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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

Milford, MI
Native alternative to tulips from Milford MI
What could be a good alternative to tulips? I have not seen a native plant quite like a tulip (except a tulip tree). A good alternative should bloom in April or May and have showy flowers. I searched...
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Milford, MI
Deer-resistant, shade tolerant evergreens for privacy in Milford MI
I'm looking for deer resistant evergreens that will be planted in the shade. I need the evergreens to hide an area I don't want to see from my home. Hence, they need to go tall. Can you give me a r...
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Highland , MI
Transplanting trilliums in dormancy in Michigan
I live in Michigan. I have a Trillium in my yard and we are having a new septic field put in. I need to know if I can save the whole plant and can I keep it in the house or do I just need the bulb a...
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Commerce Township, MI
Showy Low Growing Perennial for Michigan
I have been looking for a native perennial that would do well in full sun and moist to dry soil. It would have to be at most 2.5' tall and have showy pink, purple, or red flowers. Is there such a pla...
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White Lake , MI
Native plants for retention pond in Michigan
What native plants would you recommend a for a southeast Michigan retention pond perimeter? Also are there native water plants that help algae control? The pond is about 75x30 feet and ranging from ...
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West Bloomfield, MI
Native plants for Michigan
Hi I was wondering if there are native plant lists for various regions of Michigan.
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West Bloomfield, MI
Leggy purple coneflower
Last year I planted purple coneflowers and this year when they bloomed they were extremely tall & leggy. I'd like next year to get them to be shorter and fuller. How do I do that & is it something ...
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Waterford, MI
Winter pruning for yucca in Michigan
I live in SE Michigan and have an outdoor yucca plant that has grown quite large. My father tells me that I can literally cut it down to the ground in the fall and that it will grow back the followin...
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Clarkston, MI
Wetland Plants for Michigan
I have an area on my wooded property with a wetland marsh area that often puddles with water along the perimeter in the spring. It is very shaded and wet but I wanted to camouflage the perimeter of t...
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Clarkston, MI
How many native trees in U.S. from Clarkson MI
Does anybody have any numbers on how many native trees there are in the entire United States?
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Holly, MI
Blocking out noise from pond pump in Holly MI
My neighbor has a motor for his pond pump that faces my backyard--it is extremely loud and irritating after listening to it for 5 hours or more. Is there any type of shrub that I can plant to block o...
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Farmington Hills, MI
Evergreen screen for Michigan
Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I need help. Can you please suggest some (preferably evergreen) shrubs and trees that will thrive in our backyard that will provide us some privacy from our neighbors (about ...
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Livonia, MI
Vine for screening fence in Michigan
Need a perennial vine to grow on a chain link fence, full sun, moist ground. Wanted to block view. If it flowers and/or attracts butterflies, all the better.
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Livonia, MI
Perennial summer blooming plant for Livonia, MI
I want to find a plant that I can cut back in the fall, will come back in the spring, flower throughout the summer, be a medium size plant, no taller than 48", about 36" in diameter. It would get f...
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Livonia, MI
Is a height of 5 to 8 feet forOenothera biennis (Common evening primrose) normal?
I have identified a version of Evening Primrose Oenothera biennia L. In my yard, Livonia Michigan. These plants range in height from 5-8+ feet. Is this typical? The references I find indicates 3-5 fe...
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Ann Arbor/Bloomfield Hills, MI
Plant identification
I was walking in the woods, near Dresden Michigan yesterday, in a deer friendly area, where we came upon a grouping of large, umbrella leaved plants, seemed to be interconnected and only one foot high...
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Bloomfield Hills, MI
Fall flowering purple shrub for Bloomfield Hills MI
Need a fall flowering shrub for my temperature zone, preferably purple.
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Bloomfield Hills, MI
Michigan native plants for shady, low traffic area
Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a Michigan native groundcover. I live adjacent to the Rouge River watershed and want to buy the right thing. The location is shady, infrequently walked ...
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Ortonville, MI
Identification of plant responsible for thorns in dogs' fur
Do you know of a plant or bush that has very small, very thin triangle shaped thorn? My dogs have been coming in with these in their fur and I want to get rid of the plant/bush they are coming from.
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Lathrup Village, MI
Identity of Hercules Club from Lathrup Village MI
Thought the shrub was Hercules Club but when looked at photo on line, totally different leaf. Mine has palmate leaf rounded at the tips, spines that are short but substantial. Branches arch somewhat a...
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Orion, MI
Cottonwood trees shedding in Orion MI
How long can I plan on my cottonwood trees (wild) shedding long wide cotton strips? This is a first for my trees. Usually it is fluffy small puffs.
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