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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

Peru, IL
Identification of bushes with red berries in Tennessee
I was recently traveling thru Clarksville, TN and saw these bushes (at the shopping mall) that had clusters of small red berries on them. They were not a Holly that I know of. The leaves were not th...
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Varna, IL
Eliminating Claytonia virginica in Varna IL
How do I get rid of or control Claytonia virginica? It is starting to take over my lawn.
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Paw Paw, IL
Information about invasive Paulownia tree
What genus and species and family is this Royal Paulownia tree I hear about? Is it Elm? Linden? Dogwood? Is it a weed? thank you
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Chillicothe, IL
Wintering non-native liriope spicata indoors in Chillicothe IL
I live in zone 5, zip 62523, wintering liriope spicata starter plants in basement, ambient consistent. Do I need grow lamps or is the plant satisfied being dormant as long as I do not let it dry out? ...
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Dixon, IL
Smarty Plants on seed sources
I'm trying to find a source to buy seed or plants of rose gentian (Sabatia angularis). Do you know a source for seed or plants?
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Dixon, IL
Plants for erosion control along creek that often floods
What would be good ground cover to plant along the bank of a storm creek and the river it runs into? Previous owner killed all the poison oak and garlic mustard all over the yard, but whatever he trie...
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Rochelle, IL
Planting time for native yucca seeds
When and how do you plant yucca plant seeds and or/pods ? I took them off of the stalks when I cut the stalks today .
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Rochelle, IL
Climbing Vine for Illinois That is Non-Toxic to Dogs
I am looking for a climbing vine hardy in Illinois (zone 5) that it non-toxic to dogs. Can you help?
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Rock Falls, IL
Drought and pollution resistant flowers for Rock Falls, IL
I am looking for hearty flowers for our city planters that are both resistant to drought and auto emissions. We are located in northern Illinois. Planting is done in May.
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Chana, IL
Nightflowering plants native to Northern Illinois
Looking for any/all info on night flowering plants that are native to Northern Illinois.
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DeKalb, IL
Identification of Wood from Frying Pan Ranch Near Amarillo, TX (possibly Cholla)
I'm doing research for a museum exhibition and have been told the "holey" piece of wood from The Frying Pan Ranch near Amarillo Texas is "chollya" but I can find no information. Can you help?
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Channahon, IL
Fungal root rot in non-native Shasta daisies in Channahon IL
HELP! My Shasta daisies have fungal root rot. Is there any way to save them? I've been removing the browned stems. I'm so sad.
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Oswego, IL
Trees for creek side in Illinois
I have a creek that runs along my back yard, and was wondering if you could give me some suggestions on water loving trees to grow next to it. The creek gets sun all day and is located in zone 5. (so...
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Oregon, IL
Plants for wetlands in Illinois
I have a home that is just above a wetlands in Northern Illinois. It is on a river and the wetlands go from bone dry to under 3 feet of water. The shoreline is beginning to erode where there are no tr...
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Peoria, IL
Plant identification from Peoria IL
I removed a plant from our workplace that employees were afraid was hallucinogenic seeds. Central Illinois. Very purple stem. Purple flowers. Black seeds. Any ideas?
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Peoria, IL
Tree for wet area in Central Illinois
I live in Central Illinois. When it rains I get a lot of water in my backyard. What kind of tree would be best to plant in this wet area?
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Peoria, IL
Plants to hide utility boxes
What are suggestions for plants to plant around utilities boxes (3 of them clustered together) to effectively camouflage them but be attractive. We will outline a larger area in brick, plant evergree...
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Peoria, IL
Orange and fuschia flowers on bushes in Maine
I recently visited Portland,ME from end of May to the second week in June. many of the homes had these beautiful flowering bushes next to the houses. The flowers grew in clusters similar to hydrangeas...
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Polo, IL
Trouble with Redbud in Illinois
I have a red bud bush, we live in northern Illinois, it is shedding its bark. Is this normal or is the bush dying?
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Aurora, IL
Science Fair Question
Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I'm working on a project for the science fair and I need to find a plant that can survive in all climates in order for my experiment to work. What plant should I use? I hope ...
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Aurora, IL
Plants for Bioswale in Illinois
I have a 300ft by 15 ft bioswale in Aurora, Illinois. What plants would be best used? Is there a percentage of each plant to take into consideration?
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