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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.

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DALLAS , TX
I need a tall tree with kind roots for a narrow space
We have a space in the yard where a building is within 3 to 6 feet of where we would like a tall tree. What tree could achieve two stories in height, while not messing with the foundation of the bu...
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Dallas , TX
Fourth-grade research on Texas Wildflowers from Dallas, TX
Mr. Smarty Plants, Hello, I am a fourth grade teacher and my students are about to begin a project on Texas Wildflowers. Some of the information they will require is the scientific name of the plant...
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Dallas, TX
Wildflower seed for west central Texas acreage
We have a ranch in central Texas between Brownwood and Brady and want to plant wildflowers that will grow in that area. We'd like to cover acreage and need information on what mix would suit our are...
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dallas, TX
Need help with lawn that was sodded with Buffalo Grass in Dallas, TX.
I had buffalo sod put down last March. It greened up beautifully until weeds just about covered it up. I tried hand pulling. My landscaper showed up with something that appeared to damage the buffa...
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Dallas, TX
Habiturf for East Texas
We live in east Texas, right on the beginning of the piney words, the soil is a little sandy. We have taken up a wooden walkway but can't get anything to grow there. Could the soil be dead from year ...
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Dallas, TX
Possible tax exemptions for wildlife management
I am interested in finding out whether there are state grants to help land owners grow wildflowers on otherwise unused portions of their properties. Would you happen to know whom I should contact or w...
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Dallas, TX
Pictures of Bastard Cabbage from Dallas TX
HI! Re your March 12 posting: The USDA Plants website pictures two very different looking plants identified as Rapistrum rugosum (bastardcabbage). Would you please post a photo with leaf and bloom ...
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Dallas, TX
Spots on leaves of Esperanza from Dallas
Have a new 1 foot high Esperanza. It is flowering OK (so far) but it has small rust colored spots about the size of a B-B all over most of the leaves. On the top side of the leaf the spot is depress...
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Dallas, TX
Planting Texas Mountain Laurel to transplant to Dallas
My daughter would like to incorporate a tree planting ceremony in her wedding in Texas. The seedling would be planted in a pot for a few years and later transplanted in a yard when they buy a home. Wo...
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Dallas, TX
Pruning time for Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus)
Gentlemen: I have a Texas Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus). It's doing very well & I wish to prune it before its leaves come out. I understand there are a few trees you don't prune, among them birch. I...
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Dallas, TX
English Garden in Texas from Dallas
I am introducing perennials to my rose beds, and would like help for an English Garden look in TEXAS!!! (stump the expert!!) One plant I am interest in, as it provides blue (which roses don't) is m...
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Dallas, TX
Possible locations of fields of Forget-Me-Nots, Myosotis
This might be kind of a weird question but me and my girlfriend have a really special thing with the forget me not wild flowers, and I will be asking her to marry me soon and would love to do it in a...
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Dallas, TX
Need suggestion for a replacement tree in Dallas, TX.
We are going to have a 25' tall tree removed and ground out because every year squirrels chew the branches and make huge piles on the deck and into the pool. This continues for a good month 1.5. Hen...
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Dallas, TX
Predictin bloom time for Indian Blankets (Gaillardia pulchella)
Is there any way to predict when the Indian Blankets will bloom this year? I live in Dallas, and last year they were in peak bloom at Twelve Hills Nature Center (also in Dallas) around the 21st of Ma...
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Dallas, TX
Wildflower garden with Castilleja indivisa (Indian paintbrush)
I want to start a wildflower garden in my front/backyard. Specifically, I would like to include the indian paintbrush. What is the best way to go about this? Straight in the ground, containers, etc...
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Dallas, TX
killing grass on 1 acre before planting Habiturf
I have an acre of full sun lawn on a slight slope in Dallas - would the habiturf be appropriate & if so, how do I go about killing off the existing weeds/crab grass before installing? Removing 3 in o...
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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
More on bluebonnets
When will the bluebonnets bloom in the Hill Country this spring? Please let us know. Thank you.
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Dallas, TX
Why is non-native, invasive dandelion called a wildflower?
Why is a dandelion a wildflower? {I read it in a book.}
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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
Names of native plants in Garland, Texas
We are building a new Assisted Living & Memory Care community in Garland Texas. We typically name the different floor plans after trees, plants or flowers indigenous or native to the area. Can you pr...
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