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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
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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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
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
Sources for native plants from Austin TX
Hello. I am currently planning a Texas native plant garden. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find the seeds/bulbs/roots/plants for some of the natives at local nurseries: Indian Ricegrass (Achnatherum ...
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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
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
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
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
When to stop mowing Habiturf for seeding from Austin
I planted a native Habiturf lawn in my back yard last spring/summer and it is doing very well. The how-to mentions allowing the turf to seed out once per year to help maintain the lawn. Is there a bes...
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Austin, TX
Care for some non-native salvias from Austin
Mexican bush sage and Salvia "indigo spires" are both blooming in my Austin beds right now. Once they stop blooming and/or frost gets them, could you tell me by how much they should be cut back? R...
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Austin, TX
Lupines annual or perennial in Zone 4b from Austin
Are lupines treated as perennials or annuals in Zone 4b (Northeast) if they are planted in the ground? Will other native species of lupines grow in a region they are not native to? Any recommendations...
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Austin, TX
Want a ground cover instead of St. Augustine to fill in gaps in stone pathway.
I'm considering using Silver Ponyfoot (instead of St. Augustine) to fill in the 6" gaps between my 24"x24" cut limestone blocks footpath and patio. Do they run long that may cover the blocks, whi...
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Austin, TX
Agarita and Mexican Buckeye not flowering or fruiting.
The Greenbelt behind our home has a ton of agarita and Mexican buckeye, but they never bloom or berry. The pigeon berry is very happily doing both all year. Any suggestions for helping the agerita a...
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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
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
Controlling sandburs from Austin
Hello, What is the best way to prevent sticker burrs from growing in a rocky bed with no grass. There are many other plants we want to preserve and a drip line to keep them watered. We have 2 small k...
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