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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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Prairie Village, KS
Plant identification from Prairie Village KS
My friend has identified this plant as a Horseweed. It is 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall. Has a thick, fuzzy single stem. Linear leaves, about 3/4 inch across and 3 or 4 inches long with one or two notches on e...
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Overland Park, KS
How to remove tannins from acorns
On your web page it says that the edible acorns (example: Chinkapin Oak) are edible if boiled, but the wikipedia article on "Acorn" says that "Boiling unleached acorns may actually cause the tannin...
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Kansas City, MO
Growth on trunk of Eastern Redbud
My seven yr. old Eastern Redbud has a large patch (12x4inches) of white grey, shell or mushroom-like growth on the trunk. The bark has a wide split so the growth is on the layer of wood inside the sp...
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Kansas City, MO
Bloom on non-native Agave attenuata
I have an Agave Attenuata that has grown a long and unsightly stem.Is there a way to cut the plant portion off and re-root the plant without killing the petal portion?
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Kansas City, MO
Identification of plant with large furry leaves
I have 4 huge plants in my flower garden that I cannot identify. They look like an unfolding cabbage with large furry leaves. They also have tiny stickers on them. This a.m. I went out to check on ...
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Kansas City, MO
Privacy screen in Kansas City, MO
Hello, I am located in Kansas City, MO and am looking for a wall/screen plant. Last year I used a wall of sunflowers and loved them, however I want something more hardy and something I don't have to ...
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Kansas City, MO
Tree for a Missouri yard
Our front yard tree died. We have landscaping that needs shade. We are in Zone 5, looking for a fast/medium growing shade tree that does not produce anything that falls into the grass and will allow t...
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Kansas City, MO
Plants for dog-safe privacy hedge in Missouri
I live in Missouri and would like to put a "living fence" around my yard for some privacy. Ideally, I want something that is going to grow fast so that I don't have to wait years and years for my ...
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Kansas City, MO
Are freshwater sponges poisonous if eaten by a dog?
Are freshwater sponges, native to Missouri, poisonous if eaten by a dog?
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kansas city, MO
Identification of plants seen at Disneyworld
I was hoping for the answer to a certain plant that i have been trying figure out the name of and where i might be able to purchase this particular plant. I have seen it in the Bahamas, Hawaii, and re...
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Kansas City, KS
Plant similar to forsythia for Kansas City KS
I want to plant a plant very similar to Forsythia. I want it to be tall 4-5 ft tall. Need something that leaf changing, something besides burning bush.Former area rose beds 4 x 4 (two areas) Right ...
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Kansas City, KS
Inadvisability of mounding earth around tree in ring
We have a mimosa tree in our backyard. My husband wants to build a tree ring around it. My mother told me that some trees will die from having soil built up around it like that. Will a tree ring ki...
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Kansas City, KS
Mulberry sap in the bloodstream from Kansas City
What affect does mulberry sap have if put in contact with the blood stream?
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Kansas City, KS
Searching for poisonous plants from Kansas City
Looking on how to acquire wourali vine, upas, or arrow poison wood.
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Kansas City, KS
Assuring berries on Viburnum dentatum
I just purchased 2 blue muffin viburnum bushes-I live in Kansas-How many years will it be before they get berries? They are full size(3-4 ft) Do I need to trim them down for winter or just mulch the...
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Lenexa, KS
Native grasses for Kansas City
I live in a Johnson county suburb of Kansas City. I would like to have a section on my yard be native grasses. Can I drive the country roads and dig up clumps of the grasses I like? Will they grow?...
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Olathe, KS
Are non-natives, Dappled willow and Kousa dogwood, toxic to horses?
Are dappled willow trees/bushes or kousa dogwood trees toxic to horses?
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Olathe, KS
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Belton, MO
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Can I prune an oak tree in Missouri in February?
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Independence, MO
Are variegated ginger plants poisonous to cats?
Is a variegated ginger plant poisonous to cats?
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Kansas City North, MO
Landscaping for slope in Kansas City
We have a down sloping back yard and patio on the lower area. We need some water absorbing plants near the foundation and some in the front of the house, where water isn't a problem. We are allergic ...
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