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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

Redrock, TX
Plant identification
Can't i.d a small aroid, arisaema(?) sp.; 5" tall. tuber 12" tall by 1" beginning 8" beneath the soil level. flowers are black spathes with white spots. leaves are alternate. common plant but d...
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Sattler, TX
Starting desert willow from seeds
Is it better to sow or start desert willow seeds in pots? If sowing is effective, is fall or spring the best time to sow in the Canyon Lake area of Central Texas?
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New Braunfels, TX
Problems with red oak in New Braunfels TX
One of my red oaks still doesn't have all its flowers. The main bark has some dark stuff oozing out and one of the branches has a fine powdery substance on it. HELP!!!!
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New Braunfels , TX
Will wildflowers planted in late December bloom this year?
I have a home near Canyon Lake and seeded wildflowers on the property in late December. I have since read that the ideal time to seed them is before December 1st. Do they have a chance to bloom this...
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New Braunfels , TX
Plant database correct!
Wrong taxonomy for bald cypress tree family in your plant database?
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New Braunfels, TX
Do pecans and bluebonnets only bloom every other year from New Braunfels TX
Is it true that bluebonnets only seed every other year? I know we see bluebonnets every year, so this is quite a mystery to us. Also, is it the same with pecan trees?
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New Braunfels, TX
Leaf problems on Arizona ash in New Braunfels, TX
I have an Arizona Ash tree that is 10 years old. The leaves have brown spots all over and then eventually the leaves curl up and fall off the tree. Is this a fungus or a bacterial infestation? What...
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New Braunfels, TX
Moth using Agarita as its larval food in New Braunfels, TX
What moth uses agarita as its larval food? It is a perennial problem that can nearly defoliate the specimen and severely limit its flower production.
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New Braunfels, TX
Final size of a Texas mountain laurel
I have purchased a Texas Mountain Laurel. The plant tag says it will grow 25 to 35 feet. LBWF plant data base says 10 to 15 feet. Which data should I go with? It's either plant close but not close to...
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New Braunfels, TX
Native shrub for shade in New Braunfels, Texas
Recently moved to New Braunfels and purchased a house whose backyard consists of giant oaks. Unfortunately there is a chain link fence along the back of the property. I would like to plant a native f...
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New Braunfels, TX
Driveway through a cluster of Oak trees
Construction of a cement driveway through an 8 tree cluster of escarpment oaks is going to require removal of 2 trees in the center. How can this be done without causing damage to remaining trees? Als...
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New Braunfels, TX
Wildflowers after controlled burn in New Braunfels, TX
I live in the Hill Country a few miles north of New Braunfels. As soon as we get enough rain to lift our burn ban, I will be thinning out some of my Ashe juniper and will do some burning in the open ...
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new braunfels, TX
Looking for a vine to grow on limestone pillars.
Could you please suggest a vine which would grow on the limestone pillars at the front of our home near New Braunfels? We would like something that is attractive but does not harm our home. The pill...
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New Braunfels, TX
Cake decorations with flowers
Can I decorate a cake with bluebonnets, lavender or mountain laurel blooms?
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New Braunfels, TX
Native shrubs to plant after Ashe Juniper removal
I live on 7 acres of beautiful Texas Hill Country land just north of New Braunfels. Live oak, Cedar elm, and Ashe juniper dominate the landscape. I have cleared some of the Ashe juniper and would li...
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New Braunfels, TX
How can I distinguish Hibiscus laevis from Pavonia braziliensis in New Braunfels, TX?
How can I distinguish Hibiscus laevis (Halberdleaf Hibiscus) from Pavonia braziliensis (Brazillian Rock Rose)? Earlier this year I was given the former by a friend and former NPSOT chap...
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New Braunfels, TX
Where to find Horseherb seed
I would like to purchase some Horseherb seeds. Can you tell me where I can do that? Either locally or on line. Thank you.
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New Braunfels, TX
Trimming oaks and elms from New Braunfels TX
I would like to trim my live oaks and elm trees at the same time, if possible. I think they are American Elms. When is the best time to do this and avoid oak wilt and Dutch elm disease? Should all c...
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New Braunfels, TX
Tx Mt. Laurel and Mex. Buckeye seed propagation in drought
I live in the Hill Country near New Braunfels. Since I am only at my house in July and August, I would like to plant both Texas Mountain Laurel and Mexican Buckeye from the seeds harvested from mothe...
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New Braunfels, TX
Pruning Leggy Santolina
We are members of the society and have loved your section offering advice. We have green santolina that is becoming quite leggy. I would like to prune them to get them more compact come spring and sum...
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New Braunfels, TX
Butterfly and medicinal plants for New Braunfels
I am in zip code 78132 and we just put in a garden at our front steps- so my choices for plants need to fill a need for beauty and function. I want to include plants that will host and feed butterfli...
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