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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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Vicksburg, MS
Identification of vine with hair-like prickles
Trying to find out what kind of vine I ran into yesterday while climbing a deer stand. While pushing limbs and vines down from around me, I noticed hair-like thorns stuck in my sleeves and hands. This...
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Vicksburg, MS
Mystery plant in Vicksburg, MS
I have a strange plant that has come up by a ditch next to my house. I've lived here 23 years and have never seen anything like it. I can only guess that it came up from a packet of wildflower seed...
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Clinton, MS
Small flowering tree for MS
I had to cut down some trees that had grown too close to my foundation, but would like to re-plant something a little farther from the house (12-16 feet away) that would still serve as a screen outsid...
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Flora, MS
Lists of native plants in Rome, Italy area
Do you know anywhere that I can find a list of native plants in Italy, especially in the Rome area.
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Jackson, MS
Cold hardiness zones for plants from Jackson MS
How to search the plant database by cold-hardiness zone? Is it possible to do combination search by zone (not just state?) With the information provided with plant, I do not see the zone listed. Ma...
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Jackson, MS
Year-round wildflower display in Mississippi
I live in central Mississippi and I'm interested in transforming a 2,000 sq. ft. turf area of my yard into a showy wildflower exhibit that will bloom from now(July) until winter and even possibly thr...
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Madison, MS
Edibility of peppervine berries from Madison MS
I am following up on a question I've posed to many well experienced foragers and naturalists regarding the pepper vine plant or Ampelopsis arbor. There are many conflicting stories regarding the edib...
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Madison, MS
Non-blooming parsley hawthorn in Madison MS
I have a parsley hawthorn that has never bloomed. It is thriving in a low area under tall pines. It gets filtered sun most of the day with more direct sun in late afternoon. I don't know the age but...
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Oak Grove, LA
Toxicity of Peruvian Lilies (Alstroemeria sp) for food decoration
Hi, I am trying to find out if I can decorate a cake using live alstroemeria laid on top of the icing. I would not want to eat the flower, just lay it on top to look pretty before removing and servi...
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Winnsboro, LA
Appropriate riverbed and quail habitat plantings for southwest OK
Mr Smarty Pants, I have an area in extreme SW Oklahoma along the Red River. What native plants could I plant that are both appropriate for the sandy/saline soils in the vegetative area of the river b...
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Bastrop, LA
Source for Texas Star plant from Bastrop LA
Please tell me where I can get a Texas Star plant?
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Monroe, LA
Damage to ruellia in Monroe LA
I have hundreds of Ruellia Brittoniana. Dwarf Katie White, Katie Blue and Katie Pink. I am finding holes in some of the leaves, Some just have notches chewed out of them. Some of the leaves have...
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Monroe, LA
Care for non-native Mexican ruellia in Monroe LA
Dwarf Mexican Petunia I have found information that late in the season, when growth becomes leggy, cut back plants by as much as a half to force a new spurt of growth. Watch for tobacco bud wo...
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Monroe, LA
Is purple coneflower native to Colorado?
I have seen the purple cone flower growing wild in Gunnison National Forest in Colorado. Is it a native to that state or has it been brought in?
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Grayson, LA
Want to purchase mustang grape (Vitis mustangensis)
Do you know of a nursery where I can purchase mustang grapes? I have searched the web to no avail.
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Grayson, LA
Erosion control in Grayson, LA
We live in northern Louisiana. We have a small hill beside our carport that washes. What can we plant to help keep this from washing that will stay green all year long?
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West Monroe, LA
Fertilizer for non-native Althea in West Monroe LA
What type of fertilizer is best for Althea Bushes
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West Monroe, LA
Plant identification
I have a green bush that us come up in the old garden spot it has littl green balls all over it with seeds like in them, what could it be? Thanks
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Tylertown, MS
Fertilizing oaks to produce acorns
Will fertilizing oak trees help with acorn production?
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Columbia, MS
Groundcover for under live oak in Mississippi
I need a non-invasive ground cover to plant under my live oak.
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Columbia, MS
Controlling sedge in vegetable garden in Mississippi
I have a veg. garden surrounded by Purple Sedge. The nut grass has been contained/eliminated by replacing all dirt 1' down. Now the surrounding sedge is beginning to creep inward infesting the gard...
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