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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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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Kaufman, TX
Damage from feral hogs
Hello. What extent of damage can be expected when planting wildflower seeds in an area regularly visited by feral hogs? In some cases do the hogs actually help plant the seed as they root around? ...
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Kaufman, TX
Avoiding cedar elm because of allergens
Hi. Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, seems like a wonderful, tough, drought tolerant native tree. I'd like to plant several to shade buildings. I'm being discouraged from doing so because Cedar elm ...
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Kaufman, TX
Plant identification
Please try to identify a shrub growing beside a country road in Van Zandt Co this month. It had tiny, slender cone shaped fruit or "flowers" along the branches. The leaves are dark green, about 1 i...
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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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Wills Point, TX
Toxicity and invasiveness of Scarlet Wisteria
I recently purchased seeds for Scarlet Wisteria (Chinese rattlebox tree). I spoke to a neighbor about this and she warned me not to plant them as they were poisonous to hummingbirds. Can you clarify...
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Wills Point, TX
Denying cows access to flowers through fence
What flowers can I plant that cows will not eat? They stick their heads through the fence and eat anything they can reach. I would like to plant something in the fence row that will not hurt the cows...
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Edgewood, TX
Plants for privacy screen in Edgewood TX
Can you recommend a large fast growing tree, shrub, etc. that can give me some privacy from my neighbor across the street that likes to use his binoculars? I live in East Texas on about 10 acres.
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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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Terrell, TX
Native flowers for cutting for wedding in June
My husband and I are hosting a wedding reception for our daughter and her husband in Austin in June. If possible, we would like to use live flowers or live colorful plants as centerpieces and decorat...
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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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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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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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