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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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Questions From Near You

Minneapolis, MN
Want to identify a shrub with golden to orangish berries in Minneapolis MN.
Tall shrub or maybe tree with small berries golden to orangish color. The berries are not in large clumps but more twos and threes. Leaves are opposite each other, smooth edges and sort of elliptica...
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Minneapolis, MN
I have a plant with plantlets on its leaves. What is it?
Pardon my inexperience. I received a plant as a gift, that is quite similar to aloe, yet smaller. It "bloomed" with tiny paired leaves sprouting from each of the serrations along the larger leav...
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Minneapolis, MN
Plants adding calcium to soil
Hi, I am looking for a resource to help determine the functions of native plants. For instance, nitrogen fixing can be found in Indigo, Lead plant, lupines. Are there other plants that add back cal...
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Minneapolis, MN
What is wrong with cultivars of native plants?
What is wrong with cultivars of native plants? My state native plant society won't allow cultivars at their annual sale, and the native plant nursery from which I order only offers the species. But a...
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Golden Valley, MN
Control of invasive non-native Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
What can I do to control garlic mustard that has moved into my wild area and what should I plant to combat this aggressive plant? Ostrich ferns, Pagoda dogwoods and emerald hemlocks have been recommen...
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Richfield, MN
Houseplant identification.
Please help me identify a houseplant that flowers a yellow flower at the base of plant. Its leaves are narrow, pointed and green on the topside and burgundy with small hairs on the underside of the l...
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St. Paul, MN
Edible Plant Resources for Minnesota
Can you suggest some references or resources that could tell me what native species would do well in a Twin Cities region edible forest? Pretty much all deciduous with buckthorn in the understory tha...
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St. Paul , MN
Possibility of growing plants in St. Peter Sandstone
Can you grow plants or native plants in St. Peter Sandstone or amend it?
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St. Paul, MN
Information on wildflower programs in cities and states
I am moving to a new town in a few weeks and am interested in starting a program to beautify the community using wildflowers. I've been interested in this for quite some time, but the opportunity ha...
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St. Paul, MN
Bee-attracting vine for shade from St. Paul MN
I need a vine for shade that attracts bees. I am in Minnesota, zone 4a. Thanks
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St. Paul, MN
Riverbank Plants for Minnesota
I would like to stablize a steep riverbank slope along the Upper Mississippi in St. Cloud MN. The slopes are almost 1:1. We are using an open cell concrete matt in which we are going to plant native...
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Saint Paul, MN
Host plants for Painted Lady Butterflies (Vanessa cardui)
I am looking for host plants for the Painted Lady Butterfly that I can plant in my school's (I am a teacher) native plant/butterfly garden. As part of the curriculum, each Fall our 2nd graders study ...
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Saint Paul, MN
Tree for St Paul MN
Need deciduous faster growing shade tree, more taproot style (few/no surface bulging roots--had to cut down large silver maple), few/no fatal pests, tolerant of cold (MN), preferably able to take vari...
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St Paul, MN
Native evergreen vine for St. Paul MN
I am looking for a native vine that will stay green, or at least keep its leaves, throughout the winter. The vine will be grown on a trellis between our house and our neighbor's, and we want to keep...
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St Paul, MN
Plants for eroding hillside around garage in St. Paul MN
We live in St Paul, Minnesota. Our garage was built into a shaded hole close to the bottom of a small hill. We need to find plants that can retain soil around the garage but will not have root syste...
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Brooklyn Park, MN
Limiting erosion around pond from Brooklyn Park MN
Minnesota resident, wants to find plant limit erosion from pond?
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Eagan, MN
Wintering a Lemon Cypress tree in Eagan MN
I Have a 2 1/2' Lemon Cypress Tree. I'm wondering if I can leave it outdoors for the winter, if not, how would I winter over indoors?
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Bloomington, MN
Wildflowers for flood plain in Minnesota
Hi- Our home sits on 2 acres with about 1 of the acres in a flood plain area. That 1 acre has water running through it when the snow melts off and it generally dries up in 2 days. It is currently plan...
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Maple Grove , MN
Replacing river birch from Maple Grove MN
How soon after taking out a river birch clump tree and grinding the stump would we be able to plant a new birch clump?
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North Oaks, MN
Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
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North St Paul, MN
Will my Lisianthus survive the winter in Minnesota for another growing season?
Do you know if Lisianthus plants planted one year, will come back the next year? We bought 6 gorgeous healthy plants last summer from a MN grower. We enjoyed them all last Summer and are wondering if ...
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