Explore Plants

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Burbank, IL
Small flowering tree for Burbank IL
Looking for a semi-dwarf flowering tree resistant to disease and insects. Current flowering crab has fire blight. What would you suggest planting. We live in a Chicago IL suburb.
view the full question and answer

Oak Lawn, IL
Did my neighbor's zucchini affect my apple tree from Oak Lawn, IL
My neighbor planted zucchini plants near a flowering non-fruit producing apple tree in my yard. Soon afterwards in July the tree began to shed leaves. Could the zucchini plant have caused this?
view the full question and answer

Hickory Hills, IL
Plants for Shady Clay soil in Illinois
Could you recommoned native plants for clay soil and shade near Chicago?
view the full question and answer

Palos Heights, IL
Is Viburnum opulus var. americana (Viburnum trilobum) Self-fertile?
I am trying to attract birds to my Chicago area yard and I believe I have good conditions to grow highbush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum). My question is about the need for cross pollination. The liter...
view the full question and answer

La Grange Park, IL
Need help identifying a plant with lupine-like leaves in La Grange Park, IL
I encountered a plant on a level area just above a creek bed (moist soil, sun to partial sun) at one of the three largest grasslands in Illinois. The specific site looked like it may have been a burn ...
view the full question and answer

Oak Forest, IL
My Niagara grape cutting is not growing; be patient
Hello. I live in a city about 10 miles from Chicago IL. I like grapes they are my favorate fruit to just eat. I bought a niagara grape plant that was a cutting (it looked like nothing more then a st...
view the full question and answer

Hinsdale, IL
Burn the wetlands
Can the wetlands of Louisiana that have been soaked in oil be burned? I am a native plant gardener in the midwest. Burning is a natural process in the prairie. Southerners are not used to this and ma...
view the full question and answer

Hinsdale, IL
Plant identification
I am trying to figure out what this plant is..It has light feathery leaves like dill. It is an annual in the midwest. Height 5-6 feet tall. Stalk is about 3 inches wide with branches that are 2 feet l...
view the full question and answer

Tinley Park, IL
Bark damage to Tulip Tree
I have a tulip tree planted. It is about 9-10 years old. Two years ago the tree looked as though the trunk was cracked. Maybe hit by lightning after a storm. This year the bark on the side of tree...
view the full question and answer

Westchester, IL
Is a Brandywine Maple messy from Westchester IL
Brandywine Maple: Does this tree produce sap, seeds or flower? As a home owner I can't afford more maintenance with clogged gutters or a sap covered car. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Darien, IL
Pruning non-native oleanders
I have an oleander that has become to "leggy". I read the pruning instructions, but where I want to prune, there are not any leaf nodes. Can I trim below at the base, or will I hurt the plant? I ...
view the full question and answer

Clarendon Hills, IL
Mildew in Phlox paniculata
I planted garden phlox (phlox paniculata) in my front landscaping and it is suffering from mildew. It is wet on that side due to a down spout and it may benefit from being split. Does anyone know of...
view the full question and answer

Bellwood, IL
Bugs on Arizona Cypress in Bellwood IL
I live in Illinois and have an Arizona Cypress that looks like it is dying but I notice today it has bugs inside its cone. Can you tell me why and what can I do?
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

Chicago, IL
Is resurrection plant (Selaginella lepidophylla) toxic?
Is Resurrection plant (Selaginella lepidophylla)toxic? Is it safe for children to handle?
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer