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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 Antonio, TX
Curing plant rash
I went walking in the woods a few weeks ago, and my leg swiped some kind of cactus or something. It scratched me up and I had to remove little white spines with tweezers. I developed an intensely itch...
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San Antonio, TX
How far east to avoid Ashe juniper pollen from Austin?
How far East of San Antonio and Austin do I have to go to avoid the pollen of Juniperus Ashei? Is Bastrop county safe? I'd be happy if it were gone 90% of the winter days - will the wind keep it aw...
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San Antonio, TX
Problems with a Hackberry tree in San Antonio.
Our old hackberry tree fell over last year. Now we have dozens of new ones popping up in the same area. We want to transplant a few to another area of the yard, but they aren't surviving. It appears ...
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San Antonio, TX
Identification of vine in California
Recently a volunteer vine appeared along a fence line in my yard. It has grown rapidly, has small, vaguely heart-shaped leaves, tendrils to climb with and tiny yellow flowers. As the flower fades a fr...
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San Antonio, TX
Non-native Pride of Barbados from San Antonio
I have some very successful wildly blooming "Dwarf Pride of Barbados" plants growing in my xeriscape garden. Each year I cut them back to the ground. I have just purchased a new variety called "...
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San Antonio, TX
Is there a red esperanza (Tecoma stans)?
There is a red esperanza that I pass by everyday on my way home from work. I have never seen this plant anywhere but this particular spot. Is there really a variety that is red or do you think it is...
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San Antonio, TX
Source for non-native, invasive Chocolate Mimosa
Hi, I was wondering if you know where I can get seeds for a Chocolate Mimosa Tree? I saw one and I fell in love with the colors but I can not find any seeds or a tree.
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San Antonio, TX
Need ground cover plants to grow in the shade a large oak in San Antonio, TX
We have a large backyard in San Antonio covered with live oak and red oak. Since grass does not do well in this shade / bright shade area I would like to plant a low growing ground cover and then add...
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San Antonio, TX
Pruning mature cedar elm trees in San Antonio
When is the right time to prune my several mature cedar elm trees? I'm in San Antonio, and they have never been trimmed in the 55 years we have lived in this home. I have several that are at least 7...
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San Antonio, TX
Leaves on non-native Chinese pistashe tree yellowing in San Antonio TX
My chinese pistashe tree leaves are turning yellow. The tree is about 25 years old. the last time it did this I applied some iron granules into the ground around it. However I have forgotten how mu...
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San Antonio, TX
Plants for narrow planter boxes in San Antonio
We have a narrow flower planter box in three sections above a french drain in front of our house. The box is about 2 feet high (filled with Gardenville soil) above a french drain covered with filter ...
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San Antonio, TX
List of poisonous plants for Bexar County, Texas
I need to know local poisonous plants in Bexar County San Antonio. Please respond soon I'm trying to get Tenderfoot tonight and am doing my board of review.
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San Antonio, TX
Growing Big Red Sage from Seed in San Antonio
I harvested some seed this year from my Big Red Salvia (Salvia penstemonoides). I have searched multiple sites looking for information on growing this wonderful salvia but cannot locate any informati...
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San Antonio, TX
How to keep persimmons from staining patio
We have approximately 4 female persimmons bearing fruit around our back patio. Birds are carrying the berries to our patio and eating them which leaves a dark stain on our patio. I'm having to go o...
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San Antonio, TX
Best vegetables to grow in San Antonio
What vegtables are the safest bet for growing in San Antonio? Thanks
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San Antonio, TX
Hill Country natives for a hedge
Can you recommend a "hedge type" bush to use in lieu of a fence along the road in the San Antonio region? My whole back yard is planted with Hill Country natives and I would prefer to keep the the...
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San Antonio, TX
Pictures and information on Scutellaris laterifolia, Blue Skullcap
I am trying to find information on Scutellaria laterifolia (skullcap), of the plant family "labiatea". Do you have any info or pictures? Thanks.
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San Antonio, TX
Competition for sun between non-native loquat and Carolina laurel cherry in San Antonio
I have planted 2 Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)along my north side fence. I just learned my neighbor has planted a Loquat tree on the other side of the north facing fence. He told me that...
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San Antonio, TX
Transplant shock in non-native Mexican Ruda
I hope that you can help me. I planted some Mexican Ruda in a large pot. Planted it in good soil. The plant is not doing well. It's droopy and drying out. I watered it every other day. It is in t...
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San Antonio, TX
Controlling nematodes on lantana from San Antonio
Can anything be done to "fix" root knot nematode on older lantana. Next to other lantana. Pull them out or try organic fix?
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San Antonio, TX
Is the fruit on Texas olive (Cordia boissieri) edible?
I planted Cordia boissieri (Texas olive) in my garden and its thriving. Now I'm getting fruit from the tree; they are grape-sized waxy and soft. Is this fruit edible (by humans)? Should it be ...
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