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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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Questions From Near You

Graham, NC
Identification of vine with red flower
I have a "vine" that flowers. When it "blooms", it begins with a reddish/yellowish/orange ball about the side of a dime. The ball bursts open and a small red bloom emerges. It looks like a carn...
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Graham, NC
Research on Native vs. Non-Native Plants
I am doing a research project on comparing and analyzing the effects of non-native plants vs. native plants on the environment and surrounding ecosystems. The end result of my project will be to desi...
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Hillsborough, NC
Worms in non-native snake plant from Hillsborough NC
I purchased a snake plant this summer for my screened in porch. I did not repot it and left it in the plastic pot in came it. I was about to repot the plant to bring it in and noticed there are worm...
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Hillsborough, NC
Will Calycanthus floridus (Eastern sweetshrub) grow near black walnut trees?
Will Calycanthus floridus survive if planted near Black Walnut trees? If not, can you recommend a similar bush that will?
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Carrboro, NC
Propagation of non-native vitex
I am interested in propagating a beautiful big vitex tree. Can I do it from seeds or what is the best way? Thanks!
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Carrboro, NC
Plant ID from North Carolina
Hi Mr. Smartyplants, I know that you can identify blue cohash in a neat way: 3 stems which easy branch to 3 more stems which each branch into 3 more and then 3 leaves attached to each. Well, do you...
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Chapel Hill, NC
Native wildflower habitat for North Carolina
I am from North Carolina and have been gradually establishing a wildflower spring garden. I now have a beautiful display of bluets and cornflowers that grace my front yard in the spring. Most of this...
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Chapel Hill, NC
Life with Voles
Voles! We live next to a park and wildlife area: voles constantly invade our garden. We've tried, and cannot eliminate them: rather, hope to plant native forbs and shrubs they (might) avoid. Our site...
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Chapel Hill, NC
Most numerous trees in the Piedmont NC from Chapel Hill NC
What's a list of the most populous trees in piedmont North Carolina?
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Pleasant Garden, NC
Carolina Jasmine failing to turn green in Pleasant Garden NC
We planted Carolina Jasmine last year and it did great. This Spring we only have about 2-3 small green leaves beginning on the vines. We did not cut them back in the Fall. Is it time for them to be tu...
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Greensboro, NC
Odor and flavor of oils in Mints as insect repellants
I am trying to find information on "How does mint plants repel insects" It's for my grand daughter's science project. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you
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Greensboro, NC
Patience for slow-growing Baptisia
I have three different varieties of well established Baptisia that I have had for several years ... none of them bloom. One of my plants got a very small flower in April, but just pooped out after th...
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Greensboro, NC
Groundcovers & Shrubs for Shade in North Carolina
Mr Smarty Pants, My neighbor planted cypress trees as a border between his yard and ours and it is sucking up every drop of water and nutrient. We also have a purple plum in the area which creates ...
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Greensboro, NC
Care for non-native mandevilla in Greensboro, NC
I bought two potted mandevilla vines last year and read on a website for winter care to cut the vine back at least a foot from the soil. However this spring going into summer it has barely produced an...
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Greensboro, NC
Care of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) with bumpy growths
I have two small butternuts, around 3-4 feet. One has developed very 'bumpy' reddish growths on the leaves that are actually stunting their growth. What do you think it is and what can i do to sto...
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Greensboro, NC
Planting times for aquatic plants from Winston Salem NC
I need to know the correct time of year to plant the following pond plants Swamp Rose Mallow, Southern Blue Iris, Soft Rush, American Bur-reed, American lotus, Woolgrass and Duck Potato Is it better...
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Greensboro, NC
Assistance in photographing Turnera diffusa in Rio Grande Valley
Do you know where I can photograph a specimen of Turnera diffusa Willd. ex J.A. Schultes var. aphrodisiaca? I'll be in Texas in May and it is on my list to try and locate. I understand it grows in ...
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Ramseur, NC
Non-native Ornithogalum longibracteatum (Pregnant Onion)
Dear Sir, I have a plant called a Pregnant Onion. It looks like an onion and it has babies develop on its body and the surface peals off like an onion. It's leaves grow to about a yard long and th...
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Durham, NC
Grass lawn from Durham NC
Durham, NC. Want to plant a small front grass lawn, full sun, dry. Willing to mow. Not good about watering. Advice?
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Durham, NC
Plants for North Myrtle Beach SC
What plants will do well at North Myrtle Beach, SC that will take full sun with dry soil?
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Durham, NC
How to tell the girls from the boys in wax myrtles (Morella cerifera)
How would I be able to identify whether my wax myrtles are male or female plants? I was given two plants last fall (that came from a family members back yard) and the person who gave them to me didn'...
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