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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
Need to know about the invasiveness of Datura wrightii.
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently purchased a small Datura wrightii plant for my front garden. I've been researching it, since I know it is quite toxic, and couldn't find a good answer to one quest...
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Austin, TX
Did pre-emergent herbicide for lawn kill oak tree in Austin?
Your article in today's (May 1st)Austin American-Statesman advised against using herbicides around oaks. Does that include the "pre-emergents" that the lawn care companies use in the Spring? I ha...
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austin, TX
Freeze damage to non-native Sago Palms in Austin
Due to the unusually cold winter in Austin my sago palms fronds froze. I have not removed the dead fronds should I? If only the fronds froze when will new fronds start to grow?
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Austin, TX
Distinguishing Bermuda grass from Buffalo grass
Is Bermuda grass taking over my Buffalo grass lawn? I recently sodded a small area of Buffalo Grass 'Prairie' (last fall). It's doing beautifully, or so I think. There are stolons running and reach...
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Austin, TX
Life expectancy for Ulmus crassifolia
What is the life expectancy for a cedar elm? We live in Austin, and the tree was likely here before the house, which was built in 1939.
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Austin, TX
Best for Austin-non-native loquat or kumquat?
I was wondering which tree is suited better in the Austin,TX, area, the Loquat or the Kumquat, do they lose their leaves in the winter and do they bear fruits?
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Austin, TX
Name five non-flowering species at the Wildflower Center.
Can you tell me the names of five non-flowering plant species (true mosses, conifers, ferns) currently growing at your center?
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Austin, TX
Information about non-native Epimedium
What type of barrenwort (Epimedium) will grow well in Central Texas?
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Austin, TX
Stem canker or leaf fungus in Morella cerifera
Dear Mr.Smarty Pants: The upper half of our wax myrtle, which we had allowed (with artful pruning) to reach about ten feet suddenly died this spring (it dropped most of its leaves and didn't sprout...
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Austin, TX
Parthenocissus quinquefolia as replacement for Asiatic jasmine
The deer have stripped the Asiatic jasmine groundcover under my clusters of live oak trees in Southwest Austin. This year the bare areas of ground are covered in Virginia creeper seedlings. I have b...
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Austin, TX
Plants for no sun in Austin
I need recommendations for shrubs that can withstand no sun, something that possibly blooms but does not attract bees, wasps, or any stinging insects (hummingbirds or butterflies ok).
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Austin, TX
Problems with Anacacho Orchid tree in Austin
I have an Anacacho Orchid that is about 9ft tall. It is early May and has not started to put out leaves yet on the old growth. I can't even see any noticeable buds yet. It is still alive because I ha...
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Austin, TX
Sombrerito Mexicano
Ratibida columnifera, almost universally called Mexican hat in English, is native to Texas and also to parts of Mexico, which leads me to wonder what the vernacular name is in Mexican Spanish. Google...
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Austin, TX
Identification of small shrub
Need an identity of a small bush, probably native . There is only a single limb sticking out of a large dense evergreen holly. It is deciduous, has opposite ovate entire simple leaves, and clusters o...
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Austin, TX
Is Black Cherry allelopathic from Austin
Is the Black Cherry an appropriate tree to plant in north Austin as a shade tree? Your site says this tree may be allelopathic to garden plants . Do you know specifically which plants it might help o...
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Austin, TX
Planting plumereia and bird of paradise palm outside in Austin
I have a plumeria and a bird of paradise palm in pots that I want to place in the ground. I've seen plumeria's planted in the ground at a house leading to Bryan College Station that seem to have bee...
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Austin, TX
Snail and slug management in Austin
How can you get rid of large snails in the Austin, TX garden?
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Austin, TX
Leaf spot as indicator of Oak Wilt Disease
I live close to the Wilflower Center. I have two trees in my front yard which are just now showing brown spots on the leaves. I fear this may be oak wilt. Would it be possible for me to bring som...
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Austin, TX
Invasive, non-native Bryophyllum spp. in Austin
I was given two varieties of what I now believe are 'Mother of Millions' and saw that they're considered a noxious weed in Australia. Are these plants considered dangerous to TX if I keep them in ...
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Austin, TX
Passion for passionflower
We have passionflower vine on our trellis. We planted the vines about 3 weeks ago. they grew well and started to flower. Recently a number of the vines began to wither while others are ok. The plants...
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austin, TX
Shrub or tree for large pot in Austin
I have a front-door entryway that faces east, what 3-4 foot shrub/tree would best survive in a large pot? Thanks!
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