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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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Reading, PA
Transferring a palm tree from Florida to Pennsylvania from Reading PA
Is it legal to transport a small palm tree (12" high) from FL to PA?
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Mohnton, PA
Cutting back perennials in PA
Can you pinch back echinacea in the spring to produce a shorter plant? I have some that get too tall and fall over.
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Mohnton, PA
Source for wildflower seeds of milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae)
I am a lifelong amateur botanist/horticulturist and am trying to find a source for wild flower seeds of the milkweed family (Asclepiadacea). Thanks.
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sinking spring, PA
Non-blooming Hypericum in Eastern Pennsylvania
I purchased a St. Johnswort about 3 years ago. I has never bloomed. It is alive & well. I know this since it has started to spread shoots. Is there a trick to this one? Occasionally something I plant ...
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Leesport, PA
Replacement for black walnut near septic tank
We have a black walnut tree growing on the sunny side of our house which provides wonderful shade in the summer but it is such a dirty tree. The leaves drop very early as well as small branches and t...
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Fleetwood, PA
Botanical name for a kidney-shaped leaf
Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I love the site.. but I was searching for id on this odd plant I have.. I have lived here a few years now, and have seen them before, never seemingly to have a flower..but ...
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Hamburg, PA
Plants that ducks will not eat
I own a lot of ducks and see a lot of people asking what kind of plants will they "NOT" eat... I know of some through experience.. Anything with shiny leave.. They don't touch my English ivy, rose...
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Pottstown, PA
Water-loving native plants for Pottstown, PA
I live about 40 miles west of Philadelphia. I am looking for a water absorbing evergreen tree/bush/plant that I could plant in the rear of my yard. We get a small stream every good rain and the back...
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Honey Brook, PA
Native plants to stabilize a steep bank in Pennsylvania
I would like to use native plantings to stabilize a steep bank of a septic leach field in eastern Pennsylvania. My purpose is to control erosion and to eliminate the need for mowing. What would you r...
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Gilbertsville, PA
Wildflower in southeastern Pennsylvania
I live in southeastern Pennsylvania and want to identify a wild flower that is common along small town and rural roads and highways. It is blooming now (Mid May), has a flower spike similar to a larks...
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Gilbertsville, PA
Problems with non-native nectarine in Gilbertsville PA
I live in southeastern Pennsylvania. I have a mature nectarine tree maybe 14 years old. It has a greenish grey spotting on the trunk and branches, the fruit always turns into the brown mummies and f...
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Gilbertsville , PA
Is yellow tulip poplar alive from Gilbertsville PA
How can I tell if my yellow tulip poplar is alive? thank you
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Ephrata, PA
Plant Identification from Ephrata PA
I've come across a low plant with bright green leaves and a distinct burgundy on the leaf. I've been told it's called Throw Me Over The Fence, but I believe it must be called something else. I be...
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New Holland, PA
Sources for Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americana) in Pennsylvania
I am interested in purchasing some Strawberry bush plants but I am having problems finding where I can purchase them. Any suggestions?
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Alburtis, PA
Failure of smoke tree to bloom in Alburtis PA
For whatever reason, my smoke tree did not bloom during its second season. Any ideas?
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Royersford, PA
Thinning out of maple tree following heavy winds
A 15 yr old red maple lost significant fruit in spring from heavy winds, in summer the tree seems thinned out. Is this the reason? Tree is otherwise very healthy and has always had thick foliage in ...
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Chester Springs, PA
Evergreen vine or plant that is non-toxic for horses in Pennsylvania
I am looking for an evergreen vine or plant that can grow in shade and is not toxic to horses. I live 30 miles west of Philadephia. Can you help me? I would like to camouflage a wire horse fence. It ...
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Perkiomenvill, PA
Wildflower planting in Northeast Pennsylvania
I live in PA, Northeast, and have high grass that is mostly wet, I was wondering if I could just throw wildflower seeds out into the high grass and if they would grow.
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Downingtown, PA
Shade plants to replace a lawn in PA
Our neighborhood is built into a hill and our backyard is along the slope. We cannot keep grass in the area (except for a few clumps). The area is mostly shaded and moist-dry however when rain comes t...
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Downingtown, PA
Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
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Phoenixville, PA
Edibility of native and non-native wild onions
I'd like to know if the seeds of the wild onions found in southeastern Pennsylvania (possibly called Allium ascalonicum) are edible at all- these are the seeds that grow on top of the stalk, after ...
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