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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Paris, TN
Tea made from timothy grass
My mom and I have been drinking tea made from Timothy grass seed for many years, 40 at least. It is delicious, and refreshing. My question is can you see any harm in drinking tea made from the seeds o...
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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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Alamo, TN
Grasses for area under pecan tree in Tennessee
I have two big pecan trees in my yard and would like to know what kind of grasses would thrive in the shade and also survive for my area of the country.
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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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Paragould, AR
Tree roots in sewer from Paragould AR
I have beautiful pecan trees, an apple in the back yard, a pine on the west side of the house and pecan trees in the front yard. Two trees are interrupting my sewer systems (at least one in the back y...
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Dover, TN
Mystery dill-type weed
My daughter has a weed growing in her flower bed that look very simular to dill weed, but thicker. If you pinch it, it has a sticky milky substance come out. Can you tell me what this plant may be? ...
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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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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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Camden, TN
Possible gourd vine growing in backyard in Camden, TN.
I have a long green vine growing in my backyard. It's got green bulbs the size of kiwi on it and they're filled with white seeds. I would appreciate it if you guys could tell me what it is! Thanks!
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Jackson, TN
Identification of a vine in Tennessee
I am trying to identify a vine growing on the ground under what looks to be a holly bush. I have pictures of it if there is an email I can send them to? Thank You!!!!
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Jackson, TN
Plants for ditch bank to stop erosion
I have a huge ditch on my property. The ditch bank is about 5,000 sq ft. There is a lot of erosion and I am looking to correct the problem. Is there any type of SEED, I am not looking to plant mature ...
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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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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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