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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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Washington, PA
Swarming insects on non-native willow in Washington PA
I have had a very large, beautiful pillow willow bush/tree growing next to our garage for about 8 years. Last year at the end of August, it began to attract white-faced hornets and yellow jackets by t...
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Scenery Hill, PA
Where can I find a pignut hickory tree to plant in Scenery Hill, PA?
Where can I buy Pignut Hickory tree, 10', B&B?
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Nottingham, PA
My plants are choking.
I have a trailing weed that is choking the other plants in my garden. It grows super fast and it has small white flowers. The flower looks a bit like a mini morning glory. I have tried pulling it as m...
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mcdonald, PA
Can plants in the same genus cross-pollinate?
Can you cross-pollinate plants from the same genus?
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Burgettstown, PA
Removal of non-native zoysia grass from Burgettstown PA
What is the most effective method of killing zoysia grass? We bought a house that sits in the center of four acres of mature zoysia. It looks beautiful, however, despite our best efforts at "weeding...
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Burgettstown, PA
Yellow and purple wildflowers for a wedding in Burgettstown PA
I'm not sure exactly what I am looking for and I'm sorry if its too much to ask but....I want to have a fun relaxed wedding next June or July time. I can't find wildflowers that would bloom during...
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Mount Lebanon, PA
GMO/GE crops killing wildflowers and insects
Hi, I've read where GMO/GE crops in other countries were killing the wildflowers and insects adjacent to those fields. Have you had any reports of this North America. Best regards.
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Whitehall, PA
Evergreen for privacy in PA
We need to plant a privacy/sound barrier hedge/hedgerow and my husband says it must be evergreen. I am not familiar with which species would be native to our area and I just don't trust those big sto...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Plants for erosion control in Pittsburgh, PA
I have a terraced high side lot(front of house). I currently have Yuccas growing, but they are too invasive. Can you suggest plants, shrubs, or ground covers that are not as invasive and will still ...
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Pittsburgh, PA
First spring wildflower to bloom in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
In Pittsburgh PA what spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom?
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Pittsburgh, PA
Deer-resistant groundcover under pine trees
what kind of ground covering can be planted under pine trees (acid soil) that the deer will not eat and will not attract bees?
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Pittsburgh, PA
Plant identification
I love around Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and I saw a strange plant. It has a soft green outer shell, a harder thinner shell inside, points, but aren't pointy, and a white substance out of the stem when...
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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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Pittsburgh, PA
Leaves on maple turning red in June in Pittsburgh PA
We live in PA and have a medium sized maple tree in our back yard. It is not a red maple. This year, in June, the very top of the tree's foliage turned bright red. This bright red started at the t...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Cinnamon scented plant growing along Pennsylvania rivers
I've walked along both the Youghiogheny and Monongahela Rivers around my hometown and I've noticed moments at which time I would smell the strong, sweet aroma of cinnamon. Given the riverside envir...
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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
Planting for parrots
I have 2 parrots, a sun conure and a nanday conure, and I would like to find some plants to put in their aviary room that are safe for parrots. Can you help me with this question?
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Pittsburgh, PA
June bug larvae destroying Red Twig Dogwood in Pittsburgh, PA
June Bug larvae are destroying my Red Twig Dogwood. I have treated with Milky Spore, but the long wait for benefit is too long to save the ailing plant. What can I do? HELP! Thank you from the bot...
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Pittsburgh, PA
Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
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Pittsburgh, PA
Transplanting a Century Plant in Pennsylvania
When is the best time to transplant a Century Plant?
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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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