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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
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
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
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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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
Penta and licorice plants for Austin
For Austin location Are you familiar with a small flowering plant called Penta? How about Licorice? If yes, could you provide growing conditions. Thanks
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Austin, TX
Native climbing rose for Austin
Is there such a thing as a native climbing rose that would do well in Austin?
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Austin, TX
Assessment of Turffalo variety of buffalo grass (Bouteloua dachtyloides)
Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, Now its March 2008, and your trial installation of Turfallo has had a year to prove itself; I'm interested to know your opinion of Turfallo Grass. There are such good e-c...
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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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austin, TX
Diagnosis of problem and treatment of damaged Cedar Elm
Part of our mature Cedar Elm looked damaged last summer. We were advised by a landscape designer to spray it with Kocide in late January as a treatment. Is there an alternative to this? Should we h...
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Austin, TX
Freeze damage to dwarf Barbados Cherry in Austin
This past winter was colder than usual here, in the southwestern outskirts of Austin, but I am surprised that my established Dwarf Barbados Cherry, on the south side of my house froze completely to th...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for privacy screen in Austin
I would like some suggestions for plants to form a privacy screen between our backyard and our neighbor's. The site is shady, under old Texas Ash and pecan trees, and is located in North central Aust...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for container gardens in Central Texas
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I moved to TX last year, for now living in an apartment with a good-size but shady deck; my garden in VA was full of VA native plants. What TX natives, if any, can I grow in ...
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austin, TX
Need a source of sulfuric acid for scarifying bluebonnet seeds in Austin, TX.
I see that you recommend soaking blue bonnet seeds in concentrated h2so4 to facilitate germination. Where do you suggest I buy the sulfuric acid? I live here in Austin. Thank you,
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Austin, TX
Source for Impatiens capensis in Austin
Where can I buy a Jewelweed plant in Austin, Tx?
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Austin, TX
Mail order sources for Salvia
Do you know of any mail order sources for Salvia?
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Austin, TX
Pruning for Spring
When should I cut back (and how far should I cut back) the following plants in order to promote growth in the spring: Salvia gregii, Salvia leucantha, Ruellia (Mexican petunia), Plumbago, Sku...
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Austin, TX
Red-backed bugs on mountain laurel (Sophoro secundiflora)
I found red-backed bugs (in fact two end-to-end like the east Texas love bugs) on my mountain laurel which has been losing leaves. Are these bugs the culprit?
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Austin, TX
Seeds from opuntia
How do I get seeds from opuntias?
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Austin, TX
Japanese honeysuckle invading a backyard habitat in Austin
It has been a few weeks since we have been to our backyard (it is a place in need of desperate attention, but we have been re-landscaping the front yard first). When we went out today to start plannin...
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