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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

Malakoff, TX
Will Texas madrone (Arbutus xalapensis) grow in northeast Texas?
Will Texas madrones grow by Cedar Creek Lake and if so, do you know where I could purchase them "sort of" locally?
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Athens, TX
What plants grow well in Athens, TX?
Athens, Texas, we have very sandy soil mixed with clay, what plants grow well here?
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Athens, TX
Grasses for Van Zandt County, Texas
We have approx'ly 200 acres in Van Zandt County, Texas between Edom & Ben Wheeler of which approx'ly half is pasture land and has been used for hay for the past several years. We would have convert...
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Athens, TX
Have deer eaten the flowers of my Esperanza?
My wife and I planted an Esperanza plant and it seemed to be doing well. It had numerous blossoms and we were excited at the prospect of having a beautiful plant that was alledgedly a "deer proof" ...
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Kerens, TX
Desert willows not doing well in Navarro County, TX
Planted 3 new desert willows , 3-4 ft.in February. Live in East Navarro County and soil is clay with slight slope to Richland Chambers lake area. Had a wet spring. These plantings appear not doing we...
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Mabank, TX
Mountain Laurel growing in East Texas
I found a plant that looks like a Texas Mountain Laurel growing wild on a fenceline in east texas, near Canton. It is a small shrub/tree and has flowers like wisteria. It has "hairy" stems, they ar...
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Mabank, TX
Winter hardy fern for northeast Texas
I am looking for a winter hardy fern to grown around my deck. The area would get some morning sun but afternoon shade. What do you suggest?
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Murchison, TX
Plant identification
I have found what resembles a gooseberry growing from what appears to be a grapevine trellising on a fence beside a lake in East Texas. The stems are smooth and slender, nad as I stated before vine up...
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Eureka, TX
Leaves falling off live oak tree in Eureka TX
I have the same question; it is in Navarro County in August. The leaves are falling off my live oak tree, they are brownish yellow, but it is not oak wilt. What might it be? This year I put mulch arou...
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LaRue, TX
Groundcover and Butterfly attractants for LaRue Texas
LaRue, TX - Would like a native low growing plant as a groundcover. I would like it for six+ hours of sun, drought tolerant, and ones that butterflies might enjoy, while deer won't. Some winter int...
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LaRue, TX
Why is Hamelia patens, a species listed as invasive, in the Wildflower Center database?
Hamelia patens (Firebush) is listed as an invasive plant at Invasive.Org, the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, which partners with the US Forest Service, Univ of GA and others. LBJ ...
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LaRue, TX
Ground cover for a sunny location
Looking for Native ground cover for sunny slope in LaRue TX… I would like something that will cover year-round and flower in Spring/Summer/Fall. If it has a berry in the fall for birds and attracts bu...
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LaRue, TX
Ground cover for East Texas
Thank you for your response to (Hamelia), it was very helpful. I recently moved to East Texas and I live in a rural area at altitude 754ft with a sloping landscape with good drainage. My property is...
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New York, TX
Ground cover for East Texas
I live in the country of east Texas and wish to grow native ground covers around my house and property. I have no way to control this growth, as I have no fences or borders. I have sandy soil and th...
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Kemp, TX
Plant identification
Please identify this tree: has leaves like a catalpa, blue/lavender flowers on a long flower spike at the end of the limb, green fruit/seed about the size of a pecan it is fuzzy like a peach with a h...
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Corsicana, TX
Orange patches circling cedar branches
We have dry rusty orange patches that circle several of our Cedar branches. There are a few orange blobs on different limbs, but they do not look like the pictures of Cedar Rust (no horns). The foli...
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Corsicana, TX
Native grasses for dry shade in North Central Texas
I live in North Central Texas and have an area that is 80% shade and a dry soil condition. What native grasses would be suitable for this location?
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Edom, TX
Erosion under a Live Oak in Edom TX
We have a large Live Oak tree in the front yard that I wouldn't part with for the world. The soil is almost solid sand underneath the tree, and in deep shade. It is on a slight slope and eroding wi...
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Scurry, TX
Smarty Plants on Hesperaloe parviflora
I see these bright pink orange flowers on tall bracts everyday on the way to work. I have been searching for the name so I can buy one. I found a picture on your site at (http://www.wildflower.org/?...
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Fairfield, TX
Non-native Indian Hawthorn not flowering in Fairfield, TX
My indian hawthorn shrubs won't flower, they are the white variety and I live in Freestone County, Texas, greenery is beautiful and very healthy plants but no flowers Have had the plants for over tw...
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Fairfield, TX
Native grasses for field in Fairfield, TX
We are clearing youpon, briars and small trees from 13 acres of woods near Fairfield, Texas. We want to plant native grass(s) that can tolerate shade and part shade, but also tolerate mowing(shredder...
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