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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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Reproduction of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
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Rock Island, IL
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Rock Island, IL
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Silvis, IL
Drawings of Illinois native wildflowers
I am looking for line drawings of Illinois Native Wildflowers to use for educational material for visitors to our new City Park. We plan to have signs throughout the park describing how Native Americ...
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Alexis, IL
Plant identfication
We have red pointed things growing wild in our yard. About the size of an index finger. They just pop up after a rain. Are they poisonous? We have pets.
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LeClaire, IA
Controlling poison oak or poison ivy in Iowa
We recently purchased a property that is VERY wooded and has been vacant for two yrs. with little upkeep previously. We have (we were told) l00 yr old poison oak vines hanging from trees. We hired so...
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Clinton, IA
Grasses for Erosion control in Iowa
We have a sloping yard in the midwest that gets 2-4 hours of sun during the warm weather. When we have large rainfalls, the water just pours down the slope causing a lot of erosion to the surrounding ...
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Rock Falls, IL
Drought and pollution resistant flowers for Rock Falls, IL
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Canton, IL
Propagation of native Ohio buckeye from seed
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Iowa City, IA
Why are there no low-mow lawn grasses composed of only native fescues?
Dear SP, Most blends of ecograss I see are a combination of non-native and native fescues (and sometimes buffalo grass, blue grama, etc.). Why are there (apparently) none that are composed entirely of...
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Iowa City, IA
Alternative for sedges for turf-like lawn in shade
When it comes to a turf-like lawn in shade, is it pretty much sedges or nothing among native options? By the way, I write from up north here in Iowa. Thanks!
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Iowa City, IA
What to do about grass dying under pin oaks in Iowa
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Iowa City, IA
Is Milium effusum 'aureum' native to North America from Iowa City, IA
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Mt Pleasant , IA
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Mr. Smarty Plants, My neighbor gave me a plant that is about 3 foot tall, has a main stalk, and leaves that produce small “baby” plants at the edge of the leaves. These plants grow roots and once dev...
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Chillicothe, IL
Wintering non-native liriope spicata indoors in Chillicothe IL
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North Liberty, IA
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My oak trees (young and old) are showing leaf problems. Is there a disease or insect causing oak tree disease?
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Peoria, IL
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Peoria, IL
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Peoria, IL
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Dixon, IL
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