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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 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

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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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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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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Norborne, MO
Plants for the north side of the house in Norborne MO
What perennials, plants, flowers, are best suited for north side of house?
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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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Cameron, MO
Identification of pink flower near Austin
My mother found a flower early this spring at Chrystal Falls park just outside of Austin. It was between red and salmon pink in color, tubular in shape and about 4 inches long. It smells very bad, a...
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Maysville, MO
Are buckbrush (coralberry) berries poisonous?
Are the berries on buckbrush (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) poisonous to humans?
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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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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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Columbia, MO
Pineapple plant care
Hello, I have a new pineapple plant that is still very small 1-2 inches around the fruit at most. The fruit has recently turned a deep yellow as if it were ripe. I am wondering if it can be ripe at su...
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Columbia, MO
Propagating plant cuttings in cut potato from Columbia MO
Hello. I belong to a garden group and one of the members posted a "tip" she found in an early 2000 garden magazine. I wanted to see if there was any truth to the tip? Basically the tip was to use...
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Lathrop, MO
Native plants for clay soil in Lathrop MO
My family just moved to the north Kansas City, MO area and would like to know what native species, both perennial and tree, will do best in the clay soil. It has already proven problematic as we have ...
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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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Ashland, MO
Are wildflowers in Missouri patented?
Are wildflowers in Missouri patented? If so where would I find a list of them?
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Ashland, MO
Perennial blooming plants for Ashland MO
I am beginning to create a flower bed in front of my house, I do not have a green thumb so I want to know what plants would come back yearly and I can plant now in Mid Missouri?
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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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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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Blue Springs, MO
Blooms as far as the eye can see
Why are some wildflowers capable of putting on spectacular sweeps of blooms "for as far as the eye can see" such as Indian paintbrush at Vail Pass in Colorado, or bluebonnets in the Texas hill count...
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blue springs, MO
General Wildflower Reference
Can you recommend a good general reference book on wildflowers that is not limited by being either regional or a field guide? (I already have Wildflowers Across America.) I am looking for a work whi...
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