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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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Questions From Near You

Kirtland, OH
Identity of plant with cluster of bell-shaped flowers and 2 leaves
In Kirtland, Ohio. Clay soil. Woodsy, moist area. Stem sticks up about 6 inches; stem is bare except for top inch, where 2 leaves and cluster of white drooping bell-like flowers appear. Ball-shaped ...
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Kirtland, OH
More information on coltsfoot in Rindge NH
I wanted to give input regarding the query from Barbara Medford about: Coltsfoot invasive in Rindge NH Tuesday - July 21, 2009. I think it likely that the coltsfoot she described is Tussilago farfara...
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Mayfield Village, OH
Advocacy of non-native plants.
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Instead of asking a question, I would like to comment on the seemingly discouraging tone on growing plants or trees out of their native habitat that I have observed from rea...
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Eastlake, OH
Growth rate of Thuja occidentalis
What is the growth rate of thuja occidentalis? I have found web sites and books claiming slow to fast.
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Chardon, OH
Native plants for Ohio with common name beginning with U, X or Z
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, Are there any plants native to Ohio or the Northeast that have common names starting with the letter "U" "X" or "Z"? I'm sewing a cross-stitch sampler using the alphabet ...
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Chardon, OH
Small white bugs on indoor hibiscus in Ohio
My Hibiscus has small white bugs on the leaves with small white residue. Looks like very small pieces of white rice. This white rice is also covering the UNOPENED buds and making them fall off. It ...
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Cleveland Heights, OH
Is Gooseneck native from Cleveland Heights OH
I live in Cleveland Heights, OH, and have an abundance of gooseneck in my yard. Is it a native plant? Thank you!
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Shaker Heights, OH
Plants for erosion control on steep bank in Ohio
Another erosion question: We bought a place a year and a half ago with a stream/road run off at the back of our property. The southern exposure bank is quite high, I'm guessing 12 feet and therefor...
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Shaker Heights, OH
Food value of cultivars of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Can you suggest any resources regarding the wildlife value of native plant cultivars? For example, I can only buy an eastern red Cedar cultivar in my region: "Burkii" or "Emerald Sentinel". I w...
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Shaker Heights, OH
Pollinator plants for Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
How close do a male and female common winterberry need to be to produce berries. We bought a male and female last year and attracted cedar wax wings. Amazing show. We just bought two more females a...
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Cleveland, OH
Identification of Matelea reticulata
I recently saw blooming in an Austin park a small white-green flower ( 3/4 ") with a center that looked like a small pearl. Any idea what it is. I can't find it in my flower book, It was on a waist...
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Cleveland, OH
More on bluebonnets
Can you grow Texas bluebonnets in Madison, OH which is right near Lake Erie?
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Cleveland, OH
What is the name of a green plantin Ohio with white flowers that kind of look like broccoli?
Last summer I saw a plant that had very full, very light green almost white flowers that kind of looked like broccoli. Do you know the name of this plant?
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Cleveland, OH
First wildflower to bloom in Madison Ohio
What is the first wildflower to bloom in spring in Madison, Ohio 44057. Is it the snowdrop?
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Cleveland, OH
Plant identification of vine in Ohio
I have a vine in my forest that grows up trees, that could eventually pull them over. It has roundleaves and prickers on the stem. What is this vine so I can research it?
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Cleveland, OH
Use of non-native Indian Mustard for reducing lead in soil
The EPA phytoremediation documents say lead contamination can be reduced with Brassica juncea: "Successful Reduction of Lead Contamination. Phytoextraction was demonstrated at a site in Tren...
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Cleveland, OH
Texas Mountain Laurel in Florida
Hi Mr. Smarty, This is more a comment than a question about Barbara Medford's (Estero, FL) question of whether you can grow Texas Mountain Laurel in Ft. Myers, FL. About 4 yrs. ago, I purchased a ...
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Cleveland, OH
Tree planting in OH
When transplanting a tree (a maple in Spring in my case now), I understand that one should leave a surrounding doughnut like ridge around the root base to hold in the water from rains and irrigation. ...
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Cleveland, OH
Care for non-native indoor plants
My cousin in Pa. asked me to see how to care for 2 plants in the winter. The first is a Voo Doo Lily and the second is a Bengal Tiger plant. If you would please help I would be able to pass it along...
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Cleveland, OH
Wildflower seeds that drop into a sidewalk crack
This is an odd question. I'm writing a children's book about a seed that gets dropped in the crack of a sidewalk or driveway and blooms there. Can you tell me if there are any wildflowers that it ...
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Cleveland, OH
Information on herbs for Northeast Ohio
Hello there, I am writing you seeking some information on Northeast Ohio's native plants. This has been rather difficult to find—specific native plants that can be used as herbs. If you could h...
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