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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

Marshall, NC
Plant identfication
I found a shrub I like because of the black fruit that birds like to eat but I don't know what it is. It looks similar to a blackhaw but the edges of the leaves are smooth not jagged. The fruit is a...
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Asheville, NC
Schedule for planting perennial wildflowers from Asheville NC
When is the best time to plant perennial wildflowers?
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Asheville, NC
Native grass and/or wildflower seed mix for erosion control in North Carolina
I'm looking for a native grass and/or wildflower seed mix to control erosion on a new mountain road in a pine forest (red clay dirt). The soil is dry and partly shaded, depending on the hour of the d...
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Asheville, NC
Ground cover that won't hide snakes from Asheville NC
I have an unusual situation: several bare areas in an otherwise wooded area, which receive partial sun, and are not near water -- it rains here frequently, but the soil can become quite dry at times. ...
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Asheville, NC
Erosion Control for a NC Clay Slope
Hi, We have a large slope on the road edge of our property that has been gradually eroding with spring rains (NC red clay). We would really like to plant something for erosion control but the bank is...
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Asheville, NC
Economical, low maintenance plants for erosion control on a bank
Please advise of all species suitable for preventing bank erosion, specifically those that will cover a southern exposure 400 foot long, 15 foot high bank in western North Carolina that grows rapidly ...
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Ash Ville, NC
Seeking information on Crateeva asiatica, non-native herbal medicine
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I had a look at your website in hope of finding information about the plant Crateeva asiatica. Could you kindly help me to locate the information for the same?
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Asheville, NC
Vines for arbor in North Carolina
Please identify vines that can be used for an arbor that fronts my garage and a portion of the house. Living in Zone 6, the arbor faces southwest. My interest is that the vine be non-invasive because...
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Asheville, NC
Are Carolina Cherry Laurel seeds poisonous from Asheville NC
I have a Carolina cherry laurel in my back yard that is dropping berries into my vegetable garden beds. May be a silly question, but will the berries poison the plants (and me) when I eat them?
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Asheville, NC
Are leaves of banana trees poisonous?
are the leaves of banana trees poisonous? the tree will be in a preschool classroom How do i care for the tree?
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Hampton, TN
Plant Identification in Tennessee
I live in upper East Tennessee and all my life I have seen a flowering bush we call a Bubbie (or Bubby). It grows to an average approximate height of 6 feet and blooms in the early summer. The blooms ...
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Jonathan, NC
Need suggestions for cold resistant, hardy hedge plant in Jonathan, NC.
I'm looking for a Full sun, cold resistant, hardy, non-invasive plant to be used for a property line hedge for North Carolina. Preferably NOT slow growing. What can you suggest?
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Arden, NC
Accompanying plant for non-native dianthus in Arden NC
Hi,I have dianthus and need a small plant-full sun to go with it down both sides of our driveway-thanks
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Greeneville, TN
Identification of vine with dangling fruit
I live in a hollow with rolling hills all around. there are wild grape vines, wild cherry trees, walnut trees, rasberry canes, black berry canes, a persimmon tree,(the asgtringent kind), maples, hicor...
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Waynesville, NC
Do the male or female dogwoods have berries?
Does the male or female dogwood have berries?
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Waynesville, NC
Chemical Weed Control in Lady Ferns in North Carolina
Lady Fern (Athyrium filix femina): What herbicide may I use for weeds in a new bed of Lady fern.
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Green Mountain, NC
Sunflower with large, thick, fuzzy leaves
Hello Smarty Plants: I live in Green Mt. NC and am a Master Gardener Volunteer in Buncombe County (Asheville). In summer several years ago we visited a garden which had a beautiful sunflower with lar...
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Cosby, TN
Plant identification of thorny shrub in Tennessee
I have a mid to dark green thorny type bush growing on my land in Cosby, Tennessee. I am originaly from NJ and I have never seen it before. The stalk is varigated and the thorns are plentiful and very...
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Cosby, TN
Smarty Plants on cross pollination
I live in Cosby, TN in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I plant native species of wildflowers and shrubs. My question to you is: I planted cucumbers in raised beds next to t...
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Cosby, TN
Occurrence and uses of Bottle Gentian in the Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park
In mid October of 2008 I was at the Gilliland Cemetery in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Cosby, TN. I found several flowers blooming which completely surprised me due to the time of year. I...
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Mosheim, TN
Butterfly garden for TN
Hello! I recently moved into a new house near Mosheim, Tennessee (37818) and I am wanting to start a butterfly garden. I am requesting information how to get this started. What soil, plants, and flowe...
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