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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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Questions From Near You

Chicago , IL
Planting yucca seeds in Illinois
My neighbor gave me a few pods (5) off of her Yucca plant which have lost its bloom for the year, how do I transplant them, in the ground or root them in water first?
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Chicago, IL
Bluebonnet seeds north of Chicago
Hi My husband is originally from Texas - we now live north of Chicago. Last year he bought a whole bunch of Blue bonnet seeds from a company that said they would grow in our area... I planted enough ...
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Chicago, IL
Plant ID from Chicago
This plant is VERY common along highways across the entire midwest, and often other parts of the country. It has a long stem with a cluster of white flowers usually only on the top of the stem. The le...
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Chicago, IL
Green roof plants tolerating shade
I am researching extensive greenroof plants for a potential site in Austin. The roof surface is shaded for most days of the the year. Are there any top choices for plants for this condition?
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Chicago, IL
Plant identification
I'm not sure of county of origin. It was given to me by someone I no longer have contact with. When I initially received it I thought it was just a small potted vine of some type. I've had it a yea...
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Chicago, IL
Plant Identification
Hi- I am currently am AP Biology student and have two plants left to identify that I found at a lily pool in Chicago. Can you help me identify them? One I believe is a fern, the other a flower. Th...
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chicago, IL
Plant identification
green stemmed,whorled leaf,compound leaf, ovate shaped, hairy stemmed thing is fastly taking over my sandy rocked based soil cactus garden. what could it be? i bought my garden in florida
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Chicago, IL
Getting rid of Polygonum punctatum (dotted smartweed)
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, After much online research, my property has been invaded by what I believe to be Persicaria polygonum punctata, more commonly known as dotted smartweed. I have tried hortic...
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Chicago , IL
Smarty Plants on women trying to conceive
RE: Eucalyptus. Is this bad for women trying to conceive? The smell is very powerful.
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Chicago, IL
Looking for seeds of Collinsia verna (Mary Blue eyes)
Dear Friends, I am desperately trying to locate (for purchase) seeds for the wildflower "Mary Blue Eyes" or "Spring blue-eyed Mary" (botanical name Collinsia Verna.) Internet searches for see...
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chicago, IL
Hardy perennials for Chicago
I have a duplex condo in Chicago. My basement or 1st floor is at sub-sidewalk level. This "patio" faces east and gets about 4 hours sun a day. It is about 8 feet high and covers an area 15x9. I'd l...
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Chicago, IL
Trimming spineless yucca in Chicago
I have a spineless yucca (indoors) which is 11 feet tall and thirty-five years old. When the yucca recently started to scrape the ceiling, I moved it away (roughly 20 feet) from the windows to an area...
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Chicago, IL
Butterfly Plants for Chicago
I live near Chicago, IL and am interested in planting a butterfly garden. Not sure when to start, but I want all native plants that would attract butterflies. Can you please let me know which plants ...
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Chicago, IL
Plant identification
I am trying to identify a flowering plant (usually potted) that is commonly seen around homes in Phoenix, AZ. It has a long (1 to 1.5 ft) bare woody stem topped by an umbel of perhaps 15-20 small red...
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Chicago, IL
Inspection of house plants moving to Florida
Hi. I am hoping to move from Chicago to Florida any month at this time. I have a collection of house plants, does anyone know where I can get them inspected and certified so they'll be allowed into...
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Chicago, IL
Wildflowers for a shady spot in IL
I have a low-sun spot on the side of my house in Chicago, IL. I would really like to turn this spot into a wildflower garden. Could you suggest some native IL flowers that might work in this spot? ...
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Chicago, IL
Is resurrection plant (Selaginella lepidophylla) toxic?
Is Resurrection plant (Selaginella lepidophylla)toxic? Is it safe for children to handle?
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Austin, TX
Deer Resistant and Drought Tolerant Pink-Flowering Shrub for Austin, TX
Is there a pink-flowering bush that is deer resistant and drought tolerant that would do well in Austin, TX? If not pink flowering, any color of a flowering bush is fine.
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River Grove, IL
Possible ground covers under pine trees in Illinois
Have pine trees in front of house. No luck with the lawn around them....was told it's because of ground acidity. Any tips on how to get a lawn to grow there? If not, can you suggest some ground cover...
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Evanston, IL
Planting annuals around young oak in Evanston IL
is it OK to plant annuals (i.e. salvias, impatiens or dusty millers) around the base of a young oak tree (2-3 years old)?
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Evanston, IL
Flowering native plants for Evanston IL
What flowering, native plants would be suitable for a backyard garden in Evanston Illinois?
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