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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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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Questions From Near You

Justin, TX
Problems with mature cottonwood in Justin TX
I have a very large, 90" circumference, approx 60' tall, cottonwood tree in my front yard that appears to be sick. The trunk splits at about the 4' level into 2 parts. at that split is a 10" wide...
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Roanoke, TX
Low plants for shady, damp area in Roanoke, TX
First, thanks for answering my first question about Texas Native Trees for our new home! I have just started working on plans for our back yard and have a question about Texas Native Shade plants. W...
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Roanoke, TX
Selection of trees for new home
We are moving to Roanoke, Texas(Denton County) into a new home. Our home will have 3 trees which we can choose. They are Texas Ash, Live Oak, Sweetgum, Silver Leak maple, Cedar Elm and Bradford Pear...
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Ponder, TX
Plants to stem bank erosion in Ponder, Texas
We have a pond with a bridge over the middle in full sun with a steep bank on one side. The bank is difficult to maintain and we need some natural looking low maintenance plants or ground cover to pl...
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Ponder, TX
Problems with Escarpment black cherry from Ponder TX
I have an escarpment black cherry that is about three years old and about 9 feet tall. It was healthy until this last summer when its began to bark peel and sap run out at the base of the tree. The af...
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Ponder, TX
Does goldenball leadtree (Leucaena retusa) have thorns?
I have a plant that I am told is a native Texas plant, but the person I got it from could not remember its name. They said it was very hardy and drought tolerant. It looks a little like goldenball lea...
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Ponder, TX
Pipevine (Aristolochia sp.) found in Denton County Texas
I am almost positive that I have numerous pipevine swallowtail in my garden in Denton County, TX. I read that the host plant for the larva is almost exclusively pipevine. Would any kind of pipevine be...
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Ponder, TX
Trees that are non-toxic for horses
I live in Ponder, Tx. We have some acreage and horses and wish to plant trees to afford some shade for the horses. Can you tell me what trees are toxic to horses.
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Haslet, TX
Plants tolerant of high levels of sodium and sulfur
I would appreciate suggestions for small shrubs and flowering plants that can survive the sodic soil conditions and western sun exposure of my front beds. We have had great difficulty finding anything...
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Trophy Club, TX
Problem with baldcypress tree
Two of my three 20 year old Bald Cypress trees appear to have leafed out but are now brown in parts of the tree. The brown area is at the tops of the trees which are probably 40 ft. high. They were...
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Westlake, TX
Quercus polymorpha botanical name for Mexican white oak
What is the scientfic name for the Monterrey Oak?
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Westlake, TX
Sample city ordinances to incorporate into city code
I am looking for a source of sample city ordinances that will allow wildflowers such that we can incorporate it into our city code. My city is rural and per its master visionplan was originally publi...
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westlake, TX
Quercus polymorpha or Mexican white oak
On the Texas Oak Wilt Information Partnership website, they list a "Monterrey Oak" as one of the White Oaks (#3 in the FAQ section). I cannot find Monterrey Oak in your Explore Plants section; does...
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Rhome, TX
Plant identification
I am trying to identify a wild flowering plant. It grows in pastures near Rhome Texas. How can I email a digital photo to you to look at it??
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Keller, TX
Toadflax and Baby Blue Eyes occurring naturally in Texas
Does Toadflax/Spurred Snapdragon occur naturally in Texas? My daughter found what I think is it in a field in Keller, TX, but I'm wondering if it is cultivated. The field is full of a variety of fl...
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Keller, TX
Can Habiturf™ be hydromulched?
Our lawn was originally planted with "Weeping Love Grass" seed by hydromulching. After 7 years we still have some bare spots. Other types of grass have infiltrated the lawn and that does not matter...
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Keller, TX
Difference between vetch and woolly loco
What is the difference between vetch and woolly loco?
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Keller, TX
Identification of purple wildflower shaped like a bottle rocket
Dear Smarty Plants, the other day while driving north on 281 from San Antonio I noticed a purple wildflower that was shaped sort of like a bottle rocket, seemed to have leaves similar to verbena and ...
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Keller, TX
Vine for limited space, part-shade fence in N. Texas
I have a narrow strip of yard (about 3ft) between my covered patio and privacy fence. Since the fence itself lacks visual interest, I'd like to find a vine to grow on the fence to give the backgroun...
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Keller, TX
Signs designating wildflower areas
I belong to a large homeowners association in Keller, TX. We've created a large wildflower area and need a sign to designate it. Where can I find wildflowers signs ? We want to alert residents to ...
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KELLER, TX
Possibility of using weeping love grass on property in Keller, Texas
What do you know about "Weeping Love Grass"? We have heard that it does not require watering (once the roots are established, fertilizing, nor frequent mowing. So we decided to plant it on our 2-a...
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