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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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

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Monday - August 13, 2007

From: Fort Ashby, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Identification of mystery shrub in West Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Hi, my husband and I purchased some land to build a home. After we dug out the driveway a large shrub or tree started growing in the altered dirt that I have never seen and I don't know what it is. I have pics I would like to show you. The leaves are heart shaped and are 26 inches across and 25 inches long. They are fuzzy not smooth.It's quite cold here in WV in the winter but it comes back bigger every year.Stands about 10 feet tall. Very leafy. Thick branches. Please help! Thanks.


Mr. Smarty Plants loves to identify plants, but it is usually difficult (if not impossible) to do so from a description alone. If you could send us a photograph or two, we will do our very best to tell you the name of your plant. Here are the instructions on how to submit photographs:

1. Tell us where and when you found the plant and describe the site where it occurred.

2. Take several images including details of leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and the overall plant.

3. Save images in JPEG format, not more than 640 x 480 pixels in size, with resolution set at 300 pixels per inch.

4. Send email with images attached to id@smartyplants.org. Put Plant Identification Request in the subject line of your email.

You can also read these instructions in the lower right corner of the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page.

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