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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
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
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
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
Identity of Dalea plant
While in Austin recently (I live in Dallas), I visited Jardinero on Cesar Chavez and purchased a shrub identified only as "Dalea". It is 3-4 feet tall, upright habit, typical tiny pea family foliag...
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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
Seedball Germination in Dallas, TX
Last Fall we created thousands of seedballs with Lady Bird's wildflower seed mixture, compost and clay, and planted them along a bike trail in Dallas, Texas. We are so disappointed because nothing h...
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Dallas, TX
Is Phlox divaricata evergreen?
Is Phlox divaricata evergreen?
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Dallas, TX
Wildflower driving tours in Texas
I am looking for suggested wildflower driving tours in Texas. Do you perhaps have a listing of suggested driving routes one might take for a day or two in order to view the Springtime wildflowers? A...
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Dallas, TX
What plant grows in extremely hot Texas weather in the shade in Dallas Texas?
What plant grows in extremely hot Texas weather in the shade?
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Dallas, TX
Fragrant perennial plants for shade in Dallas
I am looking for shade-loving perennial plants to provide fragrance in my garden. What plants would you recommend for my North Texas (Dallas) garden that is fully shaded by huge pecan trees? My curren...
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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
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
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
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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Dallas, TX
Invasive Cissus trifoliata in Dallas
I have finally identified an invasive, stinky vine in my urban landscape as Cissus trifoliata. It was waxy leaves, small greenish flowers, and small black berries. It appears to spread with undergrou...
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Dallas, TX
Is a Texas Mountain Laurel too messy for swimming pool area?
Our landscaper has recommended a Texas Mountain Laurel to plant beside our swimming pool. We recently removed Cherry Laurels from the same location because of the mess they made in the pool (especiall...
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Dallas, TX
Problems with Juniperus scopulorum in Dallas
Dallas, Texas - Juniperus Scopolorum "Skyrocket" Last June I planted six, five foot tall along my chain length fence by the alley. Full sun. One died within 6 months. The soil seems to stay damp...
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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
Trying to find a supplier for east Texas wetland plants
Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm trying to find suppliers for native, East Texas wetland plants (edge and submerged) and can't seem to find any. Can you help?
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Dallas, TX
Need suggestions for shrubs for for screening along a 70 ft fence in Dallas, TX.
Hi, My new home backyard is right adjacent to an intersection of reasonably busy roads. The other side of one of these roads is commercial area. From your website, I understand that Wax Myrtle is bes...
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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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