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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

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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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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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
Tough grasses for shade
What kind of grass/groundcover can I put in our backyard that is shady/dry and has 50 lb. high energy dog traffic? Was considering Horse Herb but not sure, as it sounds like you can't get rid of it,...
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Austin, TX
Are the moths in my Austin, TX live oaks harmful?
It is November and my live oak trees are full of moths. What are they and are they harmful to my trees?
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Austin, TX
Franciscans and bluebonnets
I always thought the bluebonnets were native to Texas. However, I'm reading a book on the Missions of Old Texas and the author states the Franciscan brought into Texas the horse, cow, honey bees ...
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Austin, TX
Newly planted anacacho leaf browning
I have just put my anacacho orchid into the ground and its leaves are turning brown and falling off. Is that normal for this time of year, or have I shocked it? What can I do to ensure its health?
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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
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
Information about non-native tung tree
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a tree growing in my yard in North Austin which I can't identify. I have been told it is a 'tong' or 'tung' tree but can't find it in any reference books. It is de...
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Austin, TX
When is Texas mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) mature
Can you tell me the life cycle for the native Texas mesquite? I have found one source that says it matures in 2-5 years, but no other sources confirm this. We are hoping to classify mesquite flooring ...
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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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Austin, TX
Elimination of nutgrass from native flower bed
Nutgrass!*#!* My new bed in NE Austin wraps around a hot sunny SW street corner. Grass wouldn't grow there [I wouldn't water it.] I removed the turf [mostly stickers] to a depth of about 4", carefu...
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Austin, TX
Winter expectations for Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides)
I planted some buffalo grass (from seed) in April of this year. Iíve got a nice patch now, though itís starting to brown up some. Iím wondering what to expect from this patch over the winter- will i...
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Austin, TX
Finding Viguiera dentata seeds or plants.
I'm trying to locate seeds or plants of Viguiera Dentata, but have been unsuccessful. With the poliferation of these beautiful flowers this fall, I don't understand why I can't locate them. Do you ...
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Austin, TX
Flameleaf sumac problems
I have three flameleaf sumacs, which were planted last December. One is doing very well, but two are losing their leaves. First, black spots appear on the leaves, then the leaves turn yellow and wilt,...
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Austin, TX
Lantanas failing to bloom, turning brown
The lantana in my front yard does not bloom, is not overwatered but does get watered, leaves turned brown and plants generally have not grown. The lantana in the rest of the yard are in bloom and lo...
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Austin, TX
Potting soil recipe for azaleas
I have a couple of Azaleas in pots that need repotting.I can't remember the recipe for the medium I put them in last time other than pine bark mulch. I think there were three ingredients. What is ...
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Austin, TX
Leaves falling early from red oaks.
The leaves on my Texas red oaks are dropping off prematurely. This usually doesn't happen until late November/early December. I'm wondering if it has something to do with our wet summer, or if I sho...
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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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