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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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Center, TX
Fast-growing evergreens for privacy in Center, TX
I live in East Texas and am looking for a fast growing evergreen for a privacy screen around my backyard. The area gets partial sun and the soil has a lot of clay in it.
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Austin, TX
Problems with non-native Bradford pear in Austin
Hi, I planted a Bradford Pear tree about five years ago, and half of it is not filling out with leaves very well. Then about a month I noticed leaves here or there curling brown and dying, and causin...
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Austin, TX
Native Texas tree for anniversary in Austin
My husband and I would like to plant a tree in our yard commemorating our 5 year anniversary (wood anniversary). What native Texas tree can we plant in June? I love Red buds and any pretty blooming ...
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Austin, TX
Muscari neglectum image
I am doing a school project and found a native plant on the native plant information network image gallery. It is plant NPIN Image Id 524. What is it's name?
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Austin, TX
Native plants for cemetery north of Dallas
I need something to plant on a grave in a country cemetery north of Dallas. There's no water piped to the site; it's basically just a pasture. I'm hoping to find a native plant that will be fairly ...
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Austin, TX
Native shade trees for Austin
I am building a new home that does not have any trees close by-- I want to have several shade trees to increase the efficiency of my home. What are your suggestions for an easy care, fast-growing, an...
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Austin, TX
Seeds from opuntia
How do I get seeds from opuntias?
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Austin, TX
Eliminating stinging nettles in lawn in Austin
How do I get rid of stinging nettle that is dispersed through my lawn. It's not like the nettle pictures I see online - they are short plants and have narrow leaves - but covered with spines. Mowin...
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Austin, TX
Transplanting large trees in Austin, TX
Hello, I'm new to Austin and live in Circle C Subdivision off of Hwy 45 and Spruce Canyon. We would like to plant a couple of trees that will provide shade. I've read your Q&As but would like ad...
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Austin, TX
Looking for a good cultivar of Prunus mexicana.
Has anyone come up with a good cultivar of Prunus Mexicana? As in, one selected from the wild? Or a hybrid with a European plum? I'd like one in my yard (I have also wanted a good Purple Leaf Plum, b...
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Austin, TX
Yellowing of fronds on Sago Palm
Our Sago Palm now has all yellow fronds from the Winter frosts. Should they be cut off? Will the plant grow new fronds from the bottom to replace the ugly looking ones that are there? And why do I se...
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Austin, TX
How will my Texas Mountain Laurel survive clay soil?
Mr. Smarty Pants: I live in a new neighborhood (brownfield site) in Central Austin where the developers have put fill in the yards. After not much more than 2 inches of topsoil you encounter fairl...
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Austin, TX
How do I get rid of Smilax bona-nox?
Hi, we live in Circle C and our home backs to an easment area which has become overrun with what some are calling wild grapevine. Recently we noticed a different vine coming up in our backyard throug...
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Austin, TX
Suggested plants for between flagstones in Austin, TX
I would like to plant something between my flagstones on patio. I am taking up the cement mortar and want something that doesn't require a lot of water, low growing, and can stand a little traffic. ...
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Austin, TX
Should hole in escarpment live oak be filled in Austin?
Regarding one of my mature escarpment live oaks: should an old hole (about 8" across) in the trunk (caused by the improper cutting of a branch) be filled? A tree service technician advised me that he...
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Austin, TX
What is the acreage of your gardens?
The wildflower gardens and display areas comprise about how much, either percentage or acreage, of the entire 279 acres at the Wildflower Center? Does that also include areas for growing flowers for ...
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Austin, TX
Ground cover for slippery slope
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a ground cover for a slippery slope. Do you have any suggestions?
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Austin, TX
Is there a purple passion hibiscus?
Hello! I bought a climbing vine in a hanging basket that looks like a passion flower vine to me. However, I was told that it was a "purple passion hibiscus." I cannot find such a flower on the inter...
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Austin, TX
Availability of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) for Central Texas
I'd like to buy a flowering dogwood tree. Love the fall berries and spring flowers. I haven't had been able to find them at the nurseries I frequent (Great Outdoors, Natural Gardener, Breed, Barton ...
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Austin, TX
Verifying safety of berries on a red mulberry tree in Austin
I think I have a red mulberry tree on a newly purchased property. The property sits on Lake Austin and the tree is at least 40 feet tall with red fruits about an inch long that look like skinny black...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for a school garden in Austin
We are starting a native garden at our school in Central Austin, what native plants and flowers would be best to plant? The area we are planting faces east. We also need drought tolerant plants becau...
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