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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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Balch Springs, TX
Seed companies selling winecups (Callirhoe sp.)
can you recommend some wild flower seed companies where I can purchase seeds of the winecups that I see growing all along the roadsides? I tried one wild flower seed company but did not have good luck...
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Balch Springs, TX
Reason for small winecup flowers (Callirhoe sp.)
I purchased some winecup seeds from a wildflower seed company and planted them this past autumn. I live in the northcentral Texas area. This spring, several of the seeds sprouted but they had tiny lav...
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Mesquite, TX
Are Bluebonnet seeds still viable after storage for a year?
I bought a pouch of Bluebonnets a year ago and now found them and have to wait to Fall to plant. Too old? Start over in purchase?
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Mesquite, TX
Suggestions for flowerbed in Mesquite TX
I live in Mesquite and am new to the area. I am trying to make the flowerbed in the front of my house look better. I've planted some yellow roses and red roses but would like some perennial that bloo...
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Mesquite, TX
Hydrilla problems in Tom Bean Lake in Mesquite, TX.
What is the lifespan of Hydrilla in 30 acre lake at Tom Bean Tx? Does it grow spring thru summer and then hibernate thru winter ??
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Mesquite, TX
Evergreen groundcover or ornamental grass to plant under tree
What can I plant under my tree as a groundcover? I would like an evergreen groundcover, how about ornamental grasses?
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Mesquite, TX
Two Holly Cultivars for a Texas Front Landscape?
We are starting a new with our landscape. All existing 30-year-old plants are going to be removed. We would like a focal point at the front door area and are considering 'Savannah' or 'Nellie R. St...
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Wilmer, TX
Plant identfication
a vine plant with small white flowers with a small red flower on the end of the bloom,looks like a little red bird sitting on the flower.It is beautiful.
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Dallas, TX
Is post oak resistant to oak wilt from Dallas TX
I am confused. The NPIN website says that Post Oak IS susceptible to oak wilt, but all the other information I have been able to find says that it is resistant to oak wilt and rarely gets the diesase....
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Dallas, TX
Controlling erosion with grasses in Dallas, TX
After consulting with several geological engineers and the city of Dallas engineers - we know that our severe erosion problem can only be fixed by building a 35' foot high gabion wall about 150' in ...
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Dallas, TX
Shrubs for privacy screening in Dallas
We have a small yard in Dallas with a four foot chainlink fence. Our neighbor has positioned his patio furniture to face our backyard. What kind of Texas native shrubs can we plant near our fence to p...
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Dallas, TX
Native plants to grow with Earth Kind roses
I garden on Blackland Prairie clay in Dallas. I am planning an Earth Kind rose bed. I am planning to add 3" of compost and 3" of expanded shale and to mulch with 3" of organic material, as recomm...
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Dallas, TX
Starting wild plant seeds indoors from Dallas TX
Is it possible to start some Phlox drummondii or other native wild flower from seed indoors, and then transplant to my garden? If so, can you suggest some?
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Dallas, TX
Possibility of Amyris madrensis or Amyris texana growing in Dallas
I live in the central city of Dallas, in the heart of the urban heat island (zone 8b). I am interested in Amyris madrensis and A. texensis. Will they survive winter here? Would they make a good eve...
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Dallas, TX
Ornamental grasses under desert willows from Dallas, TX
I am planning on planting 3 desert willows in full sun, below the power lines at the back of my back yard in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas. I would like to plant some ornamental grasses in the be...
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Dallas, TX
Replacing St. Augustine grass from Dallas TX
Dear Mr. Pants, we are replacing dying St. Augustine grass in a small, sunny back yard with ground cover. What are your recommendations for a drought-tolerant evergreen ground cover? We will till a...
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Dallas, TX
Green wall panel for Dallas
We are working on a green wall panel for a hotel near SMU--I see your list of recommended species for green roofs, & wondered if you have any ideas for vertical applications. Probably will have someth...
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Dallas, TX
Identification of plant with white spike blooms and red berries
I just came back from a hike in Dallas and found large areas where a lanceolate- to acuminate- leafed herb was blooming spikes of white, 4 petal flowers that quickly turn to bright red berries, someti...
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Dallas, TX
Ground cover for shady area in north Texas
I'm looking for a ground cover for a mostly shady area where St. Augustine won't grow. I don't want the ground cover to overtake my established St. Augustine in the rest of the yard. The area is un...
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Dallas, TX
Nimblewill grass for a shady area in Dallas
i have a very shady backyard and reading some of your post I think Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill) will survive. Two questions: Is it drought resistant? Where can I buy the seeds?
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Dallas, TX
Source for seeds of Mexican primrose from Dallas
Can I purchase Mexican Evening Primrose seeds now for planting in the fall or do I need to wait for the fresh crop of seeds that will be gathered from this spring flowering. How can I be assured the ...
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