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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
Pruning practices from Austin
I need to do some pruning in my front beds and I know nothing about plants. From what I have been able to identify I have bicolor irises, plumbago, Japanese Aralia. I don't even know where to begin o...
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Austin, TX
Suckers from Oak Tree Roots in Austin
Hi. I am a home owner in Austin TX with several live oak trees. We love them and want to keep them healthy. We have a nice landscape in the back yard and Iím wondering if you can answer a quest...
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Austin, TX
Problems with claret cup cactus in Austin
I have a claret cup cactus in a terra-cotta pot that bloomed beautifully a few years ago but hasn't since. This year, it set about a dozen buds and looked poised to bloom like crazy, but two weeks la...
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Austin, TX
Wildlife garden for Austin
I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
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Austin, TX
Turf for high-traffic area in Austin
I am building a large soccer field at my preschool in Austin, TX in a full sun area. What type of grass would be best for me to use given that it will be a very high-traffic area with lots of direct ...
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Austin, TX
Need suggestions for a replacement tree for Hackberry tree in Austin, TX in Austin TX.
We have a large hackberry tree in our front yard. We are cutting it down this fall. I would like to replace it with a tree native to this area..preferably something fast growing. What are your reco...
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Austin, TX
How to deal with suckers on Flame-leaf Sumac
Hi! It seems you can have too much of a good thing! Our flameleaf sumac is taking over our yard. There are multiple shoots appearing in our flower beds and in the lawn. How do I get rid of the unwante...
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Austin, TX
Can bastard cabbage be eaten from Austin
On a local cooking show they were talking about cooking local foods and mentioned bastard cabbage but never showed how to cook it or if it was in fact edible. Would be a way to help get rid of it if ...
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Austin, TX
Holes in trunk of Monterey Oak in Austin, TX.
My Monterrey Oak (about 4 in diameter) has a problem. It started budding out and had a few leafs, then just quit. It had what I thought was new buds that would develop, but didn't. Then, the exist...
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Austin, TX
Is it normal for the bark to fall off an oak tree in Austin, TX
Is it normal for live oak bark to fall off when touched? I am afraid to get near them?
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Austin, TX
Day trips for wildflower viewing from Austin
I live in Austin, Texas. Where is the best place for bluebonnet viewing? Or a day trip to see wildflowers? Thank you.
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Austin, TX
Source for non-native, invasive Winter Honeysuckle from Austin
Seeing Lonicera abiflora today reminds me of the "winter honeysuckle" my grandfather grew in San Antonio from 1920s or so through the 1950's. It was a bush with stiff upright stems and bloomed cre...
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Austin, TX
Identification of Queen Anne's Lace look-alike
I am trying to identify a plant/weed that grows here in Austin but I haven't found an exact match in your databases. It looks very similar to Queen Anne's lace and to your photos of yarrow but the l...
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Austin, TX
Growing non-native grapefruit from seeds from Austin
Can you grow ruby red grapefruit trees from seeds?
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Austin, TX
Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
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Austin, TX
Lilies not blooming from Austin
Last December 8, you published a letter in the Statesman that I had written to you regarding Rain Lilies, Oxblood Lilies, and Copper Lilies. The were sprouting in my garage in a bag. You recommended...
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Austin, TX
Plants for pond, for incline and area with poor soil
I have three plant recommendation questions for Austin, TX. 1. I have a large pond that I would like to put native aquatic plants in. What are some hardy aquatic natives I could put in? The pond ...
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Austin, TX
Is it OK to remove soil around oaks - Austin, TX.
I have several oaks trees (one live oak + burr oaks) from 15'-35' in height. They seem healthy. A local arborist says they were planted too deep and that the soil around them needs to be excavated t...
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Austin, TX
Seeding success with Penstemon cobaea from Austin
I've never had much luck in harvesting seeds from foxgloves (Penstemon cobaea, I think). Whenever I open the seed casing, the seeds inside are covered with some kind of mold. What's going on, and ho...
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Austin, TX
Can Monterrey Oak be topped into a bush from Austin TX
I received a suggestion to use Monterey oak as privacy hedge by topping the small tree and letting it bush. I can't find any pictures or info on this being done though.
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Austin, TX
Brown blade tips on Habiturf from Austin
After carefully following all the directions, II recently planted Habiturf and it's growing well. After the first mowing, however, we discovered the top half of the blades turned brown. We have a pus...
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