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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

Leander, TX
Flowers that attract Queen butterflies
Walking into the cloud of Queen butterflies around my Gregg's Mistflowers is one of the coolest things I've ever experienced, so I started wondering how I could prolong this "visitation". Can you...
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Leander, TX
Dividing Gulf muhly in Leander TX
I purchased a 1-gallon pot of Gulf Muhly (muhlenbergia capillaris) and am wondering if I can divide the clump in order to make my purchase go further. And, regarding that method of propagation, could...
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Leander, TX
Whether Venus flytrap (dionaea muscipula) is endangered
I am a 4th grader at Whitestone Elementary School in Leander, Texas. I am in the Quest program and I am doing a project on the venus flytrap and would like to ask you some questions. 1. Is there an ...
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Leander, TX
Plants to repel mosquitoes from Leander TX
What are the best plant for repelling mosquitoes in the Leander area? The land here is hilly and rocky.
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Leander, TX
Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
We have Bermuda grass. Large patches have died due to the drought and our yard has been taken over by weeds and St. Augustine grass whose seeds must have blown in. Even when the grass was in great con...
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Leander, TX
Problems with Mountain Laurel in Leander TX
My 13 yr old Mountain Laurel tree is sick. It has lost most of its leaves after blooming this spring. The twigs seem to still be pliable so I assume alive. I saw no moth worms or bags this year, ju...
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Leander, TX
Native, full-sun, 4-in. evergreen grasses for Leander TX
Help! I need a native Texas evergreen sedge/grass/ground cover for full-sun/hot/dry area between sidewalk and street. The plants will need to be kept about 4" high, if growth is higher it must be mow...
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Leander, TX
List of native perennial Texas flowers
Good day, I am searching for a list of native Texas flowers (preferably perennials) for a flower garden. Thank you.
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Leander, TX
Central Texas flowers suitable for cutting from Leander TX
Please suggest Central TX native flowers that would be especially suitable for a "cutting garden" for interior arrangements.
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Leander, TX
Identification of stinging plant in Central Texas
I live on 15 acres on Nameless Road. When walking on property, occasionally my leg/ankle brushes against some plant that "stings" me. Like little needles in my skin. Doesn't last long, but becau...
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Leander, TX
Lantana isn't blooming in Leander, TX.
I bought a small potted New Gold Lantana about 2-1/2 weeks ago. I planted it in full sun and covered it with mulch. The few original flowers have fallen off. Although, I see a couple of new buds, ...
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Leander, TX
Plants for strip between sidewalk and street
Dear Sir, My name is Brandon. I live in Leander TX (just North of Cedar Park). I have an area that is in the "street strip" (in between sidewalk and asphalt) of my home that I would like to d...
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Leander, TX
Identity of plant called 'Bell-flowered Yucca' associated with Lynn Lowrey
Please help identify a plant, the seeds of which are labeled "Bell Flowered Yucca" and " H. lowyrii" (or, presumably, some variant of Lynn Lowrey's name). I believe that this seed was collected ...
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Leander, TX
Soapberry Transplant shock symptoms
Please suggest a cause & cure for general yellowing of the leaves of Western Soapberry when planted in the ground 20 miles NW of Austin (thin, poor clay over limestone). Trees still in containers are...
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Leander, TX
Native Texas Hill Country nitrogen-fixing plants
Please help me find a listing of native (TX Hill Country) nitrogen-fixing plants.
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Leander, TX
Marbleseed (Onosmodium sp.) propagation and use as groundcover for
I am interested in any information, esp. propagation & suitability as a landscape plant, (possible ground cover?) for marble seed. I have found it growing in deep shade on stream banks. It has a 4--...
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Leander, TX
Identity of a yellow-flowered wildflower with prickly burs
Hi there. We have seen a wildflower, probably invasive, that is at least in Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties. We have tried to identify it without success, The structure of the plant is remark...
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Leander, TX
Will the new bluebonnet plants survive the winter?
I live in Leander, and we've had 19 1/2 inches of rain in the past three weeks. ALL of our bluebonnets are coming up! Can they survive the winter?
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Leander, TX
Can users sort plant lists in the Plant Database?
Although your database searches are very useful, I would like to take it further, for example by sorting the "Central Texas Recommended" list on various columns, as you might do in a spreadsheet. D...
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Leander, TX
Desmodium spp. (beggar's lice) in Leander TX
Our home backs up to a greenbelt on Blockhouse Creek in Williamson County, Texas (FM 1431 and Parmer Lane). The combination of the flood and drought has left our beautiful greenbelt with an abundance...
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Leander, TX
When to seed a native grass lawn in a drought area?
I want to plant a native grass lawn. It is raining now. Can I plant it in December? It might not be raining in the spring if the drought continues.
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