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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

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

Sayre, PA
Plant identification
I live in NE PA and have two plants that are growing under our pine tree. One has 2 leaves and and looks a lot like lily of the valley and the other has 6-10 leaves with white berries on the end. I wa...
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Maine, NY
Moving milkweed to another location in Maine, NY
I live in up-state New York. I have a 'patch' of milkweed growing where I don't really want it to grow - but have left it because the butterflies and bees love it. I would like it to grow in my ba...
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Canton, PA
Native plants for erosion control in sun in Canton PA
We just cleared a bank and need native plants and shrubs to grow for erosion control. Much sun. Thank you.
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Ithaca, NY
Southwest US Winter-flowering Hummer Plants.
Are there winter-flowering plants native to the American Southwest that are used as a food source by hummingbirds? I am a scientific illustrator working on an identification guide to common North Amer...
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Ithaca, NY
Small tree to plant with high bush blueberry plants
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have four wonderful new highbush blueberry plants. I like to plant a native tree nearby to accent them, but cannot find a suitable one. I'd like a tree that is not going ...
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binghamton, NY
More on bluebonnets
I am a displaced Austinite - As of last week now living in upstate New York (Binghamton). As I was leaving town - a friend presented me with a pound bag of bluebonnet seeds. A thoughtful gift - but I...
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Binghamton, NY
Plants to prevent riverbank erosion in NY
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm doing research into riverbank erosion in Broome County, NY, and I was wondering if you had some sort of resource that would be able to tell me which species of grasses...
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Cortland, NY
Evergreen groundcover under pine tree in NY
Hello! I live in upstate NY. I'm trying to find an evergreen ground cover to plant under a pine tree. I believe it's a white spruce (but I'm not postive). I've read conflicting information reg...
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Dalton, PA
Height of plastic tree guards to protect against deer
How high do the plastic tree guards used to prevent deer rubbing need to be? I live in northeastern Pa.
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Jasper, NY
Plant identification
Every spring I see these very unique white flowers that grow along the edge of wooded areas. I live in upstate NY. These flowers have some reddish tint to the stem and leaves. The blooms are all si...
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Thompson, PA
Plants for a pond bank in NE Pennsylvania
I had a 3/4 acre pond built this fall in Northeastern Pennsylvania (Susquehanna county; zone 4). The pond banks are packed, hard rocky clay. What plants can I plant in the 3 foot bank between pond ...
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Hughesville, PA
Outdoor container gardening in Hughesville PA
Coming from Europe, I have found myself in a whole new climate and am trying to learn about what is possible for gardening in PA. Unfortunately, at this moment,we live in a trailer and have little roo...
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Williamsport, PA
Edible plants in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania
Hi again! Thanks for answering my one question. I have another though. Do you know of any edible plants with no nasty side effects ( like stomach aches or being nauseous) that grow in Lycoming County ...
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Williamsport, PA
Edibility of Washington Hawthorn berries from Williamsport PA
Please tell me if Washington Hawthorn berries and leaves are edible and if so, how to prepare them. Thank you!
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west pittston, PA
Perennial plants native to northeastern Pennsylvania
What perennial plants are native to northeastern Pennsylvania?
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Forest City, PA
Short wildflowers to interplant with grass in PA
I live in NE PA and would like to grow short wildflowers throughout my yard mixed in with my grass. Is this possible? If so, what would be a good match for my zone? I will be mowing the grass once a w...
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Montgomery, PA
Failure of Gerbera daisies in hanging basket
I had perennial Gerbera daisies in a hanging basket, the flowers died,I was not sure whether to remove just the flower or to go from the flower to the stem at the plants main stem? There is nothing re...
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Tully, NY
Groundcover to reduce erosion for shady area in New York
We live on a lake with gravelly and clay soils, lots of wind and little sun. I am looking for a native ground cover that will help reduce erosion over some of the steep slopes facing south (under shad...
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Ashley, PA
Norway Pine vs. Norway Spruce
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is a Norway Pine the same species of tree as a Norway Spruce?
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Waymart, PA
Early blooming wildflowers for PA
What is the earliest wildflower to bloom other than the mountain laurel in Upper Northeastern PA? (near Honesdale, PA)
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Arkport, NY
Plant identification
I have searched through all the plant identifications and can not find the one I am looking for. I live 6o miles South of Rochester, NY. In my woods, I found 2 plants, that are no where else in the ...
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