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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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topicquestion
Need to identify Cherry laurel varietyin Bee Caves, TX
March 29, 2016
I recently had cherry laurels installed in my yard for privacy. Unfortunately, the landscaper does not know what type of cherry laurel they are. The tag from the tree says Che-Com which to me might in...
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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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mixed species privacy hedge in Central Texas
March 24, 2016
I need to plant a privacy hedge along a fence line. I am in east Austin, blackland prairie soil. The soil is rich, usually at least moist but not soggy, and I find lots of worms when I dig. The fen...
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Caring for a wildflower meadow in Austin, TX.
March 22, 2016
We have a meadow full of wildflowers in the country, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, etc. What can we do to promote continued growth and is there a certain time of year we should mow? Should we fe...
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Tree with blue berries in Los Angeles, CA
March 22, 2016
There's a tree outside my house with somewhat thin and short spiky leaves with blue berries. The berries Some of the berries have a frost look and some are dark blue.
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Identity of stinging weed in Pearl, Mississippi
March 20, 2016
I live in Pearl, MS. Yesterday I pulled a weed that right away started stinging my hand and in a few hours turned into stinging numbness. The weed has dark green heart shaped leaves with purple veins ...
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Ground cover plants for a shady North Carolina yard
March 20, 2016
Ground cover erosion control for heavily shaded area in Cary, North Carolina. Current landscapers use strong blowers for leaf control. This blows away any seeds, loose soil and mulch. Tree roots ar...
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How much shade will Thunder Turf (Habiturf) take?
March 20, 2016
How much shade will Thunder Turf take?
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Identity of fast growing vine in San Francisco
March 20, 2016
Really need to know what kind of vine is growing rapidly in the garden. Can't find out in plant identification: started to grow profusely after rainfall. Grows at rate of 6-8" per day (!). Has ivy-l...
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killing clover in Bandera
March 19, 2016
How may one kill clover while not killing native wild flowers in one's lawn?
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When to plant bluebonnets in Spicewood, TX
March 19, 2016
When is the best time to plant Bluebonnets and do you place seeds under the soil or just spread on top? Thank you
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Using Coffee Grounds under Live Oaks in Texas?
March 18, 2016
Can you add coffee grounds to live oak tree?
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Fast Growing Groundcovers for Long Island
March 18, 2016
Can you please suggest a few fast growing groundcovers suitable for the south shore of Long Island? The area is fairly sunny and dry.
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Shade and Drought Tolerant Plants for Idaho Shade
March 18, 2016
I am looking for plants native to Idaho and/or the surrounding region (zone 6 or 7) that would do well in full shade conditions (adjacent to the north side of our house) and meet several criteria: Max...
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When to Prune Desert Willow in Texas?
March 18, 2016
I just learned I should have pruned back my desert willows. It's early March in North Texas. Is it too late to prune now? They are not leafing out yet.
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Expanded Shale Availability in Austin Area
March 18, 2016
Where can you find expanded shale in bulk or bag in the Austin area?
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Planting a Willow Close to a Water Line
March 18, 2016
I have a postage stamp-sized front yard, with the water tap in the front 1/3. I believe the water line runs right through the middle of my pss-front yard. I REALLY wanted to plant a weeping willow t...
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Care of non-native plant
March 17, 2016
I have a plant that grows about 1' tall, looks sort of like a dracaena. The leaves grow off of a short stem and are yellowish (no green at all) with brilliant slashes of hot pink an red. It is georg...
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Identification of evergreen bush with red berries
March 17, 2016
I am a beekeeper and today I took some pictures of a bush about 8 ft. tall in my neighbors yard. My bees are all over the tiny white flowers. It appears to be an evergreen bush because it has foliag...
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Pachira aquatica loosing leaves.
March 17, 2016
We have an indoor money tree that is 20 feet tall, the leaves have started to turn brown and fall. We water twice a month and mist about the same. Can you opine what what we are doing wrong the plant ...
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Abutilon or Podocarpus Toxic to Dogs?
March 17, 2016
Are either of these plants toxic to dogs? Flowering maple or the Podocarpus henkelii shrub.
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Dwarf Form of Japanese Blueberry?
March 17, 2016
Is there a dwarf variety of Japanese blueberry that will grow in my area? Or is it so non-native that it's not in your category?
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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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Eastern Red Cedar Roots
March 17, 2016
Would an Eastern Red Cedar root system damage underground irrigation pipes?
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Native vine for fence on youth baseball field
March 15, 2016
Our community in Comanche, Texas would like to plant a native vine on the back fence of a youth baseball field. We have plans to plant an area of native grasses behind the fence, between the fence an...
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