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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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Plants for farm animals from East Greenwich RI
May 03, 2014
What type of perennial flowers and shrubs are safe to plant around farm animals (dogs, horses, chickens, turkeys) in New England climate?
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Native Plants Toxic to Dogs?
April 22, 2014
Are society garlic, Salvia greggii, black escarpment cherries, and wine cup wildflowers toxic to dogs?
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Planting Mountain Laurel grown from seeds in Argentina
April 09, 2014
Hello, I was transferred to Cordoba, Argentina 2 years ago from San Antonio, the climate hereis similar to S. TX, anyway I brought some mountain laurel seeds with me and they have been in 2 gallon pot...
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Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014
At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
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Butterfly Garden, non-poisonous to Dogs, in Taylor MI
March 27, 2014
I have a small fenced yard with a patio that my dogs have free access to. I would like to create a butterfly garden and add other plants that are non toxic to my dachshunds. Any suggestions. I am f...
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Defense against poison ivy from The Woodlands TX
March 24, 2014
Hi and thank you in advance for your help. My husband is allergic to Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac, or something in our yard. We need someone who is very knowledgeable to come and identify any poisonous pla...
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Different colors of Argemone spp. from McAllen TX
March 16, 2014
I took pictures of at least 5 colors of pricklepoppy today. Is this common to have so many colors in one area? How do I harvest the seedpods and when is the best time to do so?
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Evergreen trees for California that are non-toxic for dogs
February 19, 2014
Hi, we live in California, San Bernardino County and would like to know what evergreen trees are safe to plant in our backyard with 2 little dogs being around. I did quite some search online but ever...
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Is non-native mascagnia macroptera poisonous to animals from Hockley TX
February 17, 2014
Is Mascagmia macroptra (Butterfly Vine) poisonous to animals (horses and dogs)?
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Tough, Non-toxic Vine to Cover Fence in Washington
February 16, 2014
I have about 150 feet of 6-foot high chain link fence that I would like to cover with a vine for privacy. I really want an evergreen or semi-evergreen plant that requires very little care. I also don...
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Are the berries of Gun bumelia poisonous to dogs from Willow Park TX
February 13, 2014
We have been told we have a Bumelia Lanuginosa (Chittamwood) tree in our yard. My dog has been eating the berries. (She has had stomach issues for several months and only recently found out she has ...
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Are magnolia trees toxic for dogs?
February 05, 2014
Del Mar, California- are magnolia trees, (their bark, roots, pods) toxic to small dogs? My Westie terriers are exhibiting lack of appetite and diarrea this late winter. Tonight I saw on our local n...
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Identification of shrub with red berries in Tennessee
January 24, 2014
Hello, I've got a shrub in my backyard; it has leaves off in groups of 3 and it has multiple reddish berries in groups by the dozens. I'm not sure what plant it is. The shrub is stick-like and appr...
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List of poisonous plants for Bexar County, Texas
January 14, 2014
I need to know local poisonous plants in Bexar County San Antonio. Please respond soon I'm trying to get Tenderfoot tonight and am doing my board of review.
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Vines for fence, safe for horses in California
December 12, 2013
I live in a fire prone part of Orange County, CA named Silverado and own horses. Am interested in fast growing vines to cover a fenced area which are horse safe. Thank you.
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Shrubs not toxic to cattle in NJ
December 09, 2013
I am working to rejuvenate the hedgerows on a farm in New Jersey by removing invasive plants and planting native shrubs. How do I find out which native shrubs are toxic to cattle and should not be pl...
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Are bald cypress cones toxic to dogs?
October 27, 2013
Are bald cypress tree seed pods poisonous? to dogs? We just got a rescue dog and we go out in the yard with her. But now that we are into fall and the pods are falling. She goes right to them. Are...
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Plants Toxic to Horses
October 26, 2013
I want to put planters on the front of my horse barn, which is also in the front field, so the horses could eat what is in it if they want to. I am looking to put a miniature pine tree in the planter....
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Remedy for sore finger scratched by an Agave plant
October 18, 2013
I scratched my ring finger on a Agave plant this afternoon. It did bring blood to the surface and i washed it off. Where the scratch is, is very tender and it is swollen and tingles. Any suggestions f...
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Flying insects eating leaves of non-native Brugmansia in Aline CA
October 17, 2013
I have an Angel Trumpet tree. We live in Aline, California 30 miles east of San Diego. Little yellow and black flying bugs eat the leaves. Do you have a remedy for this problem.
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Juniperus Toxic to Pets?
October 15, 2013
Are blue rug juniper plants toxic to dogs?
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Plant-related skin rashes from Round Rock TX
September 23, 2013
I have been plagued with persistent skin rashes this summer, and it is happening with plants that have never bothered me before, for example, red yucca. The dermatologist says it is a plant reaction,...
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Are seeds of trumpet vine poisonous from Creston BC
September 12, 2013
Are the seeds in the trumpet vines pods poisonous to humans or can I use them as dried beans? I have one plant that covers most of my house's south wall. It is a very established plant.
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Identity of plant with thorns in Maryland
August 27, 2013
I live in Maryland and was walking in the woods one day when I accidentally stumbled in to a thorn bush. I don't remember what color the thorns where or very much about the plant in general but I do ...
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Does non-native Crown of Thorns cause cancer?
August 24, 2013
Does the plant, Corona De Cristo (Crown of thorns) cause cancer?
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