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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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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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
Inflorescence of the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
What kind of flower inflorescence do sycamores have?
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Austin , TX
Grass or ground cover for sun/part shade in Austin
I live in Southwest Austin (a couple of miles from the Wildflower Center) and I would like to plant some grass in my backyard. I have a small yard with several oak trees and they have been cut back to...
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Austin, TX
Non-native purple lantana
I have found some purple trailing lantana on our land. (This land has never been inhabited, as far as I know of.) This is not one of the yellow/pink or yellow/red native varieties. Is this indeed a...
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Austin, TX
Getting rid of King Ranch bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum)
I ranch approximately 1500 acres of land seven miles southeast of Marble Falls , Texas . At present, the land is inundated with King Ranch Bluestem; which as you know, kills by smothering all other na...
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Austin, TX
Aromatic sumac in Travis County
This is an answer to article in today's, August 14, newspaper. I assume that aromatic sumac is native to Travis county because I have it all over my property. It turns bright red in the fall adding...
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Austin, TX
When do bluebonnets bloom in Austin
When do Blue Bonnets bloom in Austin? We have someone who wants to come visit and see the Blue Bonnets and I want to tell them the right time of year.. Thanks!!
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austin, TX
Use of surfactants with herbicide for water
I read the article on frogs and the use of Rodeo. Your answer was correct, but to the best of my knowledge, Rodeo is approved for use near water only because it lacks a surfactant. When surfactant...
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Austin, TX
Source for Crushed Limestone Used at the Wildflower Center
Dear Mr. Smarty plants, Do you know where I can find the pulverized limestone that you have at the entrance around the front of the building? It's right around where you have Clematis texensi...
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Austin, TX
Plants for a bioswale or rain garden
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What plants do you recommend for a bioswale or rain garden in Austin, Texas?
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Austin, TX
Plant fans for choosing native plants for the Central Texas region
Has anyone created a plant "fan" that identifies and gives pertinent information on plants for the Central Texas region? The sample that I've found on fourpebblepress.com seems to cover the Rocky ...
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Austin, TX
Curb appeal for sale of house
Help! We're selling our house soon and need to redo our flowerbeds in the front of the house (facing north, gets partial sunlight throughout the day) in the coming weeks but don't have a clue where...
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Austin, TX
Management of xeriscape garden and rock mulch
I have a large xeriscape garden; unfortunately, it is located near some pear trees which drop tons of leaves each fall/winter. The garden is difficult to clean of leaves until I cut back the plants. ...
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Austin, TX
What fertilizer can make potted plants flower in Austin, TX?
I have a Lantana and esmarelda planted in large pots. They froze last winter but have both come back strong except they do not bloom even though I have fertilized. Is there something special I need ...
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Austin, TX
Determine oak wilt in red oaks
I am concerned my red oaks have oak wilt. How can I tell what is wrong with them?
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Austin, TX
Aphid infestation from hackberries in Austin
I've got 5 hackberry trees in my yard and they are all heavily infested with woolly aphids! I wouldn't usually mind, but the aphids are now all over my newly planted native plants. I've read up on...
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Austin, TX
Deer-resistant ground covers
Are there any deer resistant ground covers? Our asiatic jasmine has been eaten up by the deer.
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Austin, TX
Winter plant for area with poor drainage.
I have a 2 ft by 15 ft bed between the concrete patio and the pool that gets run off from the porch roof. I can't gutter the roof, so the bed can get very wet and stay that way for some time. It face...
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Austin, TX
What's that sticky stuff on plants under many trees?
Here in Austin, I've recently noticed a sticky film appearing on shrubs, flowers, grass, etc. under many trees. It appears to be coming from the trees under which they are planted. The sticky film ...
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Austin, TX
Native trees with yellow fall leaves
Hello, I want to plant a medium sized tree in my back yard that has yellow foliage in the fall. I've seen Yellow (in the fall) trees in my part of town (south Austin around West William Cannon)th...
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Austin, TX
Red oak (Quercus shumardii or Q. buckleyi) for small yard.
Hello, I want to plant a red oak but my yard is not large. I'm looking for a red oak that is medium size in width. The height is not so much of a concern. From what I've read, the Shumard is m...
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