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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

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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Riverview, FL
Plant identification
I was just in Alabama this weekend and all alongside the road-side were these georgeous pink flowers. I finally stopped to pick one and thet are even prettier up close! The stem is smooth and leafle...
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Gibsonton, FL
Do palm trees put off a toxic smoke when burnt?
do palm trees put off a toxic smoke when burnt
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Brandon, FL
Can you grow Texas bluebonnets in Florida?
Can you grow Texas Bluebonnets in mid-Florida?
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Brandon, FL
Screening plant for wall in Florida
Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I live near Tampa, FL and I want to put a line of privacy plants/hedges along a brick wall. The wall is 6' high with openings in the top 3' of the wall. The length of the w...
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Sun City Center, FL
Native firebush dying in Sun City Center FL
I have a native firebush, it is suddenly dying branch by branch, from the inside out, I have noticed odd things look like wasps but with speckled wings on it. What could be killing it. The inside bra...
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Tampa, FL
Privacy Hedge Suggestions for Tampa, Florida
My back wall is made of stone and is about 6' high. We are very close to a busy road. I need a plant that will reach about 7-8 feet high or a hedge to reduce some of the noise. What plant/hedge would...
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Tampa, FL
Need shrubs to plant alongside a swimming pool in Tampa, FL.
I Have a 3 1/2 foot gap between my pool screen and back fence. This gap runs about 30 ft. long. I would like to place small trees to look beautiful and to grow 6-8 ft. high to screen out my neighbor...
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Tampa, FL
Evergreen flowering vine for wall in Tampa FL
Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Tampa Florida and am looking for a non toxic, evergreen, profusely flowering vine to cover a wall. It needs to be cold hardy to approx. 20F. Thanks for your help
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Tampa, FL
Ways to group plants
Are deciduous plants and leaves and roots ways to group plants? I need the answer now; tell me the answer if some are wrong?
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Tampa, FL
Lantana failing to bloom from Tampa FL
I reside in central Florida. I have planted several lantana the orange,red,yellow type. I don't have proper species name. They have been in the ground 3 weeks with 2" of potting soil around root ba...
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Tampa, FL
Deer resistant groundcover for Tampa, Florida
I live in Tampa, FL and have a deer problem. I was wondering if you would give me some suggestions for deer resistant ground covers that are hearty and flower but most of all "DEER RESISTANT"!!! ...
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Tampa, FL
red maple bark damage by squirrels
We have two acres of land, largely covered by various oaks and cherry laurels -and, after many hours of cutting down chinese tallow trees..finally some red maples. Our problem is that we also have a s...
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Tampa, FL
What grows in Tampa FL
Please let me know what grows in the backyard in Tampa, FL to provide screening and privacy?
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St. Petersburg, FL
Leaves on non-native Rose Cactus
I have a Rose Cactus (Pereskia grandifolia). The leaves have all dropped off. I was wondering if this is normal in the winter. Also, is the pear shaped fruit edible.
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St. Petersburg, FL
Plant identification
I am new to Florida and can't find the identification of one of my plants anywhere. It's an unattractive plant that is stick-like, very rubbery - it reminds me of a stick-bug. I have a small one i...
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St Petersburg, FL
Vine for stucco wall in St. Petersburg FL
I would like to cover a 15' stucco wall with a fast growing, low maintenance vine. The wall faces south. I live in St. Petersburg, FL. What do you recommend? Would star jasmine or creeping fig be...
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St. Petersburg, FL
Can Mock Orange be grown in a container?
Can the Mock Orange Shrub be grown as a container "plant"? I have seen apricots and apple trees (certain varieties, of course); grown this way.
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St Petersburg, FL
Does NPIN include non-native plant species?
I'm writing a book on the plants eaten by 12th century Indians of Florida. I'd like to use your site for some of my research. You say all of your plants are native, but then under some listings (wil...
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St. Petersburg FL, FL
Propagation of Century Plant in St. Petersburg FL
CENTURY PLANT PROPAGATION
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St. Petersburg, FL
Looking for grasses for slope around retention pond in Florida
I live in St. Petersburg, FL on a large retention pond. Most of my neighbors on the pond have seawalls. I do not nor do my neighbors to my left and right. I am interested in colorful grasses to put...
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St. Petersburg, FL
Non-native herbs being burned by pool chlorine in St. Petersburg, FL
My herb garden is next to my swimming pool, which is serviced by a company using chlorine. I have found that on the two unsuccessful attempt to establish my herb garden, the herbs burn off after the p...
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