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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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Memphis, MO
Landscaping for a wedding in Memphis MO
I am pretty new at this landscaping flower thing, but I love it. We just moved out to the country in NE Missouri from Colorado (Huge difference, but love it). We have decided to have our wedding at o...
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Mt Pleasant , IA
Plant identification
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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Winigan, MO
Storing seed from Pickerel weed
What's the best method to store seed from Pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) and Arrowhead (Sagattaria latifolia)? Should it be kept wet?
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Seymour, IA
Can poisonous seed of wild plum be safely removed after steaming from Seymour IA
I read on a related questions that you said the pit/seeds of all wild plums are poisonous. My question is this, can I juice the entire fruit for making jelly without removing the pit first? I have a s...
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Brighton, IA
What shade trees and shrubs are safe to plant around horses in Iowa?
I need to know what shade trees, flowering trees, shrubs and flowering shrubs are safe to plant around horses in Iowa. thanks
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Quincy, IL
Spraying paint on White Pine tree trunks
Is there a paint that is safe to spray on a tree trunk without damaging/killing the tree? We have White Pines that have ~16" spacing without limbs & would like to 'camouflage' the bare space. If pa...
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Quincy, IL
Plant Suggestions for a Partly Sunny Steep Bank in Illinois
I am looking to plant something on a steep clay bank on our Illinois property. It is on the edge of our dirt road with trees above the bank and is partly sunny. What would work best for that type of a...
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Quincy, IL
Nutlet on rudbekia plants from Quincy IL
On rudbeckia plants, what is a nutlet?
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Monroe City, MO
Plant identification
I have discovered a vine growing in my boysenberry patch, perhaps spread by birds, but I can't find it in any books. It has 5 smooth leaves with burgundy, pinkish racemes, much like snap dragon flow...
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Plainville, IL
Dictionary of botanical names
I am looking for an online resource that will tell me what the botanical names mean, for example, Cornus florida. Why is it named that? Surely somewhere there is information that explains the meanin...
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Wellman, IA
Sap of mulberry similar to sap of maple for syrup from Wellman IA
Can the the sap of the mulberry tree be used to make syrup similar to maple Syrup?
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Moberly, MO
Need a deer resistant plant that will grow in clay soil in Missouri.
I need a plant or bush that is deer resistant and that will grow in clay soil. Can you help me?
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Iowa City, IA
What to do about grass dying under pin oaks in Iowa
We have 2 pin oaks about 15 years old in our front yard. The grass has started dying out under and around them. What can we do?
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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
Is Milium effusum 'aureum' native to North America from Iowa City, IA
I have seen the cultivar grass milium effusm aureum described as a native of both Europe and the N. America. Both continents HAVE a subspecies of m. effusum. Which is more accurate; is MEA a cultivar ...
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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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Pittsfield, IL
Wildflowers planted in Pittsfield, IL to bloom the first of October
If I plant my wildflower seeds now in Illinois, is it possible they will bloom in three months (by the very beginning of October)?
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Grinnell, IA
Short to Medium Height Grasses for Iowa
What short to medium height native grass can be planted in late fall at the same time I sow my wildflower seed?
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Grinnell, IA
Difference between Erigeron strigosus and E. annuus
How can you tell the difference between Erigeron strigosus or Erigeron annuus. Does one have more flowers on it than the other? Thanks.
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North Liberty, IA
Leaf problems on oaks in North Liberty IA
My oak trees (young and old) are showing leaf problems. Is there a disease or insect causing oak tree disease?
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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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