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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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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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Sunday - December 16, 2007

From: Tacoma, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Black leaves and dying kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My kinnikinnick has developed dark leaf spots and, in some cases the entire leaf has turned black or entire plants have turned black and died off. I'm worried about leaf spot, root rot and leaf gall as possibilities. My local plant spray services professional suggested it's a type of fungus which hasn't been identified yet. How do I figure out what this is and stop the spreading?

ANSWER:

Despite his name, Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't know everything, but does know how to get you to someone who should be able to help you. Mr. SP could speculate on what the problem with your Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) is, but I think it would be more efficient and more useful to you to contact someone in your area that has more practical experience with the plants and might have seen this problem already.

There are a couple of good sources for questions concerning plants native to the Northwest. One of the best is the University of Washington Botanic Gardens Elisabeth C. Miller Library Plant Answer Line.

Also, your Washington State University Pierce County Extension Agent Master Gardener's program has Ask a Master Gardener.

Good luck with your kinnikinnicks and may they soon look as healthy as those pictured below!

 


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
 

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