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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

Austin, TX
Few bluebonnets on MoPac in Austin
The grass fields along Mopac from Lake Lady Bird to Southwest Parkway usually have a grand display of bluebonnets. This year I do not see any color at all. Can you help me understand what is happening...
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Austin, TX
Roses for Austin soil
What roses would work in the soil near Lake Austin Spa?
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Austin, TX
Problem with Habiturf. Is it dormant or dead?
We planted habiturf in spring 2012. It's beautiful. But since last summer, we have had one area that seems to go dormant much more rapidly than the rest, even though it receives the same amount of ...
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Austin, TX
When (and whether) to plant non-native red-tip photinia in Austin
With the current and forecast drought I'm wondering if the usual rules about when to plant might change. I'd like to plant red-tip photinia.
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Austin, TX
Native evergreen to replace non-native chinaberry
Looking for a native evergreen tree to replace a fruitless Chinaberry that was 35 years old. We have clay soil for about 3 feet and then you hit rock. Suggestions would be appreciated.
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Austin, TX
Ants and garden plants for Austin
I am needy of companion plants that compliment and work well with the Lantana, Mexican Heather , and in the new beds that I am preparing where I was thinking in part to have passion flower (though is ...
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Austin, TX
Non-native, invasive Asiatic Jasmine from Austin
Is Trachelospermum asiaticum considered a native texas plant? Is there an example growing at the Center that can be viewed?
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Austin, TX
Problems with Cedar Elm in Austin, TX.
Our Cedar Elm has yellowing very dry leaves and something is eating the topmost leaves leaving holes and obviously chewed off leaf segments. Could this be two different things? Aphids and bacteria or ...
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Austin, TX
Early nectar blooms for Monarch butterflies from Austin
Could you tell me any early spring blooming nectar plants that monarchs will nectar from. I'm specifically looking for bloom times in March and early April. I have plenty of May blooms but not ...
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Austin, TX
Appropriate use of redbud from Austin
I am considering purchasing a hearts of gold redbud; I am also xeriscaping my front yard. I live in Austin,TX. Will this tree do ok in full Tx sun (8+ hours) with once a week watering? If this...
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Austin, TX
Aging Arizona Ash in Austin
Mr. Smarty Plants! I live in South Austin and just bought a house with a large, 30-40 year old Arizona Ash in the backyard. When I moved in, most of the lower branches were bare and dead and so I had ...
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Austin, TX
Ground cover under trees from Austin
I need ground cover plants that can tolerate leaf litter and grow under oak tree shade.
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Austin, TX
Trees and shrubs turning brown in Dripping Springs TX
Due to the extended drought - a number of trees and shrubs in our Dripping Springs area property have turned brown. Specifically: Live Oak; Agarita; Ash Juniper; Cedar Elm. Is this a dormant stag...
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Austin, TX
Dirt at tree base from Austin
Hello, I recently bought a home in Austin with a live oak tree which is about eight years old. The previous owner did exactly what all the experts say NOT to do, which was to mound dirt right up agai...
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Austin, TX
Identity of plant that looks like green onions
I have what looks like green onions growing in my lawn. They have small white flowers. Are they edible?
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Austin, TX
Identity of large, sunflower-like plant
We are trying to figure out the identity of a large, sunflower-like plant. It is a perennial that sends out approximately 10-12 stalks about 10 feet high. It then starts to bloom with small sunflowe...
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austin, TX
Bird nest fungus in Central Austin, TX.
Hi, I live in Central Austin and have different types of ground cover (such as silver pony foot)in my garden and have noticed huge patches of bird's nest fungi in between and under. Every time it ...
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Austin, TX
Time to trim oak trees in Austin
We have several large oak trees in desperate need of a good trimming. Given that the trees have had a very stressful drought year, when would be the best time to trim them?
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Austin, TX
Poverty plant overgrown in Austin
We have a poverty plant that is too big for its space in our yard. We like it and want to keep it. Can it be transplanted easily? What about pruning it.
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Austin, TX
Fast-growing ground cover for creekside
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. I live in Austin Texas and am looking for an aggressively spreading ground cover or grass to plant along a small creek on the back of my property in order to help with soil er...
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Austin, TX
Tiny holes oozing sap from Austin
My ash tree becomes loaded with butterflies on the trunk. At closer inspection, I see they are drinking sap which is coming from small holes in the trunk. Are the butterflies creating the holes? I ...
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