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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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Questions From Near You

Del Valle, TX
Replanting members of Rosaceae family in same spot
HI Mr. Smarty Plants We had two apple (yellow fruit) trees besides out house and they died. Is it ok to replant in the same place with other trees without being afraid something is wrong with the soi...
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Del Valle , TX
Plants that survive Central Texas weather
What type of plants survive the Central Texas region weather for summer and winter?
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Austin, TX
Comments on white-flowered Mountain Laurel from Austin
Following up on the August 23, 2012, question from Driftwood about the white-flowering mountain laurel, I have found a few more leads to explore. First, there are four more images of white-flowering m...
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Austin, TX
Mexican species Orbexilum melanocarpum.
This is not a question; just a note to supplement a previous MSP post answering a query about a source for Orbexilum. The "mountain pea" that the original questioner was asking about is the e...
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Austin, TX
Protecting a non-native Meyer Lemon from Freezing in Austin
What is the best way to protect my Meyer Lemon tree from freezing Austin weather? It has been planted in my yard for 1 year and is about 4 feet high
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Austin, TX
Identification of pink flower photographed at the Wildflower Center
Last August I took a photo at the Wildflower Center and now I'm trying to identify it. The flower has many pink petals that either stick straight out or downward and the center has pink frills edging...
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Austin, TX
Deadwood for Degus
I have a very specific and hopefully easy question. I just brought home some degus (small adorable rodents) and they have a severely restricted list of woods they can chew on safely. The safe trees th...
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Austin, TX
What to do about volunteer trees growing beneath a large live oak tree in Austin, TX
We have a large live oak tree. Several volunteer trees are growing directly underneath it and into its branches. I want to cut them down if they are going to hurt the long term health of the live oak....
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Austin, TX
Non-native avocado trees in Rio Grande Valley from Austin
I just read the article in the Austin American Statesman about growing avocados outdoors. Don't know if they grow here, but they certainly don't just grow in south Florida. I used to live in Wesla...
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Austin, TX
Winter groundcover for shaded backyard in Austin
I live in south Austin and have a shaded backyard. During the summer, the lawn died and the ground is now bare. I'd like to plant some kind of winter grass or ground cover that will hold the soil i...
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Austin, TX
Starting yucca from seed from Austin
I would like to start a soft leaf yucca recurvifolia from seed. Is that possible? Also, I've looked for seed on dried flower stalks, and I'm not sure that what I'm finding is the seed, and I ...
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Austin, TX
Lighting for the Wildflower Center from Austin
Hello Mr Smarty, On a recent night trip to the Center, there was an oak that was beautifully lit for the holidays. It seemed to come from one ground light, but cast hundreds of glistening "stars"...
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Austin, TX
Words of Appreciation
This is a word of sincere admiration and appreciation for the spectacular array of information you posted on liatris. I'm no botanist but a native plant gardener, fond of the beauty of orderly scient...
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Austin, TX
Is cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) edible?
I found a post here about cenizo leaves being used for tea, but I'm wondering if the leaves of the cenizo are edible? I have found many recipes for 'brown butter sage' leaves (sauteed often with on...
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Austin, TX
Propagation of rain, oxblood, and copper lily bulbs
I have Rain Lily, Oxblood Lily, and Copper Lily bulbs out of the ground, that are putting out some green growth. I would like to plant them soon. Is it okay to plant now and in December, or do I hav...
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Austin, TX
Plants under Oak Trees in Austin TX
Half of my small yard is in the shade of one big live oak and one kumquat. Nothing I plant grows in this shade. The other half of my yard gets sunlight. It is planted with Jasmine grass which grows w...
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Austin, TX
Butterfly plants from Austin TX
I have a butterfly garden in the front part of the house facing the south side. However it is also mostly under a few Oak trees that cast shadow over half of the front yard starting early afternoon. ...
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Austin, TX
Texas native shade plants for metal troughs in Austin
Interested in finding Texas natives that would do well in metal troughs in the shade.
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Austin, TX
Is California fan palm found on Edwards Plateau from Austin
Is the following Palm, Washingtonia filifera, found in the Texas Hill Country, specifically the Edwards Plateau or Balcones Canyonlands NWR.
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Austin, TX
Replacing St. Augustine with Horse herb in Austin, TX.
I'm considering replacing my St. Augustine grass with a Horseherb/Straggler Daisy ground cover, but I've heard that it provides a mosquito breeding habitat, especially if you allow dead leaves to de...
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Austin, Tx., TX
Restoring a prairie from Austin
Restoring a mixed grass Blackland Prairie? Prairie Plant Succession? We are trying to establish climax species when an area is in a pioneering phase. Does the soil chemistry or biota change during ...
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