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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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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Yellville, AR
Non-poisonous, fragrant flowering plant and vine for Arkansas
I would like to find a non poisonous flowering plant that smells good, that has small to moderate plant growth, that will do well in sandy soil area, shade to full sun either way. Also would like to f...
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Harrison, AR
Infrequently blooming yucca in Harrison AR
My Yuccas have only bloomed once in 8 years. Looking at the Internet I think mine is Elephantis variety - I did buy them at a nursery; they are in full sun.
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Clarkridge, AR
Will corn fall victim to allelopathy from hackberry in Clarkridge AR
Will my corn be inhibited by a nearby hackberry and if so would it help to cut it down? I understand that sometimes the soil is full of the chemicals the tree produces.
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Branson, MO
Plants for water park
Hi, I usually have no problem locating the right species for a given situation, but I may need some advice for this. I am looking for plants -- from annual & perennial flowers to shrubs and small t...
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Melbourne, AR
Bee-pasture recommendations for AR
Hello, I live in Melbourne, Ar, up in the NE corner of the state. I keep bees and would like to put in a couple acres of something for them. I'm leaning towards Viper's Bugloss. Do you know where I ...
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Eureka Springs, AR
Pond Plants for Eureka Springs AR
I have a 1 acre pond that we are cleaning up. This area will be used for recreation and fishing. We plan to put native rock around some of the edges and need perennial plants that do well in rocky are...
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Eureka Springs, AR
Cause of trees losing bark in Arkansas
I live in very rural Arkansas and we did have extreme heat this past summer and since then I have noticed several trees in the woods that have lost huge strips of their bark and I was wondering if it ...
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Pomona, MO
Plant identification
I found a flower about 5 inches tall and it is Pinkish White the head of it hangs down and looks like a rose that hasn't bloomed yet. It reminds me of an Orchid like Fairy . Its Mystic like! what is ...
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Dover, AR
Ornamental shade grasses for Dover AR
Ornamental shade grasses for sandy soil or silt, part shade, or even vines.
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Heber Springs, AR
Tree roots vs. leach field in Heber Springs AR
We need shade in front of our west facing house; however, our septic system and leach field are there also. What kind of fast growing trees can we plant that won't ruin our septic system?
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Willow Springs, MO
Best time for wildflower planting in the Ozarks
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Ozarks, and have an open bottomland valley area I want to transform into more natives for many reasons. I am starting a 2 acre field of NATIVE grasses (warm sea...
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Thayer, MO
Perennials non-toxic to horses in Thayer MO
I live in South Central Missouri. I am looking for a plant/shrub to plant in pots (our soil is clay and very rocky)to landscape the front of our barn. This plant can't be harmful to horses and must b...
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Solgohachia, AR
Raised beds over lateral lines in Solgohachia AR
I would like to build raised flower beds over my lateral lines. They would be planted with strawberries and perennials. Will this cause any problems with the absorption into the ground or not lettin...
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Springfield, MT
Wintering Purple Coneflowers in pots in Springfield MO
I have some 8 month old purple cone flowers in containers on my porch. They did not bloom this summer because they were seedlings when given to me. I can not put them in the ground. How can I keep the...
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Springfield, MO
Wildflowers for September wedding in Missouri
I am interested in having wildflowers in my wedding in late September. Although the wedding is in the early fall I wanted to have dandelions but I was informed that they are not long lasting enough fo...
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Newark, AR
Increase in plant cell size when nuclei take on water
Do plant cells increase in size when vacuoles or nuclei take on water?
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Conway, AR
Hardiness of Acerola bush for Conway AR
How far north can you grow an Acerola bush? I live in Conway, AR, which is north of Little Rock.We used to be Zone 7, but now we are on the edge of Zone 8, I believe.
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Conway, AR
Plant identification
Please help identify a flower I saw growing in the woods in central Arkansas last week.It had a light yellow flower growing out of a very flat basal rosette made up of grey-green spade-shaped leaves. ...
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Conway, AR
Alternatives to Lily of the Valley in Arkansas
I saw the question from the person who was looking for a native equivalent to Lily of the Valley and immediately thought of Solomon's Seal, which has similar bells on a stalk and grows in similar loc...
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Lowell, AR
Smarty Plants on Plant Identification
We bought our house last October and there were beautiful pink flowers blooming along our sidewalk. They bloomed until past Thanksgiving. They resembled Azaleas but we don't know what they were. Th...
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Springdale, AR
Yellowing leaves on weeping willow
We have a 4 year old Weeping Willow, 12+/- ft. tall and this week the leaves are starting to become yellow. This willow is full and robust in appearance, best it's ever looked. We have 2 other Wee...
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