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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

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

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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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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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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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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Stevens Point, WI
Should I Prune Oak Trees in February in Wisconsin?
I need to cut some oak branches but am worried about oak wilt. You told an earlier questioner not to cut in February. I live in Wisconsin and it has been very cold lately. Am I okay to cut the bran...
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Wausau, WI
Planting iris rhizomes in Wisconsin
I live in central WI and was given some iris bulbs (think they are called Rhizomes) and have no idea how to go about planting them. I am very new to planting so step by step instructions with good de...
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Wausau, WI
Want to create a native wildlife habitat for our home in Wasau, WI.
I am trying to create a native wildlife habitat for our home. We live in Marathon County, Wisconsin (north central Wisconsin). We live near woods, meadow, wetlands. Could you send me a list of nativ...
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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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Hancock, WI
Plant identification
I am looking for the name of plant my Grandma used to own. She always referred to it as a spider plant. The green part of the plant looked very similar to a spider plant but growing around the base of...
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Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Bulbils on Turks cap lily
My Turks cap lily has dark pea size growths at the bass of each leaf. Are these the seeds? How and when do I harvest seeds from this plant?
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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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TWO RIVERS, WI
Locating toxic, non-native, invasive Castor Bean seeds
Where do I find castor bean seeds? Thank you.
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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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Rhinelander, WI
Plants for a shady hillside in WI
I would like to know what kind of plants I could plant on a northern exposure hillside to stop erosion. At the bottom of the hill is a lake. Also would putting rocks from the area as natural retaining...
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Nekoosa, WI
Mystery Ground Cover in WI
I am trying to identify a ground cover plant that has started growing in my yard (I'm in central Wisconsin). It is very short, only about 1-2 inches tall and is very thick covering the ground. It h...
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Sugar Camp,Rhinelander, WI
Willows native to Wisconsin
I have a small garden center in the far northern reaches of Wisconsin....and I specialize in native varieties for up here. I also help folks with lake shore restoration and preservation. There was...
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Ellison Bay, WI
Native flowers for Door County, Wisconsin
We recently were required to put in a new septic system on our vacation property in Door County, WI. This left us with a clearing on our wooded lot where the septic field is now located. The installer...
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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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Woodruff, WI
Fall blooming native Texas wildflowers
Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm a writer working on a historical set in TX in 1821 in the fall. My characters travel from the piney woods in east TX to the South Plain around San Antonio in Sept and e...
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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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