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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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Friday - June 16, 2006

From: Mescalero, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflower Center
Title: Epiphyte growing on oak trees in Wildflower Center
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Thank you for your response to my question on what is the epiphyte growing on oak trees. I should have been more specific to say " the epiphyte growing on the oak trees around Lady Bird Johnson wildflower center." It does not look at all like Spanish moss, or the other Tillandsia spp. mentioned in your email.

ANSWER:

Well, I did neglect to mention a less conspicuous epiphyte that grows on local oaks and other trees: a local species of mistletoe (Phoradendron tomentosum), also referred to as injerto. So many people ask about the ball moss that I rashly assumed that's what you were referring to, too. Could Phoradendron tomentosum be the epiphyte you saw?
 

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