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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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Questions From Near You

Wahpeton, IA
Plants for Erosion Control on Lake Bank in Wahpetan,IA
We have a steep 15 to 20 foot high bank on the glacial formed lake, West Okoboji. We are experiencing erosion and would like a solution to prevent further erosion. We have wild roses, sumac, wild qui...
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Washta, IA
Growth on top of Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)
I grow purple coneflowers in my garden. ONE plant has something growing on the top of each cone. I would like to know what it is but I don't see how I can add a photo to this post.
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Merrill, IA
Plants for steep embankment on the Missouri River in Nebraska
Hi, My embankment along the Northeast Nebraska shoreline of the Missouri River is eroding the land away. Do you have any suggestions for seed I could throw over the side of the bank that would grow...
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Ida Grove, IA
Wintering over a Cuphea ignea in Iowa Zones 4-5
I have a Cigar Plant, or a cuphea. I live in Iowa and need to know how to take care of this plant. Does this plant die and that's it, or does this plant come back year after year?
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Sioux Falls, SD
Privacy hedge for South Dakota
Hi, I'm looking for something to use as a hedge. 8 foot or so tall offering semi privacy all year. I like dogwoods but loss of leaves in the winter makes me skeptical. Boxwood would be interesting...
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Elysian, MN
Plants for steep lakeside bank in Minnesota
I am new to MN and would like to plant some pretty plants on my steep lakeside bank. What type plants and flowers should I plant to prevent erosion, but not block the lake view?
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Hutchinson, MN
Mystery plant in private garden in Hutchinson MN
I recently toured an amazing private garden. While touring the owner called her potted plant with purple clustered flowers something that sounds like 'pinsta'. Do you have any idea what it might ha...
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Yankton, SD
Tree for South Dakota
Sir, I am looking for suggestions on a backyard tree, nice shade tree 60-80' height to complement a split foyer house and a flowering crab that is currently there. Low maintenance, with no seeds or c...
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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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Dassel, MN
Containerized honeysuckle for Dassel MN
We are renting our house but I would like to enjoy my own honeysuckle. Can they be planted in a big pot so that I can take it with me when we move.
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Savage, MN
Failure to thrive of trees in Savage MN
I have a 20+ year old weeping willow. The last few years it is the last tree to get its leaves and the first to lose them. The few leaves that are still on the tree are covered with brown/black spots....
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Excelsior, MN
Full Sun, Wind-Tolerant Shrubs and Vines for Steep MN Hillside
My neighbor and I share a very steep, large (in total almost 200 ft. wide) west-facing hillside in Excelsior, MN on Lake Minnetonka. We both have a flat grass area at the bottom so the hillside does n...
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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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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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Rockford, MN
Grasshopper-resistant landscape plants?
We have a ton of grasshoppers in our area. I would like to plant bushes and flowers that the grasshoppers will not eat. Can you suggest any??
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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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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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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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Oakland, IA
School Rain Garden in Iowa
Could you recommend plants for a rain garden to be installed on a middle school campus in the Council Bluffs Iowa area???? Many thanks!
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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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