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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!

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

 
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topicquestion
What plant looks like poisonous water hemlock
March 28, 2016
I thought that hemlock was a tree. I grew up in Carmel Valley, CA. As a kid we used to play in fields that looks just like this stuff. Some were over six feet and an inch around. In summer we pulled ...
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White and Violet Flower in Missouri
March 17, 2016
When I was small I came into contact with a plant that gave me cold sweats, chills and hallucinations. All I remember was it bore a single flower with a little white and a lot of violet. It had a dark...
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Are Carolina jessamine flowers toxic to bees?
March 08, 2016
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, My husband and I recently planted 15 yellow Carolina Jessamine bushes along our back fence. Our hope is that it will vine up into the fence and give us privacy. I went online...
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Should flower stems of Texas mountain laurel be removed after they bloom?
March 02, 2016
Should I trim off the old flower stems from this years bloom on a Texas Mountain Laurel?
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How to Control Poison Ivy
February 22, 2016
We have lots of Poison Ivy on a site we are clearing it is adjacent to a pond and children are around this area all the time. We are creating hiking paths. I have a lot of experience but I do not wan...
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Is Penstemon Poisonous to Dogs?
February 21, 2016
Is Penstemon palmeri poisonous to dogs? I couldn't find in ASPA guide.
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Western Poison Oak Sap Transfer
January 26, 2016
My partner is a park ranger and constantly exposed to poison oak. He gets infected sometimes but mostly seems to tolerate it pretty well. I, on the other hand, keep getting reinfected with it, all ove...
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Herbal properties of Dicentra formosa
January 23, 2016
I would like to get some information on the Dicentra formosa plant such as the benefits of the plant. Is it poisonous? Can it be infused in an oil?
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Will blue eyed grass grow under black walnut trees?
January 18, 2016
Will blue eyed grass grow under black walnut trees? I know the Siberian Iris is tolerant but the scientific names are not the same yet everything I read indicates that blue eyed grass is not in the g...
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Can a dog die from eating a holly bush?
January 12, 2016
Can a dog die from eating a holly bush?
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Non-Toxic Hedge for Wisconsin
December 17, 2015
What would be a good non-toxic for dogs, privacy hedge about 3-6 feet tall for Wisconsin climate zone 4b?
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Non-toxic trees for cattle, horses and swine in Washington state.
December 04, 2015
What non-toxic trees can be planted in cattle pastures in Central Washington? We also have horses and swine on the property.
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How to get Poison Ivy?
November 22, 2015
I know this is a silly question but we have a lot of poison ivy in the area and I know that birds eat the seeds and berries, can you get poison ivy from bird poop or track it in the house? From shoes ...
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Is Poison ivy always rooted in the ground?
November 11, 2015
Does Poison ivy on a tree always start at the ground and climb up the tree or can it start producing its vine and leaves by itself at the top of the tree or middle?
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Food Allergy to Beautyberry or Persimmon?
October 22, 2015
I think I might have a food allergy to Beautyberry or American Persimmon, eaten Saturday at the North Carolina Great Dismal park. These were the only strange foods recently, though I've had persimmo...
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Do Delphiniums Transfer Toxins to Strawberries?
October 22, 2015
Is it safe to eat strawberries grown beside delphiniums?
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Indoor and Outdoor, Fast Growing Plants for California
October 22, 2015
Iím looking for the best plants for me. I have small kids so they would have to be safe. I would like them to be able to grow inside or outside. I would love for them to grow fast and reproduce fast.
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Non-toxic evergreen shrub around duck pen
September 10, 2015
I live in Zone 6a, and am looking for a non-toxic evergreen shrub to use around our fence that pens in our ducks. It doesn't have to be native to our particular state. I have 74 feet of fence on th...
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Urushiol Oil Persistance?
September 09, 2015
I'm trekking into poison ivy infested areas for work every other day. I make sure to wear long pants, long sleeves, boots, and long socks over my pants. I walk into my office to drop off supplies and...
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Is Convolvulus equitans poisonous?
August 22, 2015
Hello, Can you tell me if convolvulus equitans is poisonous? If so, can you tell me how poisonous and which parts are poisonous? I am considering putting this in my backyard but I have a dog and an...
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Plant Identification
August 07, 2015
I live in southeastern Michigan. I found a plant growing in the backyard that caught my eye. I chalked it off as a weed, but it's unique. It is shaped like a bushing type plant, has red stem, each cl...
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Does Virginia creeper cause a rash?
July 09, 2015
Does Virginia creeper cause a rash to everyone or those who are only allergic as in an allergy like a peanut allergy? Is it something that should be avoided like poison ivy? And does the sap stick to ...
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Discouraging Poison Ivy
June 27, 2015
Is there a fern that discourages poison ivy from growing?
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Is Texas mountain laurel honey toxic?
May 25, 2015
I have been told that honey produced from the flowers of my Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) would not be safe to consume. Is this correct? The only information I have been able to find is...
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Fruit and nut trees safe for horses.
May 11, 2015
My husband and I just moved to Elgin. We have always wanted to grow fruit/nut baring trees but didn't take in to consideration that horses might eat them. We have never had land or horses before, s...
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topicquestion

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