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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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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Melbourne, FL
Is the orchid tree (Bauhinia lunarioides) poisonous to dogs?
is the orchid tree (bauhinia) poisonous to dogs?
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Palm Bay, FL
Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
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Palm Bay, FL
Identifcation of four o clock-like flower
I've run across a flower I cannot find any information on. I saw it in West Virginia. I know that a pix might be needed to identify, but, since this is somewhat unusual, I thought possibly you might...
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Merritt Island, FL
Non-native Coconut palms and Christmas palms in Merritt Island, FL
Last winter the coconut and Christmas Palms all suffered. I have coconuts to plant, but can't get them to put forth a sprout, and eventually grow into a tree. I have put some in the ground half-way....
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Merritt Island, FL
Bark of unidentified tree splitting in Merritt Island FL
The bark on this 5 yr. old tree is splitting along its branches, like a sausage link splitting along its sides. Almost as if it is/was over-stuffed. Other than that, there are plenty of leaflets, some...
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Merritt Island, FL
Bark splitting on non-native Royal Poinciana in tree in Merritt Island FL
Information on splitting bark along the branches like an overstuffed sausage: A royal Poinciana tree, about 5 years old. The upper branches are doing this, although I'm afraid little splits or tear...
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Rockledge, FL
Dying cactus plants
Two large cactus plants on the grounds of our condominium complex have begun to turn yellow and appear to be dying. A "staple" of our landscaping, this is the first year that they have developed th...
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Rockledge, FL
Trimming of cordgrass plants
We have planted more than 150 cordgrass plants (spartina bakeri) along the edges of the small pond at our condominium complex to try to prevent any further soil erosion between the buildings and the p...
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Rockledge, FL
Prevention of algae scum on standing water
Because your answer to a previous question has resolved an "issue" referent to proper care of our cordgrass plants, I'm back to ask your advice. The pond behind our condominium complex is man-ma...
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Cocoa, FL
Plant ID from Cocoa FL
I am trying to identify a plant that looks like a rose bush. It has rose-like thorns. The leaves are green, slender, acute at the tip, slightly unequal at the base and the leaf stem grows closer to ...
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Cocoa, FL
Plant identification in Florida
Hello, I have a plant that I bought at a local nursery (now closed). It only came with a label that read "Sun". The plant has many long willowy stems coming up from the ground, green saw-notched lea...
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Fellsmere, FL
Care for non-native, invasive Bauhinia variegata
I live in Fellsmere just south of Melbourne and we have about 5 orchid trees on our property; one is fairly tall, about 20 ft, and the others are about 6 ft tall. My smaller ones have several air p...
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Vero Beach, FL
When will angels trumpet bloom in Vero Beach, FL?
At what age or height will my angel's trumpet be able to produce flowers?
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Vero Beach, FL
Plants for bioswale in Vero Beach FL
Can you recommend plantings for bioswales located in Volusia County area of Florida?
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Titusville, FL
Is the fruit of American Beautyberry (French Mulberry) edible?
I am trying to find out if the "American Beautyberry" or "French Mulberry" fruit is edible? Can you tell me? Your website's information about this plant has been the most informative informatio...
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Titusville, FL
Transplanting a non-native lucky bamboo plant
I have gotten a lucky bamboo plant which is kinda large and want to transplant but don't know how can you help me?
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St. Cloud, FL
Wildflowers for high canal bank in Florida
My home is on a canal to a natural lake in Central Florida (Orlando area). I am wondering if there is a wildflower that I can grow on a 3' high canal bank that is mostly shady.
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Fort Myers, FL
Native plants for a littoral zone in Fort Myers, Florida
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What native plants would you recommend for the littoral zone on a pond in Fort Myers Florida? Damon's Mom
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Fort Meyers, FL
Recommend native plants Florida
I live in Fort Meyers Florida. Can you recommend some good native tress and shrubs for my landscape?
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Ft. Pierce, FL
Locating non-native rue in Ft. Pierce, FL
I am trying to find the herb rue in Ft. Pierce FL. Can any one refer me to a herb store that sells the plant? I've looked everywhere.
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Kissimmee, FL
Eradicating Campsis radicans in Kissimee FL
I am interested in information on eradicating or controlling 'cow itch' [campsis radicans?] which is spreading on an empty lot of land adjacent to an occupied dwelling. It is causing significant dis...
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