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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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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
Dwarf Yaupon Holly Cultivar Heights
September 18, 2014
What is the largest of the dwarf yaupons?
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Fast-growing shade tree for Corona CA
September 17, 2014
Hi, I'm looking for a fast growing shade tree. I live in Corona CA so it will need to do well in a lot of sun, moderate winds and clay soil. Thanks so much for your suggestions.
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Is mulch from hackberry and chinaberry trees safe for flowerbeds?
September 17, 2014
We had to remove several large hackberry and china berry trees. Is its mulch safe to use in garden and in flower beds?
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Alternative for HABITURF® in Contra Costa County, CA
September 17, 2014
We live in Kensington, just north of Berkeley, in the San Francisco area. We intend to get rid of our water consuming lawn and we are wondering what kind of alternative you would suggest. You don't s...
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Groundcover for shade in Duval County, Florida
September 17, 2014
What low growing ground cover would be good for a lake edge area. This area is shaded with overlying woodland type trees. I planted some autumn ferns but they have getting overrun with poison ivy. I a...
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Problem with Pterocaulon pycnostachyum
September 17, 2014
I have a solitary Pterocaulon pycnostachyum in my wildscape; it invited itself. Some years it does not flower at all (or the bloom is eaten before I see it), and its stalks (usually 4) are not ...
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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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Butterfly Plants for Chicago
September 13, 2014
I live near Chicago, IL and am interested in planting a butterfly garden. Not sure when to start, but I want all native plants that would attract butterflies. Can you please let me know which plants ...
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Are Castor Bean Leaves Toxic to Pets?
September 13, 2014
I understand that the beans of the castor plant on lethal if chewed on. Are the leaves that toxic? I would love to plant this plant and not let it flower, but I do have visiting grandchildren and dog...
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When to Collect Rudbeckia triloba Seed?
September 13, 2014
How soon after flowering may I cut Rudbeckia triloba flower heads to save seeds? Do cones need to be attached to the plant in or out of the ground to continue to mature?
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