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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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Lewisburg, PA
White fuzz on Christmas tree from Lewisburg PA
Our Canaan fir Christmas tree is now coated with white fuzz after being up for 4 weeks. The fuzz looks like spider webs, but it is also in clumps around the needles. When you rub your finger on it, ...
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Danville, PA
Picture for plant identification from Danville PA
Is there a way that I could send a picture of a plant for identification?
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Danville, PA
Desmanthus and Chamaecrista seeds
Hello my wildflower specialist friend. I got 20 Desmanthus illinoensis and also Chamaecrista fasciculata seeds. Then I planted them in early March, when there was still frost, in clayish soil, not far...
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Sunbury, PA
Flowers for September wedding in Sunbury PA
I am trying to grow my own flowers for a wedding in September. Can you please advise as to what i can grow to bloom? i live in northeast Pennsylvania. Wedding is in D.C.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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west pittston, PA
Perennial plants native to northeastern Pennsylvania
What perennial plants are native to northeastern Pennsylvania?
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Edgewood, PA
Laws concerning picking wildflowers in Pennsylvania
What is the law (in Pennsylvania or Federal law) that makes it illegal to pick wildflowers and/or other native plants?
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Edgewood, PA
Wildflowers native to Pennsylvania
Please provide the names of a few wildflowers that are native to Pennsylvania.
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