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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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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
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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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
Dietes bicolor(Bicolor Iris) winter-hardiness in Austin
I have many bi-color irises (dietes bicolor), the freeze in Austin turned them brown. Can I trim them back without harming the plants? If trimming is acceptable, can you give me tips?
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Austin, TX
Fungus gnats on indoor plants
Hello, I live in Austin and I work in an office where we like to have plants. Recently we started to get these annoying tiny, little nits, how can we get rid of them without harming my plants. Help th...
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Austin, TX
Propagation of Passiflora lutea by seed
How long does it take to germinate yellow passionflower vine seeds? Where can a vine or seeds be purchased? What would they cost?
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Austin, TX
Leaf problems on non-native Pachira aquatica
I have a Pachira Aquatica. I have had it for 6 months and it has been thriving and growing very tall with nice leaves. Lately some of the leaves have become mottled yellowish green and fallen off. Ca...
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Austin, TX
Chlorotic leaves on yaupon in Austin
My yaupon holly looks chlorotic, it is 7 years old, I do not feed it, just a little seaweed occasionally. I am a totally organic gardener.
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Austin , TX
Crape myrtle in Austin
Please don't bother to answer my question about how to treat a crepe myrtle with sticky stuff falling from it. I just found the answer on your site. Good site, by the way.
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Austin, TX
Container vegetable gardening in Austin
Is vegetable container gardening an option with Austin's hot summers? I live in an apartment and I really want to plant an organic vegetable and herb container garden. I'm having a hard time findin...
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Austin, TX
Saprophytic fungus on mulch
I just did some major landscaping in my west Austin, TX backyard. I added many native plants and mulched all of the new beds. I did this just before the heavy rains in the past two weeks. I now not...
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Austin, TX
Tentative identification of Ibervillea lindheimeri
I live close to the Center and found a plant in the park near my house I'd like identified. It was a vine with bright red fruit on it. The fruit was about the size of a cherry tomato but was oblong...
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Austin, TX
Evergreen native trees for Austin
Please recommend all evergreen native trees for Austin TX.
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austin, TX
Privacy plantings to replace invasive bamboo
We are looking for good screening plants for our new house (the houses are very close). We like the way bamboo looks it is tall and narrow for the most part, but we do not want bamboo since it is inv...
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Austin, TX
Low height, drought tolerant grass for Central Texas
What is the best drought tolerant grass for Central Texas that can be used as a low height lawn? I remember seeing a news account (Austin TV) about some UT research at the Wildflower Center that deve...
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Austin, TX
Restoration of mistflowers suffering from wet season
I have planted gregg's mistflower in a bed that receives morning sun and afternoon semi-shade. It was beautiful and covered with blooms and butterflies this spring, but suddenly has become brown and ...
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Austin, TX
Tiger lilies for Austin
My dear friend absolutely loves tiger lilies, and I would love to plant some for her, but I wonder if the short winters here in Austin, TX make growing these difficult.. I know little of growing flowe...
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Austin, TX
Identifiation of Castela erecta ssp. texana as armagosa
I am reading a document that includes the name Armagosa in a list of plants identified in a south Texas (Maverick Co.) vegetation analysis(shrub/sub-shrub layer). Unfortunately the list of species di...
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