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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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Questions From Near You

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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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?
view the full question and answer

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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Prairie City, IA
Transplanting trumpet creeper in Prairie City, IA
I have a Trumpet Creeper that I would like to transplant. How do you do that?
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Des Moines, IA
Problems with non-native African violets in Des Moines
My violets have stopped blooming after years and have developed a growth in the middle of the plant. Can I save these plants and how can I revive them. Thank you, I am desperate to salvage them as the...
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Des Moines, IA
Plants for a Steep, Sunny Slope in Iowa
I am looking for plants native to Iowa for a steep, sunny slope or groundcover.
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Urbandale, IA
Deer resistant native plants for Eagle Scout project in Urbandale IA
Mr. Smarty Plants, My son is planning his Eagle Scout Project doing some landscaping for the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary. The facility has asked him to use only plants native to Iowa. Can you su...
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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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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.
view the full question and answer

Johnston, IA
Host plant for Northern Pearly Eye butterfly
Can we add to the host plant information for Elymus hystrix (Bottlebrush grass)? The grass is host plant for the Northern Pearly Eye butterfly (Enodia anthedon). It would be great to share this info...
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Gilman, IA
Preplant dip for wildflowers from Gilman IA
I am growing wildflowers in a greenhouse for wholesale spring sales. The very tall varieties such as cimicifuga stretch very quickly. Do you know of any chemical treatments as a preplant dip that have...
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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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Maysville, MO
Are buckbrush (coralberry) berries poisonous?
Are the berries on buckbrush (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) poisonous to humans?
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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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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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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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Maryville, MO
Salvia that needs dividing in Maryville MO
I have some May Night salvia that is 3 years old. Last summer it split in the middle and spent a lot of the summer laid open. I'm wondering if it needs to be split or pruned in some way?
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Ames, IA
Harvesting bittersweet from Ames IA
How do I harvest my bittersweet?
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Ames, IA
Source of article on Great St. Johns-wort (Hypericum ascyron)
I found the following comment on your database when reading about Hypericum ascyron: Comments: The scattered distribution of this plant in Ontario is thought to match historical aboriginal encampment...
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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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