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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

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!

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Monday - March 24, 2014

From: The Woodlands, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Problem Plants
Title: Defense against poison ivy from The Woodlands TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi and thank you in advance for your help. My husband is allergic to Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac, or something in our yard. We need someone who is very knowledgeable to come and identify any poisonous plants etc. in our yard. We live in The Woodlands, Texas. Would you please recommend someone who we could contact to help us.

ANSWER:

We are sorry, we have no contacts on the sort of professionals you are looking for. Even if we searched the Internet for someone who does that kind of work, we could hardly recommend a business with whom we had no experience. You are not alone in this problem. Here are two previous answers on how to protect yourself and how (hopefully) to get rid of the stuff.

Previous answer from Blanco TX

Previous answer from Huntsville NC

Here are the three plants you mentioned. You will note they all belong to the genus Toxicodendron:

Toxicodendron radicans (Eastern poison ivy) (also sometimes referred to as "poison oak"

Toxicodendron radicans (Eastern poison ivy)

Toxicodendron vernix (Poison sumac)

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern poison ivy
Toxicodendron radicans

Eastern poison ivy
Toxicodendron radicans

Poison sumac
Toxicodendron vernix

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