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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

Junction, TX
Germination of Purple Clematis from Junction TX
I have some Purple Leather Vine seeds I want to share and want help learning to germinate. Can anyone there help me find interested recipients?
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Junction, TX
What are the differences between Arbutus xalapensis, A. unedo and A. marina
One nursery lists madrone trees as arbutus uneda compacta and arbutus marina. The other lists it as arbutus xalapensis, which is the only name I can find in the data base. There is a very large pric...
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Junction, TX
Problems with transplanted Texas Madrones from Junction TX
We planted 3 little Texas madrones last year 9 - 12 inches high. 2 of them seem to have some kind of black blight along the edges of the leaves that I don't think was the result of our late freezes. ...
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Junction, TX
How much water does St. Augustine require in Junction, TX?
Can you point me towards a concrete study on how much water St Augustine requires to survive? Much appreciated - Native American Seed
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Hext, TX
Identification of large egg-like objects on vines in Texas
This past weekend we were at our deer lease in Hext,TX. My children and I went exploring along the banks of the San Saba river and found what we originally thought were some type of turtle or turkey e...
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Mountain Home, TX
Agave americana/Century Plant care and life cycle.
How often do century plants bloom? Do you have info on how to care for them?
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Kerr, TX
Information about a red-flowered Pavonia lasiopetala in central TX.
I have grown Pavonia for years and just let it re-seed where it wants (and remove if I don't want it where it falls). This year I created a new 6 inch raised bed amended with compost and some manure...
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Harper, TX
How do I get rid of KR Bluestem in my yard in Harper, TX?
I have something in my yard that has washed down from the pasture beside us. I think maybe it is KR Bluestem, how do I get rid of it? I cannot keep up with the digging of it, Help!
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Mason, TX
Source of dry molasses near Mason, Texas
Can you guys point me to a local source of dry molasses? I can get 50 lb bags from Amazon but shipping cost is almost double the cost of the product. I want to try it as a supplement to mechanical con...
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Mason, TX
Foundation plants unlikely to provide good shade for rattlesnakes in TX
I would like to plant native grass around my new home in the country near Mason, TX. My concerns are the rattlesnakes that are common here, and if they could "hide" in the native grasses since they ...
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Mason, TX
Plant identification
Hello- I would like to know what is this plant? It grows in part to full sun over a large area; gray fuzzy, quilted, pointed leaves. It is now about 6-10" tall plants but there are untrimmed 24-3...
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Mason, TX
Buffalograss for Mason County, TX
I am interested in planting buffalo grass at a ranch home in between Mason and Fredericksburg, TX. I've read buffalograss doesn't do well in sandy soils, which this area (Hilda, TX) seems to have a ...
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Hunt, TX
Chilopsis linearis Bubba in Hunt TX
I purchased 3 desert willows (label: chilopsis linearis) to create an oasis area around a fountain which is in the center of my circle drive. But I need one more. Now I can only find the "chilopsis...
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Hunt, TX
Small green balls falling from oaks in Hunt TX
Our live oak trees have pin-sized black and green balls falling from them (there are so may that is sounds like rain!) The balls are not associated with or fall with the catkins. Thanks for your ass...
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Ingram, TX
Spanish Dagger plant interfering with walkway in Ingram TX
I have a Spanish Dagger that is now 8 feet tall and about to fall over in a walkway. Due to the danger of these very sharp tips I need to either cut down the plant or try to root in and replant. If ...
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Ingram, TX
Failure of flameleaf sumacs to produce fruit
Our two flame leaf sumacs produce none to little fruit. Both are about 4 years old, quite large, healthy looking; flowering this year was very good, but no fruit. What keeps them from producing fruit?
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Kerrville, TX
Rows of red, white and blue flowers in Kerrville, TX
I have 1/3 acre project on the Guadalupe river in Kerrville Tx. I want to plant 3 rows, of red, white and blue flowers that are at best deer resistant. I have added 84 yards of lake btms (Ingram Lake...
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Kerrville, TX
Transplant rootbound tree now from Kerrville TX
I purchased a Blanco Crabapple tree. Should I plant it now or wait until Fall? (It is currently rootbound.) Second question: Our Mountain Laurel has a dead trunk and one trunk has already died. I c...
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Kerrville, TX
When and how to mow native grass in Texas
We live on a ranch near Kerrville. The grass is sparse KR, purple three-awn and some Texas wintergrass. How and when is the best way and time to mow this native grass?
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Kerrville, TX
Are Cuscuta spp. (dodders) in Cuscutaceae or Convolvulaceae?
USDA plant database has the species Cuscuta in the CUSCUTACEAE FAMILY; you have it in the CONVOLVULACEAE FAMILY. Which is correct? Thank you.
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Kerrville, TX
Seeds of Castilleja purpurea
The seed photo for Castilleja purpurea is incorrect; seeds are black and poppyseed size.
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