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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

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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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Cullman, AL
Diamonds and Rubies plant (Lychnis coronaria)
I recently purchased a plant from the Huntsville, AL Botanical Gardens at their annual plant sale. The name on the plant tag is "Rubies and Diamonds". No one at the Botanical Garden knew the scien...
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Oneonta, AL
Varieties of lupines that will grow in Zone 7, Alabama
I have just found you and read 500 plus questions, fascinated. My question concerns plants in Alabama, is there a variety of lupine that will grow is zone 7, sun or shade? Also, we purchased acreage t...
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Laceys Spring, AL
Wildflowers that grow in woodlands
Please tell me the names of wildflowers that grow under your oak trees in Texas. I am only familiar with those open meadow plants, not those that live under the deciduous trees. Thank you for your t...
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Laceys Spring, AL
Wildflower blooming in Austin in mid-March from Laceys Spring AL
Hi I will be at and around the center the weekend of March 9 & 10 to exhibit in the Art and Artisan's Festival and plan to stay a few extra days to "wildflower" either before or after. What is you...
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Boaz, AL
Male and female Maclura pomifera trees in Boaz AL
To grow a Maclura pomifera female tree, do I have to have a male tree for the female to produce fruit?
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Trussville, AL
Questions about lilies from Trussville AL
How can I tell what kind of lily I have? Or better yet,what is the difference between Asiatic lily and a daylily? I also noticed someone asked about Cahaba lily. Just want to let you know I grow Caha...
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Trussville, AL
Plant identification of conifer-like low plant in Alabama
When walking in woods of Alabama we found a plant that grows along the ground. looks like a conifer about 2 or 3 inches tall, has a trailing vine under the leaves and pops up little sprigs of greener...
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Mt. Hope, AL
Rose varieties for Alabama
What climate and soil types will Rosa Rogosa, a plant that grows in MA, require?
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Huntsville, AL
Distinguishing American from Chinese beautyberry from Huntsville AL
How can I tell American beautyberry from Chinese beautyberry when trying to purchase strictly native plants?
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Huntsville, AL
Effects of concrete patio poured around tulip poplar tree
We have a beautiful tulip poplar tree in our back yard that we wanted to be the focal point of our patio. We had seen pictures of patios with trees incorporated in patios leaving two to three feet of...
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Huntsville, AL
TIF 419 Bermudagrass vs. Zoysia
I'm currently faced with the decision to sod my yard with TIF 419 or Zoysia. Zoysia is double the price so my knee jerk reaction is to go with Bermuda. Proponents of Zoysia claim it requires less m...
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Grant, AL
Identity of tree in Grant AL
What is the name of the tree in N.E. Alabama that has a big green heart shaped leaf in Nov. with clusters or nuts & blonde small nuts the size of a pea . And deer are eating the small blonde nut in No...
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Birmigham, AL
Plant identification
Dear Mr Smarty Pants.I hope you can help to save my sanity! I am a true believer in using native plantings, having a yard that is 99% native. I hope that fact provides me a little extra credit towar...
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Birmingham, AL
Evergreen groundcover for full sun in Alabama
Mr. Smartyplants, can you suggest a native, evergreen, full-sun groundcover that might thrive in zone 8a? We hope to find a mass planting that would look good beside Heuchera villosa 'autumn bride,...
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Birmingham, AL
Plants for curb appeal from Birmingham AL
My front yard is on a down hill slope. Can you recommend some plants that would be good for creating curb appeal that will be planted up against the house? We need some that are short around 2 feet ...
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Birmingham, AL
Plants for a property line in Birmingham, AL
I am looking for a plant to help establish a property line. Our neighbor's landscaping/mowing company has a large turnover, and the new employees always get confused about where the property line is...
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Birmingham, AL
Habitats of pitcher plants
Where do pitcher plants live?
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Birmingham, AL
Front Door Vine in Alabama
I live in Birmingham, AL in a large-scale, white brick, French-style home. I would like to have a vine over my front door. I don't want an invasive vine (seed pods that create new vines or attaches t...
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Birmingham, AL
Problem with Quercus texana (Nuttall oak) in Alabama
I have a 3" diameter Nuttall Oak that the builder planted when building the house. Last summer I noticed that several spots on the trunk were oozing sap (vertical approximately 1.5" long by 0.5" wi...
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Birmingham, AL
Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
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Birmingham, AL
Planting for steep slope in Alabama
I am looking for a plant for a steep slope down to a creek in our backyard in Birmingham Alabama It will get some morning sun but will be in the shade in the afternoon. I was thinking of wildflowers...
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