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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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Saturday - May 25, 2013

From: Stephenville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests
Title: White fungus-like growths on plants from Stephenville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is a white fungus-like growth on plants in a garden? It can be seen on the ground in ball-like shapes similar to puff balls or on plants

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants deals only in vascular plants, which fungi are not, but we will see if we can find something online that might fit your description.

Okay, our first ventures netted us nothing, and then we had a wild idea. We kept thinking we had heard of something like that before, and it finally occurred to us that it was cottonwood seeds! Please don't be insulted, we really are trying. All we got when we searched on "white fungus-like growth" was a site on Asperigillis fungus which is a big problem for hamsters. We didn't find any pictures of that. When we tried "fungus on ground" we got slime mold. From Wayne's World, we found this comprehensive site on fungus.

Sorry we couldn't do any better - we told you we didn't do non-vascular plants.

 

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