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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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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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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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Caledonia, MI
Black coloration on Star Magnolia is probably sooty mold.
I have a star magnolia where 90% of the bark has turned black. It almost looks burned. The tree has decent buds set for next spring. What is causing the bark to turn black?
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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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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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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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Grand Rapids , MI
Can a madrone be used as a house plant from Grand Rapids MI
Can a madrone tree be used as a house plant in Michigan? It is about 10" tall in a gal pot. Can a couple of trees be planted together to become one larger house plant? it's currently in a clay mix.
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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
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
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
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
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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Wyoming, MI
Lantana trees in Wyoming MI
We love lantana with its multicolored flowers. This weekend we visited Michigan State University and saw "lantana trees".They were amazing!! Have these trees been grown from the annual plant we have...
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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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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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Jenison, MI
Smarty Plants on Germination
I just planted wildflowers and I was wondering how long before I know if they will grow?
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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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Walker, MI
Winter snow and road salt in Michigan
I have been asked to select plants for an area in zone5/6 that suffers from snow load and street salt during winters. The area is about 15x18 and has a deciduous tree in the center. Grass, which did ...
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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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