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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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Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


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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Wednesday - March 28, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflower Center
Title: How to search the Wildflower Center website
Answered by: Damon Waitt


How the heck do I find a list of local native low-growing plants that are shade tolerant on this web site? The search functions don't seem to be specific enough. I searched specifying Texas, subshrub (it only lets you select one, a bad design), perennial, shade, and it said it couldn't find ANYTHING. !!?? I thought I remembered this thing being MUCH easier to find things on last year. Whatup?


You could try a couple of different things to improve your search results. Firstly, back off of full shade. Few plants can tolerate less than 2 hours of sun per day. Part shade is a much more common condition. Secondly, try searching for shrubs. they are more common than subshrubs which are defined as perennials with a woody base only. When Smarty plants searched for Texas perennial shrubs in part shade, the database yielded 135 species. You can also limit your search to Hill Country species by selecting the Hill Country Horticulture collection and then performing a combination search within those results.


We appreciate your comments as we work to improve the functionality and usability of the Native Plant Information Network.

Best regards,

Mr. Smarty Plants


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