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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Valley CIty, ND
North Dakota Riverbank Stabilization
Can you suggest plants to prevent and stabilize river bank erosion on Sheyenne River, ND? Must be tolerant to cold, varying level of salts and sulfates and water level (from drought to flooding)
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Fargo, ND
Trumpet flower side effects
What happens if you eat a trumpet flower, what are the side effects and dangers?
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Stratford, SD
Can Calycanthus floridus survive in South Dakota?
Calycanthus in South Dakota? I've recently purchased some seeds for a calycanthus plant (floridus I think). I'm going to start them indoors but am wondering if this can survive a South Dakota winter...
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Morris, MN
Herbarium locations for Bifora americana
Dr Hampton: I am trying to find specific locations of populations of Bifora americana (prairie bishop). Apparently, many collections of this species have been made in the Dallas-Ft Worth area as we...
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Mclaughlin, SD
Information on medicinal plant uses by Dakota Indians
I would like to know what the plants were that were used for medicinal purposes by the plains Indians in the Dakotas. Is there a place/site that I can go to to research the data?
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Greeley, CO
Groundcovers for area under blue spruce in Colorado
I have a 40 ft blue spruce limbed up 6 ft in my yard on the west in Greeley, CO (50 mi N Denver, zone 4 or 5). It gets some sun underneath in the later afternoon and evening. Can you suggest 4 to 5 ...
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Blumenort, MB
Identification of Monotropa uniflora
I found a peculiar flower in Nopoming Provincial Forest, Manitoba last weekend (August 4th). I found it growing in moss on top of rock (the Canadian shield). It was in shade. About 3 or 4 were clum...
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Winnipeg, MB
Plant identification request for a vine
I would like to identify a wild vine that I have just discovered in our bush. It has leaves similar in shape to a maple leaf,approx.4"wide, has white flower spikes, and some kind of a fruit or pod t...
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Hadashville, Manitoba
Propagation of cedar cuttings in Manitoba
How to propagate cedar cuttings to form a hedge?
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Dassel, MN
Containerized honeysuckle for Dassel MN
We are renting our house but I would like to enjoy my own honeysuckle. Can they be planted in a big pot so that I can take it with me when we move.
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Hutchinson, MN
Mystery plant in private garden in Hutchinson MN
I recently toured an amazing private garden. While touring the owner called her potted plant with purple clustered flowers something that sounds like 'pinsta'. Do you have any idea what it might ha...
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Lake Francis, MB
Plant with poisonous thorns
Is there a bush or tree out there that has thorns on it that can make you swell and cause you to feel like you can hardly move you're whole hand.
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petersfield, MB
Growing Indian Wild Rice
Could you tell me who has the Canadian rights to wild indian rice grass. It is a drought tolerant grass used in flour production for gluten free products. thanks
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Rockford, MN
Grasshopper-resistant landscape plants?
We have a ton of grasshoppers in our area. I would like to plant bushes and flowers that the grasshoppers will not eat. Can you suggest any??
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Sioux Falls, SD
Privacy hedge for South Dakota
Hi, I'm looking for something to use as a hedge. 8 foot or so tall offering semi privacy all year. I like dogwoods but loss of leaves in the winter makes me skeptical. Boxwood would be interesting...
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Chisholm,, MN
Pruning of Hamelia patens, Firebush
I have a Hamelia Patens (Fire Bush) it says it will grow to 12 feet high and 5-6 feet across. Can I keep pruning it to about 5 feet without damaging the shrub?
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Ramsey, MN
Getting rid of sandburs in horse pasture in Minnesota
How do I get rid of sandburs in my horse pasture?
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Maple Grove , MN
Replacing river birch from Maple Grove MN
How soon after taking out a river birch clump tree and grinding the stump would we be able to plant a new birch clump?
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Excelsior, MN
Full Sun, Wind-Tolerant Shrubs and Vines for Steep MN Hillside
My neighbor and I share a very steep, large (in total almost 200 ft. wide) west-facing hillside in Excelsior, MN on Lake Minnetonka. We both have a flat grass area at the bottom so the hillside does n...
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Coon Rapids, MN
Leaf drop from maple tree in Minnesota
I have about a 30 ft maple tree in my yard, last fall I trimmed it pretty good because the branches were getting low where you could not walk under it or get grass to grow. This is the 2nd time in abo...
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Brooklyn Park, MN
Limiting erosion around pond from Brooklyn Park MN
Minnesota resident, wants to find plant limit erosion from pond?
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