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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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What is the plant called wingspan?
September 21, 2014
I have a lot of environmental allergies and saw a positive result for "wingspan" yet I cannot find ANY information online about that particular plant. I was told it's "tumbleweed" by the medical ...
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Plant identification
September 20, 2014
I was recently visiting Texas and kept seeing a particular plant in drainage bottoms and wetland areas (note these areas at the time of my visit were very dry). I was hoping you might be able to help...
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Shrub with thorns, black fruit and citrus fragrance in Michigan
September 19, 2014
I'm not sure that my plant is a native, but I'm hoping to find some answer. There is a small patch of roadside shrubs on my property which I've been unable to identify. They have simple opposite ...
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Identity of vine growing in Naples Florida
September 15, 2014
I live on country/residential property outside of Naples, Florida. This year I have had dozens of seedlings of some type of vine popping up all over. I have posted on a couple plant blogs looking for ...
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Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014
Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
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Is Tagetes lemmonii (Copper Canyon Daisy) native to the Southwest?
September 01, 2014
Due to the continued drought I have resolved to only use native plants in my garden. Copper canyon daisy is be recommended more often at nurseries. The NPSOT lists it a native of Arizona, yet I cann...
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Seed pod of Proboscidea louisianica (Deveil's claw) in New Mexico
August 30, 2014
I found the most amazing seed pods of the devil's claw right here in Albuquerque. I thought it was a wood skeleton of a pterodactyl (flying dinosaur, I believe), but heard it's a devil's claw. Ok...
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Plant identification from New York
August 21, 2014
I have a sunflower like plant growing mysteriously in our garden. Its leaves are large heart shaped. It is a single stem plant. The base of each branch is a small, orange colored bud looking as if...
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Identification of tree with outrageous thorns
August 10, 2014
Can you identify this tree? It has these outrageous thorns on its trunk. They are in clusters and are anywhere from 1" long to 4" long or so.
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Flowering vine with yellow flowers in Nevada
August 10, 2014
A flowering vine started growing in our Henderson back yard about 2 months ago. It has variegated green leaves & yellow flowers. We decided not to pull it out & now it's spreading. I've looked on v...
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