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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 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

Round Rock, TX
Identifying Rhus lanceolata in Texas
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I think I've identified two small trees, 4 to 5 feet high at the back fence line and two in the front yard flower beds as prairie flameleaf sumac (or at least some kind of s...
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Round Rock, TX
Protection of Mountain Laurel from Pyralid or Genista moth caterpillars
I have a Texas Mountain Laurel. Every year it is attacked by caterpillars. They form a bag for lack of a better word on the ends of the branches destroying the blooms for the following year. PLEASE...
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Round Rock, TX
Control of Juniperus ashei
We have just purchased 2 acres in Burnet County at an elevation of 1604 feet above sea level. The land is almost flat, bedrock, with lots of Juniper, Cactus Apple and between these plants grasses and...
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Round Rock, TX
Controlling Tree Roots in Sewer Lines
We had a leak with our underground pipes near the meter box - the pipes are at least a foot or more underground. My plumber poured table salt on the pipes to deter roots from a nearby tree from gettin...
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Round Rock, TX
Native plants for seasonal poor drainage
I have an area in my front yard that has a drainage ditch running through it. When it rains, that area stays very wet. What kind of plants available for sale will work in this situation?
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Round Rock, TX
Plant Identification from Round Rock TX
I am looking for the name of a ground cover I saw that looked like large bur oak leaf in a silvery green color. It was in the shade. I tried a search with no luck. Thanks!
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Round Rock, TX
Disease in non-native pittisporum in Central Texas
Is there a disease in central Texas (Round Rock) affecting dwarf pittosporum? Specifically, clusters of dead leaves and much leaf drop. Some white, cottony residue on wood but not sure if it is mealyb...
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Round Rock, TX
Plant identification
Just blooming out here in the Austin metro is a square-budded yellow 'daisy' with puffy center. Very like a Huisache Daisy, but the margins aren't so toothed. It's VERY common in the Austin greens...
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Round Rock, TX
Native buffalograss in sandy loam
I am in the Austin area and want to plant Native Texas Buffalo Grass in sandy loam from the Colorado River bed. Will this work?
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Round Rock, TX
Need name of company with experience in Habiturf installation in Round Rock, TX.
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I read the article about "NATIVE LAWNS: HABITURF™ A MULTI-SPECIES MIX FOR NORTH, WEST AND CENTRAL TEXAS" Do you know any landscape companies/groups in Austin - Round Ro...
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ROUND ROCK, TX
Plants for a children's playground
We have extensive native gardens on our 2 acre property, but my children want a garden of their own with plants they can hide under and that are good for imaginative play. Are there any native plants...
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round rock, TX
Live oaks exhibiting white foam spots from Round Rock, TX
We have several native very large Live Oak in our backyard, and this summer we have noticed white foam spots on the branches. We live in Round Rock next to the Williamson County Park. The spots look...
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Round Rock, TX
Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
I've read in this book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants" that Henbit is an invasive plant in Texas. I've also read that it provides an early source of nectar to bees and butterflies when li...
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Round Rock, TX
Powdery mildew hits Rock Rose in Round Rock Texas
My beautiful Rock Roses have gotten spots of white fuzzy "fur" on their leaves in the past month. This is not something they have ever had before and I'm worried its some kind of disease. Is it so...
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Round Rock, TX
How can I distinguish between Wax Myrtle and Dwarf Wax Myrtle?
I need help identifying between a southern wax myrtle and a dwarf wax myrtle. I am after the bigger type and think my landscaper accidentally put in dwarves. How can I tell? I had 8 put in and their l...
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Round Rock, TX
Wildflower Lawn for Round Rock, TX
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live on the west side of Interstate 35 in Round Rock. I have a very sick St. Augustine lawn that I would like to replace with some sort of wildflower mix. I like the look of...
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Round Rock, TX
Non-native, invasive Rapistrum rugosum
What is the name of the alien, spindly, yellow mustard that we see blooming around Austin now ? Is it Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) ?
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Round Rock, TX
Source for Hickory in Texas
I'm looking for a nursery in Texas that sells hickory trees. I've used your supplier links and gone through many, many websites of suppliers. However, the only nut tree anyone sells is pecan. I'...
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Round Rock, TX
Low maintenance, drought tolerant, native plants for school garden in Round Rock
Our school is about to plant a memorial garden but need very drought tolerant plants and flowers as the schools water very little during the summer months. What would you suggest? The district does ...
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round rock, TX
Native Texas shrub for privacy screen in hot area
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a lot facing dead west which I'm sure you can understand is brutally hot in the summer. I'm putting in a pool in my backyard and would like to plant a native Texas...
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Round Rock, TX
Effects of patio under large tree
I would like to put in a patio under a fairly large tree. I understand a tree needs some open ground around it for air and water. Can I use flagstone leaving 6-10 inches of space between the stones?...
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