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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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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Ironwood, MI
Prunus subhirtella deer resistance in Ironwood MI
Is the double flowering prunus pendula subhirtella deer "food"?
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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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Iron River, WI
Wildflowers blooming in northern Wisconsin in July from Iron River WI
What wildflowers are in bloom late July in northern Wisconsin, in the Bayfield and Douglas counties?
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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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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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Covington, MI
Mystery shrub in Michigan
I live in the upper peninsula of Michigan and noticed a shrub in the woods that has large clusters of small red, what I would call berries on it. Can you give me some n...
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Grand Marais, MN
Edible forest garden for northern Minnesota
I am planning an edible forest garden for northern Minnesota. Can you suggest a list of plants that are native to this area. We are in zone 3a or 3b. Thank you!
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Superior, WI
Using cattail fluff to stuff pillows
Me and my children filled a pillow case with cattail feathers today and brought it home. My mother says that it is going to get or attract bugs. Are there any dangers in this little project? Than...
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Duluth, MN
Can berries of non-native Fuchsia plant be eaten from Duluth MN
Are the berries of the Fuschia plant edible?
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Duluth, MN
Starting a sweet potato in water in Duluth MN
I am trying to start a sweet potato plant in water. I noticed 3 days after it's in water, there is white finger like(hairy) areas at the tip of the bottom of the potato and also on the sides. I have...
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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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Chetek, WI
Plants for a Steep Bank in Wisconsin
We live on a lake with many white and red pines. The steep bank needs something not adversely affected by a buildup of pine needles to hold the sandy soil in place. The bank faces west and the pines ...
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Sand Creek, WI
Erosion on sandy bank in Wisconsin
I live in Sand Creek Wisconsin. As the name states SAND. I have a problem with rain eroding the sand hill sides. Looking for some type of plant or plants that will help with the erosion problem.
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Chippewa Falls, WI
When to Collect Rudbeckia triloba Seed?
How soon after flowering may I cut Rudbeckia triloba flower heads to save seeds? Do cones need to be attached to the plant in or out of the ground to continue to mature?
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Chippewa Falls, WI
Plants to replace Polygonum cuspidatum ( Japanese knotweed)
I live in a heavily wooed area of Chippewa Falls, WI. Our property is covered with Giant Japanese Knot Weed. We have been trying to get rid of it for years. We are finally going to try using the dr...
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Chippewa Falls, WI
Planting instructions for Ilex verticillata in Wisconsin
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Aurora, MN
Toxic effect of mulberry fruits and sap
What would be the toxic effect of the unripe fruit of the mulberry tree or the white sap?
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Frederic, WI
Prime wildflower bloom viewing times in Texas
I am planning to drive from Wisconsin to San Antonio in the spring. My schedule is flexible, so I would like to time the trip with the wildflower bloom. I grew up in Texas, but I can't remember when ...
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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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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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