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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

Mayville, NY
Identification of plant on shores of Lake Erie
I've used Newcomb's and several other guides but cannot ID: Green small dot like flowers, found on the beach of Lake Erie in Dunkirk NY, many of them growing right in the sand. Smells very much, a...
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Fredonia, NY
Plants for NY wetland yard
We have standing water in our yard for the entire spring and sometimes summer if it's a rainy one. We dug a ditch and found that our yard has a natural spring, which explains a lot. I need to know ...
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Jamestown, NY
Seeding time for wildflower annuals and perennials in New York
We have a large area of open land in front of our house and would like to dedicate part of it to wildflowers. I purchased some perenial seeds and would like to know if I can plant these this fall? T...
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Erie, PA
Early wildflowers for PA
What spring wildflower is the first to bloom in Erie, PA?
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Erie, PA
Eastern Redbud Flowers and Leaves Dried Up
I have a young Eastern Redbud that started blooming last year. This year blossoms formed and leaves started to come, but now they are all dried up. What might have caused this?
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Erie, PA
Identification of night-blooming yellow flower
My Nonna used to have a plant that was a night bloomer. It had leaves that looked like a dandelion, and bloomed a bright yellow flower at dusk. I have never seen anything like it although they were pl...
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Angola, NY
Fast-growing screen for New York
I need a fast growing screen to put along my fence due to undesirable neighbors who moved next door to my summer place. Small lot: 25'x25' . The side is south and the lot is partially shade w sandy...
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Edinboro, PA
Control for slugs and snails in Arisaema triphyllum
I had a beautiful Jack In The Pulpit growing and something has eaten it. What can I do to help prevent that next year? I live in Northwestern PA.
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Eden, NY
Problems with non-native windmill palm in Eden NY
I have a potted windmill palm, about two weeks after being potted the leaves are turning yellow with brown spots on them. what have I done wrong?
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Bradford, PA
Plants for steep bank in Pennsylvania
What do I do with a very steep bank with hard clay soil to stop erosion and to look nice. Is there a ground cover that would help?
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Colden, NY
Native alternatives for non-natives
Is there a way to search this website using an invasive plant species to get a list of native plant alternatives? ie. search Miscanthus sinensis (Chinese Silvergrass) and get the native alternative Sa...
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Meadville, PA
Wildlife garden for PA
Dear Mr. Smarty plants, I am a student at Allegheny College, Meadville, PA. I am working on my senior thesis, and I hope to submit a successful proposal to plant a native species and wildlife garden ...
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Buffalo, NY
Viability of Taxus canadensis (Canadian yew) for Buffalo, NY
I live in Buffalo, N.Y. and am gradually naturalizing my back yard. The previous owner built a 6' fence along the western edge of the yard and planted a straight line of arborvitae, which are now abo...
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Buffalo, NY
Small ornamental tree in Buffalo, NY
Hi.. My family and I have recently moved from coastal North Carolina to Buffalo NY. We have chosen to live in south Buffalo and therefore have a small front yard. We are looking for the perfect tree...
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Buffalo, NY
Plant Identification
What is: square stalk perennial with bright yellow flowers at the top (mainly)? Starts growing first thing in spring, invades surrounding areas, puts out long serrated leaves along the 7-8 ft stalks....
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Buffalo, NY
Butterfly garden from Buffalo, NY
I'd like to replace the grass in my front yard with a native butterfly garden that will suit the larval and adult stages of butterflies in Western New York. The patch in question faces north and gets...
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Buffalo, NY
Identification of shrub with pink catalpa-like flowers
Ironically, this plant is growing on a hill behind a nursery. We are all curious what it could be..I've done internet searches for 2 days. My best guess is that it's in the catalpa family, but it's...
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West Seneca, NY
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema sp.) blooms
My jack in the pulpit bloomed last year with the back of the spathe showing and the spadix facing away, similar to a child standing in a corner. I read on a site why this happens but now I can't find...
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West Seneca, NY
Sources for information on federally protected plants
There are plans to build an apartment complex on a beautiful parcel of land on Union Rd. in West Seneca, New York. Formerly this land was the home of Houghton College. I am wondering if ther...
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West Seneca, NY
Backward blooming Jack-in-the-pulpit
why does my jack in the pulpit plant bloom backwards
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Tonawanda, NY
Non-native, invasive Arctium minus in New York
For as long as I can remember, my family has been picking and eating a wild plant which we and other Italian families call " cardoons". I've often heard to it referred to burdock but no one knows t...
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