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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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Thursday - April 20, 2006

From: San Angelo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Propagation of Mountain Laurel by seed
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a Texas Mountain Laurel. I found on this website that the beans are poisonous, but if you plant them, will they grow another Mountain Laurel?

ANSWER:

Yes, they certainly have the potential to grow into another Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora). If you select "Growing Conditions" from the menu at the top of the Texas mountain laurel page, you can find instructions for collecting, treating, planting and growing the seeds. Jill Nokes in How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest says:

"Pretreated seeds will germinate within 2 weeks in a greenhouse or outdoors after the soil has warmed. Plant the seeds in individiual containers that are deep enough to accommodate a relatively long initial root. The soil medium should be extremely well drained and drenched with a fungicide before the seeds are sown....Seedlings should be given light (30%) shade the first spring and summer to encourage more elongated shoot growth."
 

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