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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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Butler, PA
Non-toxic, non-invasive native flowers for horses
Hi I have a couple areas in and bordering horse pastures that I would like to plant with native flowers. I can find lists of toxic flowers but not non toxic native ones. Id like non -toxic non-invas...
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Butler, PA
First to Bloom in Western PA
What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom in Butler, PA?
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Butler, PA
Privacy screen shrubs for Butler PA
Here is what I want in a bush: native to Western Pa.(Southern Butler County), appropriate for a horse pasture,fast growing, not too aggressive (I will mow around it regularly and can prune occasionall...
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Saxonburg , PA
Planting a meadow garden in Pennsylvania
I live in Saxonburg PA near Pittsburgh PA. I want to put a meadow garden in my back yard. We are building a home so there is no established yard yet just trees and weeds. Where do I start . What...
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Mars, PA
Identification of a vine with thorns and blue berries.
> Hello, > We have acreage in Butler County, PA. I recently discovered a vine that I can't identify. It's has many small spines all over the stem, then very large and stiff thorns. It has dark gr...
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Freeport, PA
When the bluebonnets bloom
Can you tell me when the bluebonnets are in bloom?
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Freeport, PA
Non-toxic plants for dog yard from Freeport PA
I'm looking for wildlife-friendly native plants that aren't toxic to dogs. I have a place for some small shrubs and/or flowers. And a climbing vine that I could train on a trellis would work espec...
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Tarentum , PA
Indoor lantana tree dropping leaves
I purchased a lantana tree,a lantana hybrid that is only tolerant to 32 degrees. We are zone 5 so I brought it indoors and it only gets the morning sun, and 85%of the leaves have fallen off. The leav...
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Propsect Park, PA
Roadside plants as absorbers of carbon dioxide
If plants absorb carbon dioxide why aren't they on a list of things to do to combat Global Warming? If we had more plants on the sides of our roads and highways would it help?
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Kittanning, PA
Native flowers for September wedding in Kittanning PA
I am planting flowers for a wedding on September 17th 2010. What flowers bloom best. Looking for blues,whites and pinks.
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Ford City, PA
Conservation status of Lathyrus venosus (Veiny pea)
The Wild Pea (Lathyrus Venosus Muhl) 1) What's being done to preserve them 2) When were they placed on the endangered species list 3) How many are left
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Allison Park, PA
Deer-resistant plants for a steep hillside in Allison Park PA
What do you recommend for a steep hillside, mostly shade and acidic? The deer have eaten everything except the weeds.
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New Castle, PA
Edible plants in Western Pennsylvania
Can you please give me a list of five edible plants in Western Pennsylvania and the seasons in which they are available?
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Moon Twp, PA
Plants to hold a slope in Western PA
We have a hillside that keeps moving/sliding due to lack of vegetation. What kind of ground covering can we plant to help maintain and stabilize the hillside? If you need to know the climate here, we...
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Pittsburgh , PA
Plants for steep slope in Pittsburgh PA
I have a similar question to one from SC. I live in Pittsburgh, PA. We have a steep slope behind a newly built in pool. What type of plants can I put on the hillside to hold the soil. It gets a ...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Plant for deep shade in Pennsylvania
Hi! I am landscaping our house and trying to use only plants that provide seasonal benefit to bees, butterflies, birds etc. not the deer though. My question is that I have a fairly steep slope of abou...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Plant identification
My son has some kind of plants, weeds, or ground cover in his yard that smell like spicy meat. When the wind blows the right way it smells like he's been grilling kolbasi on his deck/in his house. ...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Retention of soil on bank in Pittsburgh, PA
I have a steep bank in front of our house in Pittsburgh. We no longer want to mow this bank and wish to plant something that will spread and hold the soil. What do you recommend?
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Pittsburgh, PA
Differentiating between Spiraea betulifolia and Spiraea japonica
How can I tell the difference between Spiraea betulifolia var. corymbosa (an imperiled species) and Spiraea japonica (an invasive species) in the wild? They both seem to be the same size, color, habi...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Non-floweriing vines not poisonous to dogs from Pittsburgh PA
Are there any vines or crawlers (nothing that flowers) that are non poisonous to dogs? Everything I am finding is poisonous, I want to plant some vines up a chain link fence around a swimming pool.
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Pittsburgh, PA
Deer resistant plants for erosion control on steep hill
I would like control a steep hill behind my house that is red clay, northern exposure with little sun. What plants would you recommend that deer will not eat?
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