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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

Hudson, OH
Poisonous plant in Ohio with hydrangea-like flower
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I was sure that I had read that there is a poisonous bush that is native to Ohio that has flowers something like a white hydrangea..or was it queen ann's lace? I believe the ...
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Hudson, OH
Plants for a sunny sloped roadside in Ohio
I am looking for a solution to a slope that cannot be easily mowed. Our yard is flat until you get about 15 feet from the road at which point it angles up to a small 5 foot area next to the road. I ...
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Munroe Falls, OH
A tap-rooted tree for Munroe Falls, OH?
Hello.. We need to find a fast growing shade tree which has a tap root or a heart root system. No surface roots please. We live in Munroe Falls, Ohio which I believe is Zone 5. Let us know your though...
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Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Plant identification
Large leaf plant over 5 feet tall red stems and purple almost black flat berries in large clumps. Any idea?
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Kent, OH
Plant identification of tree on Kent State University in Ohio
Hello. I am fond of a very large (wide) tree on a university campus in Ohio. I have tried many plant ID search engines to try to figure out what it is. It is at least 12 feet tall and at least that ...
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Tallmadge, OH
Flowering plants for shade in Ohio
I am trying to find flowering plants I can grow in my perennial shade garden. So far I am having a difficult time except for hostas, nettle and myrtle. I need help to get my miniature lilac to blo...
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Tallmadge, OH
Planting a pair of Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides for fruiting
I'd like to plant a pair of witherod viburnums to improve their fruiting. Can I get the cross-pollination with a v. cassanoides together with a v. nudum? How close together do they need to be? (Ca...
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Akron, OH
Alternative names for Aquilegia Sanguinaria
I am looking for the common name for a flower called Aquilegia Sanguinaria. Can you help? Does this even exist?
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Akron, OH
Identity of plant at funeral that smells similar to honeysuckle
What plant or flower smells similar to honeysuckle? I live in Ohio and I smelled some kind of flower or plant at a friends funeral last spring that smelled similar to honeysuckle. It was...
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Akron, OH
Transplanting a non-native rose from Akron OH
Can I transplant a rose plant that I have in sunny area to an area that will be partially shady?
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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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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
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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Parma, OH
Eradication of invasive thistles in Parma OH
Lawn is full of prickly weeds with very deep roots. May be called Scotch Thistle, although id is not confirmed. They will grow as tall as they can amid other plants, and when mowed in the lawn, they...
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Parma Hts, OH
Seedlings from established plants in Parma Hts., OH
I have 20 yr old shrubs and hedges along my back yard. I don't know their variety. How do I keep the seedlings from encroaching in my lawn? The seedlings have sprouted 3 feet into the lawn. Any ide...
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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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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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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
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
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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