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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

Fort Worth , TX
Native perennials for Ft. Worth TX
Mr. Smarty Pants, I have two large planters around the back side of my saltwater pool where there is no decking. (sloped landscape) 8'long x 3' wide. I need low growing perennial plants that will ...
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Fort Worth , TX
Time to sow wildflower seeds in Ft. Worth TX
When do I sow wildflower seeds?
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Fort Worth, TX
Identity of the mass fields of yellow flowers in North Texas
Are the mass fields of yellow flowers we are seeing in north Texas now likely to be Indian Mustard (brassica juncea) or Charlock (brassica kaber or sinapis arvensis)? We are teaching a wildflower ide...
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Fort Worth, TX
Insects on yucca from Ft. Worth TX
I have a plant labeled Yucca Soft Leaf recurvifolia that I planted about 5 years ago,& was beautiful until last summer when it became infested with thousands of fast, tiny, dark insects. I sprayed wit...
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Ft. Worth, TX
Plants for pool area in Fort Worth
We have a new pool in our backyard, and now also quite a bit of bare land to go with it. Looking for native grass suggestions and also shrubs/trees that I can plant around the pool area for privacy an...
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Fort Worth, TX
Will a Texas Mountain Laurel thrive in a 4'x4'x4' brick planter. pl
Would a Texas Mountain Laurel thrive in a 4'x4'x4'x4' brick planter with a drain at the bottom? It will get full sun all day. If not, would a Green Cloud Sage or a Waxleaf Myrtle work? Thanks!
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Fort Worth, TX
Vines for pergola in Fort Worth
I just bought a pergola for back porch 12 x 10 that faces east so gets full morning sun, looking to plant vines for looks and help with shade. Would obviously like something that complements the pergo...
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Fort Worth, TX
Need source for garlic to plant in garden in Fort Worth, TX.
Where can I get or purchase a native Texas garlic to plant in my garden?
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Fort worth, TX
Non-native Podocarpus macrophyllus in Ft Worth TX
I know this question does not pertain to a native plant but I've spent too much time not finding an answer to my question. I have many mature Podocarpus macrophyllus bushes at my house I purchased in...
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Fort Worth, TX
Plant identification
I had a strange plant pop up in my yard this year, and I figured maybe you guys could help me out. This plant is spreading along the ground, and the stem is woody right where it is coming out of th...
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Fort Worth, TX
Sources of Scutellaria drummondii
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I purchased a purple skullcap, scutellaria drummondii in the Hill Country last year. It has done REALLY well here in Fort Worth and would like more, but cannot locate it anywhe...
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Fort Worth, TX
Failure to bloom of coreopsis
Hi, 2 things..asked a question last yr re: scuttelaria (sp)-purple etc..you could not locate. Finally did at High Country Gardens in NM. Now a new question: Cannot get my coreopsis to bloom.. Have di...
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Fort Worth, TX
Plant identification
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I have a plant that was given to me and told it was spider plant, but I don't believe it is. The plat grows up and has leaves coming out like a spider plant but they are gree...
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Fort Worth, TX
Picture of tree in Gilmer, TX cemetery
HELP . I am looking to find pictures of the beautiful tree before it was struck by lighting. The tree was in the Gilmer, Tx City View Cemetery ?
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Fort Worth, TX
Plant Identification
Curious about the identification of the foxglove-looking plants flowering along the railroad tracks that parallel Lancaster in Handley. Some are white while others are purple. Leaves are about 2-3 inc...
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Fort Worth, TX
Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
What North Texas evergreen or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
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Fort Worth, TX
Will non-native poisonous oleander grow through non-native invasive bermudagrass in Ft. Worth?
I was wondering if you knew which flowering plants would grow through grass. I have bermuda, have tried raised beds but due to uneven yard with lots of rock it would be too expensive to do properly. ...
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Fort Worth, TX
Plants for under non-native fruitless mullberry trees from Ft. Worth TX
I live in Tarrant county, where summer droughts are the norm. I have a 150x50 foot swathe of mature "fruitless mulberry" trees, which create a very shady atmosphere. The soil is clay dominated, ro...
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Fort Worth, TX
Seep Muhly in limited sunlight.
Can Seep Muhly withstand just 3 or 4 hours of direct sunlight in an urban setting?
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Fort Worth, TX
A garlic plant with only one clove in Ft. Worth, TX?
Is there a garlic that does not have cloves? I have been using what appears to be garlic from my garden and it is garlicy, hot and delicious. I have spent many hours online but cannot find this garlic...
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Ft. Worth, TX
Edibility of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) acorns
Is the acorn of the Bur Oak edible?
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