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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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Friday - June 07, 2013

From: Nashville, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Difference beteen two non-native photinias from Nashville TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the difference between red tip phontinias and fireball phontinias. I read that fireballs are also called red tips but I thought that red tips grow to like 12 ft. and the tag on the fireball I just bought says it grows to 3-4 ft.? I want the variety that grows to 12 ft.

ANSWER:

Please read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer. Then, please consider using plants native to the Davidson County area, in the north central part of Tennessee. We will go to our Native Plant Database and, scrolling down the page to use the Combination Search, designate Tennessee for State, "shrub" for habit and 6 ft. to 12 ft. for Height. Since we don't know how much sunlight the area you want to plant has nor your Soil Moisture, we will have to leave those blank, but you could do your own search putting in whatever requirements you have. We will give you a sample list, first checking to make sure each shrub we choose is, indeed, native to your area.

Shrubs for Tennessee:

Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush)

Calycanthus floridus (Eastern sweetshrub)

Corylus americana (American hazelnut)

Lindera benzoin (Northern spicebush)

Philadelphus inodorus (Scentless mock orange)

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark)

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)

Rhododendron canescens (Mountain azalea)

Viburnum acerifolium (Mapleleaf viburnum)

You can follow each plant link to our webpage on that shrub to find out its growing conditions, moisture and soil needs and bloom time. If you have difficulty locating thse native plants in local nurseries, go to our National Suppliers Directory, put your town and state or just your zipcode in the "Enter Search Location Box and click on GO. This will give you a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and consultants in your general area. All have contact information so you can check for availability before you go shopping.

 

From the Image Gallery


Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

Eastern sweetshrub
Calycanthus floridus

American hazelnut
Corylus americana

Northern spicebush
Lindera benzoin

Scentless mock orange
Philadelphus inodorus

Atlantic ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Mountain azalea
Rhododendron canescens

Mapleleaf viburnum
Viburnum acerifolium

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