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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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TWO RIVERS, WI
Locating toxic, non-native, invasive Castor Bean seeds
Where do I find castor bean seeds? Thank you.
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Manitowoc, WI
How to prune my Linden tree?
We have a 15 yr old Linden in the backyard. North side of home. It can use some pruning at the lower branches. Which branches do we prune and when? Also we have some river birches back there. Oth...
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Sheboygan, WI
Wisconsin Ground Cover for Acid Soil
What type of native wisconsin ground cover plants do best on acidic bare areas under pine trees such as blue spruce?...and where is best source for these plants or seeds? Thanks so much for your help
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Sheboygan, WI
Hedge for steep slope by sidewalk in Wisconsin
I have a fairly steep slope from the sidewalk to my yard. The space is about 48" high, 30" deep and 120' long. I was thinking that a boxwood hedge would fill that space nicely but no one else aroun...
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Little Chute, WI
Native trees or shrubs for containers on roof in Wisconsin
Looking for native trees/shrubs to be planted in containers on a flat roof w/south-southeast exposure. Gets pretty warm in the summer and pretty cold in the winter. How big would the container have to...
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Appleton, WI
Effect on taste of honey from pollen gathered by honeybees in Appleton WI
in the flower box.. We are planting perennial or self-planting annuals on our fields and open areas to feed honey bees for our apiary. We found a source and then lost it telling what effect these wil...
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Sturgeon Bay, WI
Wilting of Mountain Ash in Wisconsin
What type of disease would cause a Mountain Ash to entirely wilt? The bark on bottom of tree is opening up and is spongy feeling. No sign of any disease until last month and it quickly wilted with b...
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Black Creek, WI
Short flowering plant that will grow in sand in Black Creek WI
I would like to know what kind of flowering plant would grow good in sand? A short plant.
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West Bend, WI
Plants causing skin irritation in West Bend WI
Is there a list of plants that cause blistering in this area? I have a friend who gets it bad every year-I find no evidence of cow parsnip or poison ivy---thanks.
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Pentwater, MI
Does music affect sunflower growth from Pentwater MI
Does music affect sunflower growth?
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Manistee, MI
Effectiveness of house plants for removing household air pollution
I have heard that there is a combination of house plants that will increase the oxgyen in your home. Could you please tell me the names of these plants? I think there are a group of four of them. ...
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Madison, WI
Plants for a hillside in WI
I live in Wisconsin and am currently doing a research project on plant variation on the north and south sides of a hill. I was wondering you could suggest any books to me that would address this issue...
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Shawano, WI
Information about Rose Twisted-Stalk
Dear Mr.(?) Smarty Plants- I LOVE your name! I cannot find the plant I'm looking to identify in your collection. I saw it in a wildflower book as: Rose Twisted-Stalk. Sprin...
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Custer, MI
Insects in non-native weeping willow
My weeping willow is dropping small black insects. Thousands of 1/16" cover the ground etc. Insects stain a raspberry, purple color when smashed. Insects are very soft.Insects present about 3 weeks...
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Shelby Twp, MI
Removal of invasive horsetail in Shelby Township, MI
Please help me or direct me to who may be able to help. I have horsetail (Equisetum) invading my Blue Rug Juniper. Please tell me what I can use to get rid of the horsetail (Equisetum) without killi...
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Rubicon, WI
Edible wild plants in Montana
Where can I find information about wild edible plants in Montana?
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New Era, MI
Identification of plant resembling garlic mustard, but with purple flowers
While searching for the invasive garlic mustard I am finding a very similar looking plant (triangular, alternate, toothed leaves; four petals, same habitat of shaded roadside and interior woods) excep...
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Milwaukee, WI
Problems for plants growing over closed loop field of geothermal system
We would like to install a geothermal heating/cooling system on our Wisconsin property. Are there any environmental problems with the heat that is put back in the earth from a geothermal system? We ...
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Milwaukee, WI
Butternut blossom time from Milwaukee WI
When does the butternut tree blossom?
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Milwaukee, WI
Getting milkweed seeds into seed mixes from Milwaukee WI
My husband and I are concerned about the Monarch butterfly migration and have started an effort to get milkweed planted along some bike trails here in Wisconsin. This made me think of Ladybird Johnso...
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Milwaukee, WI
Smarty Plants on Oleanders
I have 3 Nerium Oleanders. In the winter they come indoors, and are under grow lights. They are in big pots. We just put them outside on patio, and they don't look good. They still have green tips ...
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