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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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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Lansing, MI
Native plants for under a black walnut from Lansing MI
What native plants can you recommend that will grow in Michigan under a mature black walnut tree?
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Lansing, MI
Topmost leaves on yucca are brown
I live in the Lansing, Michigan area, in the lower peninsula and have a couple yuccas whose topmost leaves are brown emerging from winter. Do I prune those, or has the plant died? Thank you.
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Lansing, MI
Keeping deer away from non-native plants in Lansing MI
What is the real - best way to keep deer from eating my Hostas, Garden phlox and lilies? Ive tried the stinky spray and the fertilizer granules that deter, to no avail.
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Lansing, MI
Where to find non-native Thymus praecox coccineus
Do you know where in Lansing, MI I could buy the Walk On Me plants?
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Lansing, MI
Need to identify a fungus in a flower garden in Lansinging, MI.
I have a fungus in my flower garden. It is white and ground hugging. It is in a moist area under a large spruce where mulch has been laid down. When I step on it , it expels a green dust. What is it a...
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Lansing, MI
Propagation of Jack in the Pulpit in Lansing MI
I just received some Jack in The Pulpit corms. Which way is up; does the pointy thing go up or down? Thank you.
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Dimondale, MI
Mystery plant
mystery plant, multiple non-woody stems from a single base, thorns like a rose bush,leaves like poison ivy in sets of three with the top dark green underside pale green. thanks
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Mason, MI
Drainage pond plantings from Mason MI
We have a drainage pond in our back yard. It has a large muddy bank and some steep sides where erosion has started to take its toll. We are looking for some Michigan/Mid-Western native plants that w...
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Williamston, MI
Identification of tree with orange flowers in Mississippi
Saw beautiful Orange colored flowers on a tree in Jackson MI. Can't find one that is hardy in our zone. It looked to be about the size and shape of an apple tree. What could it be?
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Folwerville, MI
Are black walnut and sugar maple poisonous to alpacas
I have alpacas and wonder if black walnut or sugar maple are poisonous to them.
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Owosso, MI
Propagation of trumpet vine
We have a trumpet vine growing in our yard and a friend wants to grow one in her yard. Can we dry the seed pod out and use it to start a plant for next spring?
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Mount Pleasant , MI
Viewing times for wildflowers from Ouchitas to Austin
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Stockbridge , MI
Thorny shrub to use as a barrier in Michigan
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Olivet, MI
Wildflower garden for a drain field in Olivet MI
I have a large area that is currently lawn over a drain field. I would like to turn this area into a wild flower garden. Will the wild flower roots, etc. cause any concerns or damages to a drain fie...
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Lake Odessa, MI
Identity of a plant with yellow flowers in Michigan.
Would you know what this perennial is? The plant has a reddish colored stem, the leaves are long and narrow, approx 31/2 inches long, and 1/2 to 3/4 inch across. The buds are long approx 2 inches, a...
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Bellevue, MI
Books on edible wild plants for Michigan
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Jackson, MI
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Jackson, MI
Groundcover plants for slope to prevent erosion
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Jackson, MI
Moving a large red horse chestnut tree in Jackson MI
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Jackson , MI
Tulip tree with white spots on leaves in Mississippi
I have a tulip tree in my yard that blooms in the spring that is about 10-15 years old. However just this past week or so we have noticed that there is lots of white spots on the leaves and the branc...
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Dowling, MI
Reaction to something in the garden from Dowling MI
In late March I was working in my yard raking etc. The next morning I had three black spots between my knee and shin that were swelling and feverish. Two days later the areas became bigger and began...
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