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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

Cobden, IL
Tolerance of rosa setigera of acidic soil from Cobden IL
How tolerant is Rosa setigera of acid soil? I would like to plant it in my (very large) garden but the loess soil has a pH of 4.5. Thank you.
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Murphysboro, IL
Plants for narrow strip between sidewalk and fence
I have a strip of land about 5 inches wide and 30 feet long -- between the fence and the sidewalk -- that I would like to plant something that would look nice and wouldn't require the weedeater every...
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Benton, IL
Looking for shrubs to plant in Southern Illinois.
Hi. I am in Southern Illinois. I'm needing small shrubs for a south facing area. It's a 14ft. long by 2ft. wide area. Although it's facing south, it's not real sunny. A huge tree and swing is...
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Charleston, MO
Will wood shavings in the soil require nitrogen from Charleston MO
I cut down a big maple tree and a lot of the wood shavings was left in the soil. I planted a flower bed over the area this spring. I later read that the wood chips in the soil would use a lot of nitro...
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Paducah, KY
Need to Stabilize River Bank in Kentucky
My home borders the Ohio River. I have lost a great deal of soil to the river. I am looking for plants with tight root systems that are water tolerant to protect my shoreline. Thanks
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lenzburg, IL
Larvae swimming in water with plant cutting
When you take a cutting from a plant and put it in water and bring it in your home a couple of days later you notice larvae swimming around, what is that?
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Red Bud, IL
Instructions for pictures from Red Bud IL
Mr. Smarty Plants, I followed your instructions on how to submit pictures for you to identify "If you would like to know what the plant is that came up, Mr. Smarty Plants loves to identify plan...
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Bloomsdale, MO
Plant ID from Bloomsdale MO
I have found a plant growing on the side of the road in a weedy area, looks like a poker flower, the plant has Red/orange seed pods growing to a point. no flowers right now. grows on a stem very much...
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Grand River, KY
Plants for planting in gourds
I enjoy painting dried gourds. This spring I got the idea to paint a gourd and cut holes in the side and plant some small blooming flowers. I have seen "hen and chickens" growing out of holes in the...
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Benton, KY
Thorn in the hand in Benton KY
My husband got stuck by a thorn on a thorn bush and the thorn was a goldish copper color. There is a knot on his hand and pain in his fingers to his elbow. Do you know what kind of bush this could b...
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Dexter, KY
E-mailing a picture for Plant ID from Dexter KY
Could I email a picture of a vine that is taking over my porch? Can't seem to find it anywhere. It is dark green and relatively shiny with 10 leaves on each stem.
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Crystal City, MO
Growing non-native Knockout roses and golden euonymus together from Crystal City MO
Can you plant knock out roses and golden euonymus together?
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Belleville, IL
Plant identification
Can you identify a plant in a shady part of our yard. I have a pictrure I would like to send and I don't see a way to do that here. Can you provide that assistance? Perhaps a direct email address so ...
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Murray, KY
Identification of a tree in Florida with bell-shaped red flowers
A friend in Florida has asked about identification of a tree with a flower none of us have ever seen. It starts with a green pod, then flowers into, what looks to me like a Chinese lantern, or bell. I...
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Arnold, MO
Low-maintenance grass for retention pond
I would like to know what would be a low-growing grass to put down for a water retention pond. We have clay and rocky soil. The incline of the sides of the retention pond are about 20 feet with gra...
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Nebo, KY
Flat leaf cedar, Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae)
Hello, I am looking for the scientific name for what is commonly called flat leaf cedar. It has defined platelets, wonderful cedar smell, older trees have shaggy bark, in winter some of its sprays tu...
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Troy, IL
Short edging evergreen for IL
I am planning on planting a short (height at maturity less than 1 foot) evergreen (and if possible flowering) shrub to border the walkway to my house. Can you give me some suggestions? The soil is mos...
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cadiz, KY
Shrubs to grow in a narrow area no taller than 3 ft. in Cadiz, KY.
I need to plant shrubs in a narrow area between my house and sidewalk. I have a low porch so I want the shrub to grow no taller than 3 ft. What do you recommend? It is in full sun.
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Redford, MO
Osage orange thorn in foot in Redford MO
I ran an osage orange thorn through my foot,it is very sore and very red around it. Is that something I might need to see a dr about, or it is just going to be sore for a couple days. It only happened...
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Saint Louis County, MO
Deer Resistance and Erosion Control for St. Louis County MO
I am looking for deer and rabbit resistant native plants for erosion control on a steep ravine slope with part sun and part shade in St. Louis County MO.
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St. Louis, MO
Where to find azaleas in St. Louis
Where can I find reasonably priced Azalea shrubs in St. Louis in the red, orange color that are inexpensive? Precise enough? LOL
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