serve as host plants for butterfly/moth species and/or attract bumblebees and other native bees. The shrubs I have are ...
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Devon, PA
Is Asclepias incarnata poisonous to dogs?
Is Asclepias incarnata safe in a farm/yard with plenty of dogs running around? What happens if a dog eats the leaves or seeds or pods? Is eating any of these fatal to dogs?
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Valley Forge, PA
Planting ironweed in Valley Forge
I work in a national park and we have one population of Vernonia glauca (tawny ironweed), a state-listed endangered species in Pennsylvania. Last year we collected seed and have been successful in gro...
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Andalusia, PA
Creating a wildlife refuge
We would like to make my yard more of a wildlife refuge by using a portion of the lawn for plants and shrubs and may afford shelter for birds and other wildlife. Can you please recommend what we shoul...
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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
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
Dying blackeyed Susans in new garden in Pennsylvania
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! I have recently planted black eyed susans in a newly dug garden along with some cone flowers. The other flowers are doing fine but the black eyed susans have all dried up and are...
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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
Smarty Plants on temperature
Mr.Smarty Plants, I am a student at Hill Freedman Middle school and I have a science fair coming up. I really need a answer to this question "What effect does temperature have on the growth of plants...
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