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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
Something dripping from red oak in Austin
There is a large red oak outside my apartment. The leaves are shiny and covered with what appears to be oil. The ground underneath is coated with this also. When I parked under the tree my car beca...
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Austin, TX
When will non-native Confederate Jasmine bloom in Austin
I have 2 large Confederate Jasmine plants growing in 3 gallon pots on either side of an arbor I built for my friends wedding. The wedding is in 1 month and I'm wondering if this jasmine typically bl...
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Austin, TX
Sticky stuff dripping from non-native crape myrtle in Austin
There is sticky sap-like stuff dropping from the very large crepe myrtle in my yard. The tree has quit blooming. This didn't happen last year when it was so dry; it started after we had all the rain ...
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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
Difference between class notes and size notes on website
I enjoy using the native plant database in planning my flower beds. However, I don't know the difference between Class notes and size notes. Can you help me out?
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austin, TX
Using a brush hog on acreage on Bear Creek in Austin, TX.
We have 8 acres off 1826 situated on Bear Creek. It has open areas with scattered large trees (cedar elm, live oak, white oak). Cedars or junipers only along the the lot lines. We've been told we...
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Austin, TX
Trees for privacy screen
Hello, We'd like to plant a privacy screen to hide our view of an adjacent apartment complex. Ideally the trees or other plantings might be a native species, and preferably they would eventually rea...
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Austin, TX
Bluebonnet rosettes in July from Austin
Dear Mr S.P.: Please solve my bluebonnet summer mystery! I established about 1500 sq feet of bluebonnets starting four years ago by scavenging seeds here and there and just scattering in the sprin...
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Austin, TX
Plants for big pots by pool in Austin
Could you please suggest some plants to put in big pots out by my pool? They will get lots of heat and sun. Thanks.
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Austin, TX
Removing Mountain Laurel Seed Pods from Austin
Is it best to remove seed pods from Mt. Laurel or leave them on the tree?
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Austin, TX
Hanging container for west-facing house in Austin TX
I'd like to put a hanging container in front of my house. The front of my house faces west and gets very hot in the summer time, with full sun in the afternoon/evening. What native Texan plants could...
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Austin, TX
Pecan trees too close together in Austin
There are two pecan trees in my central Austin yard. Each is four or five inches diameter at chest height and maybe 15 feet tall. They are within six feet of each other and their canopies interfere wi...
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Austin, TX
Vine recommendations for Central Texas homes
I have hardy plank siding and am looking for a Central Texas native vine that will grow over it. I am trying to keep it from growing under the planks.
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Austin, TX
Potting soil mixture at Wildflower Center from Austin
What potting soil mixture does the Wildflower Center use in its greenhouses for the native plants grown for the Austin Native Plant sales? Is the pH adjusted to match the alkaline soils in this area? ...
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Austin, TX
Lifespan of pecan from Austin
What is the lifespan of a pecan tree? I've seen several places say up to a thousand years, but I'd always thought it was closer to around 300 years. Thanks!
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Austin, TX
Source for DNA sequencing of Opuntia species
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am trying to do a Opuntia speciation study, and rather just identifying the species by morphological comparison, I would also like to go a little deeper by comparing the DNA...
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Austin, TX
Pecan leaves falling of the trees in Austin, TX.
Why are the pecan tree leaves turning black, sappy and falling off the trees, in great quantities? This has happened since the recent rains, all through the Allandale area.
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Austin, TX
Identity of very tall plants in Austin, TX
I have these huge tall plants. They don't seem to want to bloom and they are shading out my other natives. They get very tall. 10 feet or so. What is it?
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Austin, TX
Sticky material dripping from tree in Austin
The tree in my backyard is dripping what I surmise is sap - a thick,fdrake1@ sticky substance in July. What kind of tree is it and is there anything one can do prevent this from happening? Thank you...
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Austin, TX
Aphids in pecan tree from Austin
Last year at this time (midsummer) everything under the canopy of our 60+ year old pecan tree was covered with a sticky substance--plants, lawn furniture, concrete pool deck..Since we had never seen t...
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Austin, TX
Yellowing leaves on non-native jasmine from Austin
Hi, I have a mature jasmine plant in the ground in a very sunny courtyard which gets watered daily. The lower leaves are turning yellow and am wondering if this is too much water for it. The top lea...
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