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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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Questions From Near You

Bryson City, NC
Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
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Gatlinburg, TN
List of North American plants grown in other countries
I am working on a childrens story and would like to let the teachers who read this book know where some of the native plants in my book grow throughout the world, or if they grow outside of the USA. p...
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Gatlinburg, TN
Need some information about wild native grapes in Gatlinburg, TN.
We have some wild grapevines growing on a southern exposure eroded bank. They are providing assistance in reducing erosion with rapid growth. Do these plants develop ground contact as they grow? In...
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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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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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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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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
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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Maryville, TN
Are dogwood trees poisonous to horses?
Are dogwood trees poisonous to horses?
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Murphy, NC
Wildflowers for Murphy NC Clay
I live on a ridge in Murphy NC. The property has trees so most of the land is in partial shade. The soil is good 'ole mountain red clay. I have some steep bankings in front of the house that I wou...
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Mountain Rest, SC
Lupines for attracting deer in South Carolina
I live in SC and was watching a TV show called "Making it Grow" and they did a segment on Lupine. The lady on the show said that the plant attracted whitetail deer and I was wondering if that was t...
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Brevard, NC
Plant identification
I have a plant my Dad had found years ago. Last of April a stem with bulb shaped bottom. May 6-stem opened and folded back exposing spotted inside of leaf. Bottom had yellow pollen? and green stem 2+ ...
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Pisgah Forest, NC
Use of native non-vascular plants from Pisgah Forest NC
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Some of the smartest native plants around to use as horticultural choices don't require any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides; tolerate extreme weather including ...
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Knoxville, TN
Submerged paving under lawn
I had 4 patches of rectangular areas (about 4'x6'or more) in my lawn where the grass is fine in spring but totally dies in summer. I decided to till these bare patches so that grass may grow better...
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Knoxville, TN
Taproot tree to replace willows by pool
Installing Pool with bomanite decking all around it. We're in process of cutting down 18 year old Weeping Willow due to root invasiveness and small messy leaves. Can you recommend a good shade tree w...
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Knoxville, TN
Need plants for steep slope in Knoxville, TN.
I have several steep banks that have to be weed-eated each year every week. Do you know if there are any kinds of ground cover that would take over the weeds on these steep dangerous banks. I live in ...
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Knoxville, TN
North American Plants with Poisonous Thorns
Are there any plants in North America that possess poisonous thorns?
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Knoxville, TN
Book on blueberry bushes in Tennessee
I'm looking for a book titled "Planting blueberry bushes in Tennessee" by an author I can't remember the name of. Have you heard of this book an do you know where one could find a copy? The autho...
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Knoxville, TN
Fruit crops to grow in Tennessee mountains
My property has a lot of rock formations throughout it and has hundreds of cedars where it is not pasture. I am wanting to grow fruit trees and berry bushes but don't know what can grow in this e...
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Blairsville, GA
Groundcover for steep hill in Georgia
We have a large steep hill with only clay and rocks on it in the North Georgia Mountain area. What is a good Native ground covering to put on this for erosion? Something that grows fast preferably. ...
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