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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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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Martindale, TX
Identification of invasive plant
I have found an invasive plant species in Martindale, Texas that I would like to identify for family members. It is taking over their pasture and is difficult to eliminate. It has not bloomed yet but...
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Martindale, TX
Replanting yaupon in Blanco TX
How do I replant Yaupon in its native area Blanco TX?
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San Marcos, TX
Landscaping a Fence with Native Plants for Central Texas
I'm looking to landscape my fence that I've lined with woven bamboo. The area gets the hot afternoon sun in summer and is pretty shady in winter. The plants need to be drought and heat tolerant. I'...
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San Marcos, TX
Deer and Drought Resistant Natives for San Marcus, Texas
Hi there, Do you have a list of plants and ground covers (deer/drought resistant) for the San Marcos area? Much as I love grass, it's impossible with this drought. I'd love to have lots of flowers ...
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San Marcos, TX
How to tell the difference between native and non-native thistles
It's thistle time already. There are many plants in the aster family with thistle in their common name. Are "real" thistles only those in the genus Cirsium, or are there others as well? We are tryi...
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San Marcos, TX
Enough sun from San Marcos TX
I would like to plant both Lantana urticoides and Salvia farinacea in area that only has morning to 1pm sun..Will this amount of sun be enough?
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San Marcos, TX
Deer Resistant Pond Plants
I am looking for deer resistant aquatic plants to use around a natural swimming pond in San Marcos, TX. The plants will be used to filter the water in a separate section of the pond. There will be a p...
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San Marcos, TX
Plant ID from San Marcos TX
My dogs love to eat the leaves of a certain little orange wildflower. It might be Wedelia or Texas creeping oxeye. Have you ever heard of this?
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San Marcos, TX
How to tell the difference between native and European thistles
How can I tell the difference between invasive (European) thistles and thistles that are native to Texas? And what is the best way to eradicate the invasive varieties?
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San Marcos, TX
Hyptis alata information for San Marcos TX
We saw a plant called Hyptis olata at the WFC plant sale today and cannot find it in the NPIN list. THis is a new one to us. Can you tell us something about it? THanks.
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San Marcos, TX
Seeding an established buffalograss lawn to make it denser
We have 5400 sq ft of existing Buffalo grass and would like to know if spreading Buffalo grass SEED would help the existing get more full? I can't seem to find the seed here or the Austin area? And, ...
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San Marcos, TX
Source for records of Pleistocene flora of Central Texas
Part of your answer to a question from October 12, 2010 is "..moreover, the evidence goes even further back than the 1800s. Studies of Pleistocene deposits from Central Texas showed ancestral cedar p...
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San Marcos, TX
Watering a vegetable garden in San Marcos TX
Can you give me a general idea how long to run my drip irrigation on my raised vegetable garden? Currently I use it twice daily for one hour. The soil feels slightly moist but not very damp. Should...
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San Marcos, TX
Grass for shady area
I need to find a grass that can grow in a shady area, with some sun. Drought resistant and preferably native to the area. Would like to find a sod if possible. I know it's not a great time to plant n...
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San Marcos, TX
Offer to send Bumelia to Kansas from Central Texas.
If you send my email to the person who wanted the Bumelia lanuginosa (synonym: Sideroxylon langinosum), I will dig some for him/her.
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San Marcos, TX
Propagation of Chandler's craglily from San Marcos TX
Can you please advise me on collecting and propagating seed from Chandlerís craglily -Echeandia chandleri. I have 2 plants that came from the wildflower center. They never seem to multiply, but they d...
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San Marcos, TX
Sooty mold on Sophora secundiflora in San Marcos, TX.
Dear Mr. SP, We have a Sophora secundiflora that is suffering with very black mold or fungus on most of its leaves. Last year, I washed it leaf-by-leaf with soapy water but it's getting too big t...
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San Marcos, TX
Trimmng and fertilizing yucca
Should I cut the stalks of the Yucca that have already bloomed or wait until they dry? How often should I fertilize?
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San Marcos, TX
Common name of non-native Senna corymbosa (Argentine senna)
I just had a plant identified as Senna corymbosa. Can you tell me whether it's a Texas native and what its common name is? Thanks.
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San Marcos, TX
Sources of native grasses and forbs seeds for Hidalgo and Maverick Cos.
I work for TPWD and am working with some irrigation districts in South Texas, trying to get them to plant native grasses and forbs in their ROWs rather than exotic grasses recommended by TxDOT. Can y...
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San Marcos, TX
Not deer eating the Eve's necklace in San Marcos TX
Dear Mr SP, Re: the Eve's necklace being eaten. I'm so sorry that I didn't tell you in my original question which you were kind enough to answer with the speed of lightening, but I am on the East...
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