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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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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
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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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
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
Wine from Ampelopsis arborea?
Hello, can you eat or make wine from the fruit of Ampelopsis arborea? I have found a few vines that are very fruitful and are ready to pick!
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Dallas, TX
Problems with Texas Mountain Laurel in Dallas
I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is about 3 years old. When I bought it 2 summers ago, it was about a foot high. Now it is over 6 feet. It seems to have grown so fast that the branches can't ke...
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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
Listings of the native plants in Texas
What are the native plants in the state of Texas?
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Dallas, TX
Getting started in gardening
Does the center publish any or several planting guides to help gardeners get started? I find it is overwhelming understanding where to start. I have some lake property in East Texas close to Athen...
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Dallas, TX
Non-native Star Jasmine poisonous to dogs from Dallas
Is star jasmine poisonous to dogs?
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Dallas, TX
How do I save my recently transplanted yaupon holly?
Recently transplanted (two weeks ago) a yaupon holly tree from one part of the yard to another. Leaves are beginning to turn yellow and fall. What can be done to save this plant?
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Dallas, TX
Potential danger of oak wilt in live oaks in Dallas, TX
Do you have or know of any recent publications that discuss a potential oak wilt problem in live oaks in the Dallas area? We strongly believe that live oaks have a great landscape value and are tryi...
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Dallas, TX
Native plants to make houses for sale more attractive
I could use your suggestions: I have 2 small houses in Dallas which I am trying to sell, and would like to beautify -- with plants. Currently there are no shrubs or groundcover or trees -- nor anyo...
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Dallas, TX
Proliferation of Small Palafoxia in Dallas Co. TX
A few years ago I noticed a new wildflower I hadn't seen before in the southwest Dallas County area. I found the name to be Small Palafoxia. It was growing along the edges of HWy 67 in Duncanville ...
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Dallas, TX
Container plants for Dallas, TX
I need help with container plants that can endure being out in the full sun and don't need a lot of maintenance. I would prefer something that is about 2-3' at its height and has a rounded shape. ...
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Dallas, TX
Texas native plants for cemetery site
I am trying to landscape my mothers gravesite located in far East Texas (just outside of Nacogdoches) and I am looking for some evergreen bushes or any other decorative plants for that area. I am thi...
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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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