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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

Sunset Valley, TX
Variation in leaves for Vitis mustangensis
Hi, I am doing a sculpture of a mustang grape vine in limestone. In seeking a good leaf image I notice that there are both roundish shaped leaves and highly divided or "fingered" shapes on your sit...
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Austin , Texas, TX
Clipping of beans from newly planted Tecoma stans
I purchased a Esperanza Plant in a pot from a nursery in April of 2008. We planted it and it is doing fine, but came with blooms and beans. Do I need to do clip or prune the beans at this stage of g...
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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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Leaves on Spanish oaks in Hays County TX dying
I have many Spanish Oaks on my Hays County property. The leaves started blooming last week, but this week all the young leaves are brown and appear to be dying. This is happening to all the otherwise ...
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