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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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San Antonio, TX
Request for wild and edible plant information for Boy Scouts from San Antonio
We are with the Boy Scouts. Is it possible for you to email me information on the Wild and Edible plants at the Government Canyon? WE are teaching our scouts on this subject right now. We have alre...
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San Antonio, TX
Identification of vine with green flowers
Trying to identify a vine with 5-petaled ~1 cm dia green flowers (w/ barely perceptible white & black speckles). I have 3 photos I can send (showing flowers & leaves). The flower petals are almost...
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San Antonio, TX
Dog eats Celtis laevigata, sugar hackberry
This is an odd question but I am a biologist and have for years notice an odd behavior in my Golden Retriever. When he gets stomach distress or something makes him nervous like an incoming thunderstor...
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San Antonio, TX
Post freeze care for Texas native grasses
Can you tell me the best post-freeze care for Tx native grasses in my garden: lindheimer muhly, gulf muhly, inland sea oats. Mexican feather grass. Do I cut them back? Burn them? Leave them alone? T...
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San Antonio, TX
Pruning live oak shoots from San Antonio
I am new to TX and am curious about removing suckers/water sprouts from my Live Oaks. Everything I've read about pruning Live Oaks states that you must paint ALL cuts, so I assume that all means al...
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San Antonio, TX
Time of year to plant Tecoma stans
I wanted to know when the best time to plant the Esperanza flower (Tecoma stans) was. The information on the website did not give planting dates or soil conditions for this plant. Can you please help?...
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San Antonio, TX
Germination of bluebonnets from seed
I am having problems getting my bluebonnet (Alamo Fire and regular bluebonnets to germinate from seed). Usually I soak them in lukewarm water overnight then plant in a potting mix. I am only getting...
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San Antonio, TX
Culture of Indian paintbrush
I have never tried to plant the Indian Paintbrush flower before, and I'm not sure what the culture is besides what's on the LBJ Wildflower center website. Are there any tricks for getting a good sh...
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San Antonio, TX
Invasive American Germander from San Antonio
I brought home some American Germander (Teucruim canadense) - page 259 In Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi - from a railroad right-of-way. Since it is a member of the mint family it has becom...
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San Antonio, TX
Small oak tree with powdery mildew in San Antonio, TX.
I have a small oak tree with powdery mildew. Is there anything I can do about? Will it kill the tree?
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San Antonio, TX
Plant native Lantana urticoides and not non-native
San Antonio Water System does not want to assist invasive plants but we want to encourage Lantana sp but we need to know what Lantana camara hybrids are sterile
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San Antonio, TX
Evergreen for privacy screen in San Antonio
I am looking to plant native fast-growing evergreens that will provide privacy (growing taller than our fence). We live in San Antonio and the Red Tip Photinia seems to be everywhere! I heard that t...
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San Antonio, TX
Groundcover for shade in San Antonio
I have a large red oak tree in the front yard. It is keeping any sun except filtered underneath. Faces n/w and in san antonio. I need a ground cover that is drought tolerant and likes the shade and h...
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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
Ground cover for shallow soil in hillside north of San Antonio
I live in the Hill Country north of San Antonio. The yard around the house has very shallow soil and is sloped. Bermuda has a hard time maintaining. Are there any other low growing ground covers that ...
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San Antonio, TX
Do female possumhaws require male to bloom?
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San Antonio, TX
Tilling for grass under old live oak in San Antonio
Hi, I have a 250+ year old Texas Live Oak. As usual, the lawn under the tree, after 18 years needs to be redone. MY QUESTION: to put down new sod the lawn company needs to till the soil about 4 t...
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San Antonio, TX
Montezuma cypress trees for San Antonio
Are Montezuma cypress trees good drought tolerant trees for your yard? I live 30 miles south of San Antonio; would this tree be good for this area?
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San Antonio, TX
Blue Natives for San Antonio
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San Antonio, TX
Evergreen sumacs for privacy along fence
I would like to plant enough Evergreen Sumacs along our fence for privacy for the length of our backyard which is 60 ft. Fifteen feet on the left and right ends are shaded with the right side being d...
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San Antonio, TX
Information about glucose concentration in plants for Science Fair project
I am a high school student enrolling in science fair. MY topic is as follows, "Can a plant be removed from the sun and put in dark and still survive if I directly inject glucose into the stem/roots (...
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