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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 (Driftwood), TX
Propagation of Lime Prickly Ash in Austin
We found only one small what we think is Zanthoxylum fagara or Lime Prickly Ash, Colima on our 8 acres, and the deer had apparently recently broken the main stem. I quickly made 6 or 7 cuttings, dippe...
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West Lake Hills, TX
How Can I Tell an Invasive Thistle from a Native
Mr Smarty Plants, I have some thistles coming up in my yard. I'd like to keep them if they are native, but not if they are invasive or non-native. How can I tell? My yard is a wild area in West Lak...
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West Lake Hills, TX
Live oaks dying in Austin, TX?
I had my live oak trees trimmed in October(it had been over 5 years) by a reputable Austin company. The tree canopies were not very thick to begin with, but throughout the winter, some trees have los...
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West Lake Hills, TX
Native substitute for traditional Christmas tree
Could you give some recommendations for a substitute of the traditional Christmas tree used during the holiday season? The low light/humidity conditions in the home is a challenge under any circumsta...
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Austin, TX
Propagation and transplanting of Vernonia lindheimeri
I have located a wooly ironweed plant and have taken some seeds to start. This is the only ironweed I have seen. Any suggestions on how to start the seed? Also, if development of the property appea...
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Austin, TX
Invasive nature of non-native Zoysia japonica grass
I have been reading up on Zoysia grass and I am curious about its invasive nature. Is there a good way to keep it from going into my neighbors' yards? I was thinking about using some edging material...
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Austin, TX
Identification of Diospyros texana at Enchanted Rock Park
I took pictures last year in April of one particular large shrub in Enchanted Rock Park. The flowers are extremely fragrant, sort of cluster of tiny creamy white bell shaped. We came back this last we...
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Austin, TX
Properties of Nolina species
I bought two plants that were labeled "Nolina" but one has round leaves and the other has flat leaves with serrations. Are they two different species? Also, can they be divided or is there only on...
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Austin, TX
Genetics of Anemone berlandieri flower colors
Anemone heterophylla or Anemone berlandieri, Genetics. Is the variation in the flower color due to Genetic Incomplete dominance or Codominance? The same codominance seen in carnations.
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AUSTIN, TX
Native trees for cemetery plot in Karnes County, TX
I'm looking for a tree for a cemetery plot in Karnes County at Pana Maria. There will be someone to regularly water it. I understand live oak and pecan are native to the area. I assume these would...
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Austin, TX
Spring blooming Acacia farnsiana in Austin
I've been seeing a large shrub, possibly tree, around Austin this spring - and it is covered is small ball-like orangish-yellow blooms - very tightly covered in these blooms. From the car, it looks ...
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austin, TX
Alternatives to invasive, non-native Vinca minor as ground cover
I live in Central Austin. I want to plant a large area of Vinca minor since it is fast growing and offers attractive ground cover. I assume it requires little care with the rain being sufficient for i...
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Austin, TX
Small flowering tree for cemetery in TX
I am looking for a native large shrub or small tree to plant at a cemetery in Pflugerville, TX, preferable something with flowers. I need something that won't have a large root system that would dis...
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Austin, TX
What is considered mid-winter in Austin, TX
This question was submitted, but I am unsure of the dates the answer is indicating. When is mid-winter? Question: When should I cut back (and how far should I cut back) the following plants in ...
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Austin, TX
removing paper mulberry shoots from lawn
Dear Mr./Ms. Smartypants, I recently moved into an Austin home with the backyard taken over by paper mulberries. There were originally 2-3 large bush/trees, but now that I've removed them I realiz...
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Austin, TX
Flowers found blooming in February in Austin
For people visiting from other states, which flowers usually bloom in February in Austin?
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austin, TX
Evergreen Hedge for Austin
Hello, We live in Austin and have a yard that is almost fully shaded. We have a few burford holly bushes there, but would like to add some evergreen interest. We would love a tall hedge (around 8 ft...
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Austin, TX
Erosion control plants for steep slope in Austin, TX
I'm interested in finding native plants, either perennials or grasses, that would help control erosion on a fairly steep slope. These plants would be in a park, and volunteers will be watering the pl...
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austin, TX
Variegated leaves on Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)
I grew some mexican buckeyes from seed last year and one of them has variegated leaves. I haven't seen this before- have I just not looked at enough mexican buckeyes up close or is this an uncommon f...
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Austin, TX
Bluebonnet blooming in late August
We have a bluebonnet plant in our front yard that has been blooming since July. We did not plant it, it just came up naturally. Is it rare to have a plant still blooming this time of year?
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Austin, TX
Neat and tidy, poolside in Austin Texas.
I have a small section between our pool and fence (approx 3 feet wide). I would like to plant something native that obscures the fence but does not create a mess for the pool. The area gets sun most...
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