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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
Visit Texas to see the Bluebonnets
When is a good time to visit Texas to see the Bluebonnets?
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Austin, TX
Is there any bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) in Austin, TX
Hi there! Can you tell me if there is any Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) growing in the Austin area? Thank you.
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Austin, TX
How and when to harvest bluebonnets.
A previous answer mentioned harvesting bluebonnet seeds by pulling up the whole plant when the seed pods turn brown. Two clarifications - when do the seed pods turn brown as these plants are hard to ...
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Austin, TX
Removing St. Augustine, replacing with native plants
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, always excited to talk to the Green Guru himself. I've recently purchased a house in South Austin and am interested in establishing a small, 500+ sq ft, prairie grass and wi...
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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
Fruiting of non-native fig trees
Regarding a Fig Tree that I have, it's about 3yrs old. Last year it gave us about a handful of figs and they were good. This year the small tree is full of figs and they remain green. This summer I h...
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Austin, TX
Horse herb available by seed?
I live in Hays County in Texas, and I would like to plant horse herb on a slope that is now covered with a variety of tall grasses. Is horse herb available in seed form? If so, how may I order some? S...
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Austin, TX
Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) and buffalo grass mixes
I live in Austin, TX and have visited the Wildflower Center in the past and enjoyed the display of native grass mixes. Can you tell me about the variations of buffalograss mixes... which ones are most...
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Austin, TX
Sap flowing from live oak trees in Austin
I have live oak trees in my backyard,17 to be exact. I live in Northwest Austin, in Williamson county. There are two live oaks growing about 4-5 feet apart in the center of my yard. One appears to ha...
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Austin, TX
Failure to thrive of Texas Mountain Laurel in Austin
I have an adult (over 25 years?, 20 feet tall?) Mountain Laurel next to my house in Austin. The winter of 2009/10 it lost most of its leaves. It did bloom and leaf out this Spring--not vigorous espec...
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austin, TX
Control of live oak root sprouts, or suckers, under tree
Have live oak trees in clusters with circular beds surrounding in frontyard. Have been invaded by some type weed that looks a bit like holly. Woody stem a few inches high with several serrated leave...
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Austin, TX
Native grass for shaded lawn in Austin
Hello, I've read all your info on the native lawns and came by the center on Sunday. We live in Circle C and want to plant a lawn in our backyard. We don't want something that needs a lot of wate...
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Austin, TX
Proximity of male possumhaw to female
Mr. Smarty Pants, In regards to fertilization, how close by must a male possumhaw be located to a female possumhaw?
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Austin, TX
Oak leaf blister on live oak tree
Our live oak tree has a bad case of oak leaf blister and is really in need of a trim. Will it hurt the tree if we have it trimmed now? Thanks.
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Austin, TX
Photograph of seedling or pigeon berry (Rivina humilis) seedling
Where can I find a photograph of a pigeon berry seedling?
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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
Shrubs with berries for birds and growing small red oak tree
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Recently, I saw a short article about attracting birds to one's yard. The article said to plant "berry-bearing" shrubs, but didn't name any specific shrubs. Could you tell...
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