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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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Pool-Side Plants for Miami
April 02, 2015
I am looking for plants, along the line of ti plant cordyline features, to plant around my chlorinated pool area with full South Miami sun. We have a dog therefore they must be non-toxic plants. The...
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Agave attenuata Poisonous?
March 12, 2015
Is Agave attenuata (foxtail agave) poisonous to horses or humans?
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Non-Toxic Flowering Vine for Sunny Trellis in California
March 12, 2015
I am looking for a flowering trellis plant that is non-toxic to my dog, will grow in the California area that I live in, and will be in full sun.
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Skin Reaction form Cochineal on Prickly Pear
February 16, 2015
I have severe burning and peeling skin on pads of fingers after touching "white stuff" on a prickly pear. White stuff tuned purple then burned skin even after washing hands. Skin has been cracking a...
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Are Viguiera dentate leaves toxic to dogs?
November 26, 2014
Many dogs on the Turkey Creek Nature Trail in Emma Long Metropolitan Park love to snack on the leaves of the Viguiera Dentata plants. The leaves SEEM to be harmless. I am writing to request informat...
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Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
November 22, 2014
Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
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Kousa Dogwood Fruit Toxic to Dogs?
October 14, 2014
Are Kousa dogwood berries toxic to dogs?
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Is mulch from hackberry and chinaberry trees safe for flowerbeds?
September 17, 2014
We had to remove several large hackberry and china berry trees. Is its mulch safe to use in garden and in flower beds?
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Groundcover for shade in Duval County, Florida
September 17, 2014
What low growing ground cover would be good for a lake edge area. This area is shaded with overlying woodland type trees. I planted some autumn ferns but they have getting overrun with poison ivy. I a...
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Are Castor Bean Leaves Toxic to Pets?
September 13, 2014
I understand that the beans of the castor plant on lethal if chewed on. Are the leaves that toxic? I would love to plant this plant and not let it flower, but I do have visiting grandchildren and dog...
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