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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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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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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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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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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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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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Newtown Square, PA
Plant to stabilize a stream bank in PA
Native plants to stabilize steep stream bank in semi shade to full shade. Southeastern PA. Thanks
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Newtown Square, PA
Deer Resistant Plants for Newton Square, PA
I'm looking for highly deer resistant plants native to PA. Thank you!
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Philadlephia, PA
Thermopsis caroliniana not in database from Philadelphia
Thermopsis caroliniana is not in your plant database. What is the reason for that? Thanks!
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Philadelphia, PA
Plants for a ditch in PA
I have a property in the suburbs about 20 miles south of Philadelphia, PA. There is a small creek running across the property. The "ditch" holding the creek is about 5 feet across, but the creek i...
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Philadelphia, PA
Plants for pollinators & honey bees in PA
In the database section entitled "Value to Beneficial Insects" on the page for "Tilia americana L" (also known as the Bee Tree, or Linden Tree, American Basswood); the tree is identified as being ...
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Philadelphia, PA
medicinal uses of Rudbeckia triloba
Browneyed Susan, Brown-eyed-Susan, Thin-leaved coneflower, Three-lobed Rudbeckia Rudbeckia triloba L My question relates to the above species. I am doing research on historically medicinal plants...
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Philadelphia, PA
Problems with mature Blue Agave in Kenya
I have a mature Agave plant and there is a thin black liquid that looks like oil starting to appear on the leaves. The plant plant seems to be dying (from the bottom up). (The plant is a blue Agave an...
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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
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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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
Problems with Blackeyed Susans in Philadelphia
For 8 years I successfully grew Black Eyed Susans in a fairly large area in my garden. For the last two years,almost immediately upon pushing through the ground they develop black spots and then appe...
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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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Philadelphia, PA
Copper beech
Hi, I work for a youth camp in southeastern Pennsylvania. The property for the camp was purchased from a farmer in 1958. The farmer was a collecter of unusual trees and one of the trees on our prop...
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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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