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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
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
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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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
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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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
Planting wildflowers on roadsides in Dallas
Am interested in leading Y Princess group in community effort to plant wildflowers along roads in Dallas area. Do you have any advice on how to approach the problem or sources for the seeds?
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Dallas, TX
Rocky Stream Bank Plants for Dallas, TX
Need live stake shrubbery or tree ideas for a rocky stream bank prone to high water. Thank you
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Dallas, TX
Is Hibiscus coccineus still considered native in Dallas, TX?
Is Hibiscus coccineus still considered native?. I recently was told by someone with the Native Texas Plant Society that it was no longer thought to have crossed the Sabine naturally. Thoughts...
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Dallas, TX
Grasses and flowering plants for Dallas
I have an area of morning sun next to my house about ten feet deep. I would like to mix a fairly tall grass with two other plants, flowering. What are some of your suggestions?
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Dallas, TX
When Should I Prune Texas Sage?
How and when do you prune Texas sage to encourage thicker foliage?
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Dallas, TX
Smarty Plants on earliest blooming wildflowers
For Spring, what are the earliest blooming wild flowers and when do they typically bloom? I know it's terribly early to be predicting these things, but any idea if the 2005 Bluebonnet crop in Austi...
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Dallas, TX
Evergreen native replacement for liriope
What is a good native replacement for Liriope that is evergreen?
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Dallas, TX
Is Phlox divaricata evergreen?
Is Phlox divaricata evergreen?
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Dallas, TX
Aesculus glabra var. arguta
I am building a trail for the city of Dallas and need 10-5 gal. Texas Buckeye Trees(Aesculus glabra var. arguta). I can not find any in north Texas or the Austin area. Can you help?
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Dallas, TX
Problems with non-native Chocolate Mimosa from Dallas
I have a Chocolate Mimosa I planted last spring. It came back strong this spring but suddenly the leafs have started turning brown and falling off, it gets watered every morning and I don't have a c...
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Dallas, TX
Prairie remnant threatened by non-native Queen Anne's lace in Dallas
A blackland prairie remnant is being invaded by Queen Ann's Lace. What are the best, least chemical, methods of getting rid of it without damaging the native grasses and wildflowers? Thank you!
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Dallas, TX
Horseherb for ground cover in Dallas
When considering horseherb as a ground cover for a large area; are there disadvantages to sowing seed versus planting established plants? If not, what time of year is best to sow horseherb?
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Dallas, TX
Need help with dying clumps of Cedar Sedge
Carex planostachys. This grass was planted 2 years ago in light shade. It grew well until this year. Now some clumps are dying. Others in same area look fine. No insects can be detected. Why are...
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