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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

Kirbyville, TX
Plant identification
My nephew bought an old farmhouse in Southeast Texas. There is a plant there that has glossy leaves similar to a lemon leaf. I cannot tell from the pic if it is a shrub or a vine. It is blooming now, ...
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Kirbyville, TX
Fast-growing trees for privacy in East Texas
Fast growing tree seeds for my area to create a tree grove for privacy.
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Jasper, TX
Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus) in Jasper TX
Carolina allspice (calycanthus floridus) grows in my yard in East Texas. It is native to the eastern U.S., but I notice there is a variety whose distribution extends through Louisiana. Since I live in...
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Silsbee, TX
Sooty mold on Texas Sage in Silsbee, TX.
I just saw two questions from December regarding black sooty mold appearing on leaves of Texas Sage. My Texas Sage is two years old growing in the original, well-draining large pot it was planted in ...
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Silsbee, TX
Can bluebonnets grow in a field of Bahia grass in Silsbee, TX?
My question is if you have a field of Bahia grass, can bluebonnets grow there or will the grass choke them out?
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Silsbee, TX
Information on non-native Erythrinia crista-galli
I am trying to find out some more information on a plant called firemen caps.. How to grow and sun or shade or both..
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Providence Village, TX
Survivability of birch trees in Texas
Is it known whether Gray birch (Betula populifolia Marsh) will grow in North Texas? It seems like the only birch variety which might - and how short is a "short lifespan" for a tree?
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Providence Village, TX
Selecting landscape trees for Denton Co., TX
I live in Denton County and I'm trying to select a few trees to plant in my yard. I'd like them to be native or at least "antique" (hardy varieties which have adapted to the conditions without bec...
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Vidor, TX
Viability and storage of bluebonnet seeds past "use by" date
I have several packets of Bluebonnet seeds and wildflower seeds which have "packed for 2006 use by 3/07". My questions: 1) will these seeds be good for the 2007 growing season?; 2) how should I ...
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Pineland, TX
Identify red-flowering vine in E. Texas
Beside a well on an old homestead in Deep East Texas, there is a delicate vine. The leaves are heart shaped with points all the way around. The flower is a bright red trumpet shaped. I saw an angel ...
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Beaumont, TX
Identification of a plant that appears to be a pink Merremia.
I recently discovered a plant growing locally that was not blooming, but based on the leaves and seed pods I thought it might be Merremia quinquefolia. This week I was able to catch it blooming and th...
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Beaumont, TX
Identification of Sphaegneticola trilobata as non-native invasive plant
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I have some wedelia growing but would like clarification on the type whether it is the texana or trilobata. Is the texana a bushy plant? Mine is more of the sprawling/tra...
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Beaumont, TX
Plant ID from Beaumont TX
I live in Beaumont Texas and have some trees on the land I hunt that look like a yaupon but put on a small blue berry that the deer devour in December. I have looked and searched the Internet but hav...
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Beaumont, TX
Visual difference between Strophostyles umbellata and S. helvola
I know that Strophostyles umbellata is perennial and S. helvola is an annual, but can you tell me how to visibly distinquish between S. umbellata and S. helvola.
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Beaumont, TX
Looking for source of Carex texensis in Beaumont, TX
Looking for Carex texensis, the only place I find it is in Tennessee or North Carolina. Should I buy it online from those places to put in Beaumont, TX?
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Beaumont, TX
Are the seeds of Amberique bean edible in Beaumont, TX
I found one of these growing in my yard. Strophostyles helvola (L.) Elliott Amberique-bean, Trailing fuzzybean. Are the bean pods edible? I read somewhere that they are. Thanks.
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Beaumont, TX
How will winter weather affect bluebonnets this year?
Just wondering how our winter weather this year will affect the blooming of bluebonnets. When are they expected to be in full bloom and what will be their duration? Thank you.
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Beaumont, TX
More on bluebonnets
My bluebonnet plants have seed pods (I guess they are, they look like pods of snap peas). Can I collect these or do I just leave them alone and hope they multiply? If I can collect them, what is the ...
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Beaumont, TX
Getting rid of bermudagrass
How do I get rid of bermuda grass in my San Augustine grass?
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Beaumont, TX
Non-native Empress trees in Beaumont TX
I want to grow some Empress Trees in our yard. We have a huge yard and it is right on the corner of a cross street where they have just put a traffic light. People stopped at the light can see into ...
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Beaumont, TX
Smarty Plants on Katy Ruellia
What can you tell me about Katy Ruellia? I need something with color that will take the hot southeast Texas summers and the cold/wet winters that stays decent and will flower.
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