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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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Questions From Near You

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
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
Non-native, invasive Paulownia for San Marcos TX
Can a Paulownia tree grow in San Marcos? If so were can I get one?
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San Marcos, TX
Is Scutellaria suffrutescens native to Texas from San Marcos TX
Is Scutellaria suffrutescens (Pink skullcap) a Texas native? I have found many conflicting answers and even seen it called Texas skullcap on sites that say it's native to Mexico. We will consider you...
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San Marcos, TX
Control of ball moss in oak trees
I live in San Marcos, Texas and I have a two acre lot with lots of oak trees. Most of these trees have so much ballmoss attached to them that the leaves and branches are not visible anymore. Is ther...
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San Marcos, TX
Concerns about swings on trees in Arboretum from San Marcos
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We very much enjoyed our visit to the new Arboretum this morning! It is already lovely with native species but will really be something with the additions the Wildflower Cent...
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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
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
Wildflowers for decorating for a wedding from San Marcos TX
I am in the early stages of planning my wedding for next year. I would like to decorate with wildflowers in mason jars. I need to set a date! What is the peak season for wildflowers blooming in centra...
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San Marcos, TX
Destroying seeds of Chinaberry tree
I have a "chinaberry" tree in my yard, and while I understand that it is an invasive plant to Texas, I was hoping to save the large mature tree. As an effort to be more responsible I have been coll...
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San Marcos, TX
What is eating Eve's Necklace in San Marcos TX
A small Styphnolobium affine in my yard is repeatedly being defoliated by something. It courageously leafs out again each time, even in the drought. There is a larger tree nearby that remains untouc...
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San Marcos, TX
Pruning a Wafer Ash to make it upright
How do I trim a Wafer Ash? It lays on the ground. Is that normal? Does it need to be upright?
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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
Identification of plant, possibly Justicia pilosella, for groundcover
I'm newly relocated to Texas and find I have a yard with three major types of green growing. Close to the house (and mostly shaded) is St. Augustine. Furthest out front, (unshaded) is the Bermudagra...
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San Marcos, TX
Winter survival of non-native Mandevilla vine
Last summer I bought a dwarf mandavilla vine that blooms deep red and planted it in a pot and kept in on my east-facing porch, where its tendrils hung over the pot. I had to move it to shelter for the...
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San Marcos, TX
Is Talinum paniculatum native to Central Texas?
I just bought a plant in Austin called Talinum paniculatum, Jewels of Opar. We are adamant about growing only local natives in the yard so it will have to be a potted plant unless you can verif...
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San Marcos, TX
Unidentified stalk, possibly manfreda, from San Marcos TX
I had a very weird stalk pop up in my yard in San Marcos TX this month (May 2014) It bloomed very quickly and appears to be a manfreda but there is no rosette, or leaves of any kind - just the thick o...
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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
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 solve a search problem on the Native Plant Database!
When I use the LBJ Wildflower Center's Plant Identification Guide, it ALWAYS comes up with no results. It also ALWAYS comes up with Family: Acanthaceae. Could this be why NO question EVERY produces A...
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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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