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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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Bellevue, MI
Books on edible wild plants for Michigan
What book do you recommend to find edible wild plants in Michigan? I've found several books on edible plants, but they are all centered on the western states.
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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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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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Battle Creek, MI
Orange/yellow fungus on a dead oak
I have a large dead oak tree which has an orange/yellow fungus growing at the base and also high on a spot where a branch had broken off. I've read a couple of things from the internet about this fun...
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Delton, MI
Plant Identification
We have 105 acres in Mid Michigan. Part of this land is marshland. There is a plant-flower that I have never seen before and no one knows what it is. It is on a long stem with long skinny leaves (2...
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Richland, MI
Lemon cypress Goldcrest in Richland MI
Can the shrub lemon cypress survive a southern Michigan winter? If so, how does one care for it?
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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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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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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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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
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
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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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
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
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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Kalamazoo, MI
Iris brevicaulis in Southwest Michigan
We live in Kalamazoo, MI (Southwest Michigan Zone 6) and discovered last year that we have an iris brevicaulis (we think) growing (and very pretty) on our property. It has the "zig zag" stem. It see...
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Kalamazoo, MI
Resprouting of native prairie plants after snowstorm
Will my prairie plants that have broken dormancy be harmed by a spring snowstorm? Temperatures have fallen down into the twenties and forecast to stay sub-freezing for five or six days. We have abou...
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Plainwell, MI
Invasive silverleaf nightshade in Plainwell MI
Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. Silverleaf nightshade, Silver-leaf nightshade, White horse nettle. We purchased our land and built here 3 years ago. I have these all over my 30 acres of land including ...
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PORTAGE, MI
Small perennials & grasses for a naturalized lawn
I am looking for native perennials and grasses that will grow no more than 8 inches tall that can be used in a naturalized lawn in Michigan. What 5 plants would be your first choice?
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Jackson, MI
Identification of tree bought from a magazine ad
I recently submitted the following question to Ask An Expert. They were unable to identify the plant. I hope you will be able to. Can you help me by either identifying this plant or advising me a...
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Jackson, MI
Groundcover plants for slope to prevent erosion
Hi, I have just made a 3/4 acre pond and the south facing slope is too steep to mow.Can you suggest any ground cover plants I could use to look nice and prevent erosion.
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