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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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Tuesday - September 30, 2008

From: Moreland, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native Cleyera in Georgia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I had a landscaper plant 4 Cleyera around my front porch. I have had them for about 9 years now and they are very hardy, each one being about 4 feet in width, 5 feet high and have been very healthy until now. I have never had a problem with them. I had one to just die on me here about 4 weeks ago and now it is affecting the others around it. The others are starting to die now. Also, when learning about these plants, I never knew that they bloomed and as far as I know, I have never seen mine bloom. But I do know they look exactly like the cleyera. I guess it could be a varying form for cleyera. Can you give me some insight as to why they may be dying? thank you for taking your time to read my question and I look forward to hearing from you or if you can not help, maybe give me some other information as to where I may get help with my question.

ANSWER:

Ternstroemia gymnathera, Cleyera, is a native of China and Japan, and therefore out of our expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. While we would like to answer all questions we receive, Mr. Smarty Plants' work is limited to plant species native to North America, their habitats and cultivation. Limited resources require us to decline answering questions that delve into other areas. We hope you understand. However, we did find this previous answer by Mr. Smarty Plants that addressed problems with Cleyera, and could lead you to other information on it. 

 

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