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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members 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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Smarty Plants Question Topics

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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topicquestion
What shade trees have non-invasive root systems?
March 03, 2015
What shade trees have a non-invasive root system? I am in zone 7a. Thank you, Mr. Smarty Plants!
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USDA Hardiness Zones
January 22, 2015
Some natives are listed as ZONE 3 - 7. Would they be ok in zone 9. I thought the zones related to cold hardiness. What does the higher number mean, exactly?
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Information about Erigeron annuus and Erigeron philadelphicus
January 10, 2015
Hi! I am looking for information about the specific leaf area of Erigeron annuus and Erigeron philadelphicus. Do you know of anyone who is working with any these species, who might be able to provide...
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Environmental factors that affect lifecycle stages of maidenhair fern.
November 07, 2014
What are the environmental factors that can affect the lifecycle stages of a maidenhair fern, particularly A. trichorleopis? Thank you
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Water Use Versus Soil Moisture
October 14, 2014
In the Native Plant Database, under Growing Conditions what is the difference between water use and soil moisture? Sometimes they seem contradictory.
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Where do snake herb and skeleton-leaf goldeneye get their names?
October 05, 2014
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Where does snake herb, and skeleton leaf goldeneye get their names from? Thank you.
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Is a height of 5 to 8 feet forOenothera biennis (Common evening primrose) normal?
August 30, 2014
I have identified a version of Evening Primrose Oenothera biennia L. In my yard, Livonia Michigan. These plants range in height from 5-8+ feet. Is this typical? The references I find indicates 3-5 fe...
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Are Chickasaw plums evergreen?
August 13, 2014
Are Chickasaw Plums evergreens? I've been very interested in planting a few but some websites say they are evergreens while others say the opposite. Furthermore, would I have to plant a male and fema...
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Is Viburnum rufidulum monoecious or dioecious?
July 28, 2014
Is Viburnum rufidulum monoecious or dioecious? Your database does not address this for most plants.
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The Designation of Annual and Perennial Plants
July 25, 2014
Sometimes when researching a plant I will find it listed as both annual and perennial. I understand that some plants will be perennial in a warm climate and die in a colder zone, but it is still a per...
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