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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

Markham, ON
Planting location of non-native Japanese maple in Toronto
Hi Mr. Smarty, I am in the region of Toronto, Canada. I just bought from nursery a "Red Select" Janpanese Maple, about 2' tall, still in its 1' pot. I intended to plant it in my front yard ...
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Stouffville, ON
Information about pink milkwort (Polygala incarnata)
Why is the pink Milkwort (Polygala incarnata) and what is it's niche?
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Coburg, ON
Plant identification
Please help us identify a woodland plant whose fruiting stem looks very similar to a corncob stuck into the ground, pointy end up. It sticks up about 4-5" above the ground. The largish pale yellow fr...
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Pickering, ON
Gardening advice for Ontario, Canada
HI there. I see most of the readers are in CA, I am in Ontario Canada. I am in need of some advice on a nice flowering all year round garden for both sun/partial sun/shade garden. Some for direct sun ...
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toronto, ON
Book on the wildflowers of South America
i am looking for a book on wildflowers of south america...any idea where i can find one?
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Toronto, ON
Plant with no leaves, flexible and stores water
Do you now a plant that has no leaves but stores a lot of water and is very flexible? Maybe a type of vine? Thank you!
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Toronto, ON
Plant identification
I came back from vacation to find a wild herb growing in my back yard. It looks similar to dill, cilantro, or fennel; which makes me think it's in the umbrelliferae family, but it's not a large plan...
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Toronto, ON
Controlling mildew on Gaillarida sp.
Any suggestions for controlling mildew on blanket flower? It's spreading throughout my garden.
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Toronto, ON
Deer resistant plants for Toronto, Ontario
What are the native trees and shrubs that are resistant to deer browsing and rubbing?
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Toronto, ON
Smarty Plants on seed harvesting
I am interested in learning more about harvesting native seeds. I manage a number of sites where restoration projects will involve planting, and we would like to use native seed stocks. Could you te...
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Toronto, ON
Water use rate calculations from Toronto ON
Can the high medium and low water use categories be quantified into a rate, say volume of water required by square foot of planted area? How are the water use categories established?
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Toronto, ON
Non-native Merremia tuberosa
Respected Sir, I have been trying to find the scientific name and a sapling of a plant which had "flowers that look like rose flowers but are brown in color and have a paper like...
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Toronto, ON
Who ate the Jack-in-the-Pulpit in Ontario?
Something has dug up my clump of Jack-in-the-pulpit at my parents' cottage in the Haliburtons (Ontario, Canada). Leaves, berries and roots are gone. We know we have a black bear who likes our compo...
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Toronto, ON
Native Habitat Lists from Toronto ON
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants. I see that you provide Native Habitat information on the plant detail sheets. Would I be able to find a full list of habitat types anywhere on this website? Thanks,
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Woodbridge, ON
Weak stems on asters and ironweed from Woodbridge ON
My question is in regards to plants flopping over. My smooth asters and ironweeds never seem to have strong stems. Is because the soil is too fertile or maybe too shallow?
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Bradford, ON, ON
Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) for Ontario, Canada
Is there a grower/distributor of Buffalo Grass in Canada? I want to seed it soon. Thanks
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Bond Head, ON
Mystery tree in Ontario
I found a tree (similar to an apple tree in blossom) in a shaded area by a stream on our property. I have never seen anything like it. It is again, like an apple branch with the blossoms, however, t...
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wilson, NY
Plants to hold a slope in Northern New York
I'm looking for native (South shore, Lake Ontario) plants to slow erosion on a steep, 20 foot bank. They don't have to be decorative (although flowering plants are always nice), but they should SPRE...
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Burlington, ON
Seed regrowth through mulch
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants: I have planted a perennial and wildflower garden and would like to put mulch down to control the weeds and retain moisture. Will the plants that drop their seeds be able to re- ...
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Burlington, ON
Non-native hosta and cedar tree in Burlington, ON
Will hosta grow along side cedar trees, if planted at the same time?
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Newfane, NY
Plant ID from New York
I have a large leaf from a plant that my grandfather has. We live in Niagara county NY. The large leaf is green and has a red stem, growing on a stalk THICK like a sunflower, now has red or black berr...
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