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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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topicquestion
Shade trees not toxic to dogs in Kempner TX
August 21, 2013
Dear Mr Smarty Plants, we are looking for shade trees to plant around our home in Kempner, Tx. I saw another family that asked a similar question but we have dogs and holly or oak trees are toxic (my...
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Identification of shrub/small tree with small purple fruit
July 31, 2013
Hi! I have a tree/bush that has come up on its own in the backyard. This year it set what looks like small purple plums. Is there any chance that they might be poisonous?
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Shrub to scrren house from dust from gravel road
July 28, 2013
HI: We live in the foothills of Dobbins, California (2 hours North of Sacramento, Ca). I live on a gravel dirt road with traffic that goes about 45 miles an hour. When they drive by our house it lo...
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Is Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) known to cause skin irritation
July 23, 2013
Is Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata L.) known to cause a rash? We are trying to identify the source of a rash-after-gardening, and have not seen any of the big three (poison ivy, poison oak, poison suma...
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Controlling Cnidoscolus texanus (Texas bullnettle)
July 18, 2013
Hello,I need your help to control some nasty weeds in my yard/pasture. I am an old timer and do not have a picture to include—haven't figured out that part of the camera/phone yet. This weed is a pri...
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Member of Taxus genus native to southern Illinois from Granite City IL
July 12, 2013
Is there a native Southern Illinois similar to Taxus baccata? I live in Granite City IL and am looking for a native plant/scrub that stays green year round about 2-3 feet tall to it helps insulate the...
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Is Sucissa pratensis (Devil's bit scabious) allelopathic?
July 04, 2013
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center pointed me to you. Can you comment on Devil's Bit Scabious? A neighbor pointed out these volunteer plants in my yard and wants me to kill them. He called them Devi...
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Can oleander poison the ground below it?
June 29, 2013
Can oleander poison the ground below it? Would it kill/damage grass or other plants below it? Thanks.
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Poison Ivy in Semi-wetland Massachusetts
June 27, 2013
You answered this question for Tennessee, but I would like an answer for a Massachusetts semi-wetlands area: What can I plant to discourage poison ivy, or at least make it very clear that it is poison...
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Major poisonous plants in California
June 26, 2013
Hi! So I'm working on an art project that requires a comprehensive list of poisonous plants within California. I'm looking specifically however, for plants which are fatally poisonous (upon inges...
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Is non-native Ixora poisonous to horses?
June 26, 2013
My horse was eating an ixora bush at a park in south florida. Is the Ixora shrub poisonous to horses?
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Source for a soapberry in Pittsburgh PA
June 22, 2013
Flower box Where can I buy a soapberry tree in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania?
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Can poisonous seed of wild plum be safely removed after steaming from Seymour IA
June 20, 2013
I read on a related questions that you said the pit/seeds of all wild plums are poisonous. My question is this, can I juice the entire fruit for making jelly without removing the pit first? I have a s...
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Can animals eat bottlebrush buckeye without being poisoned?
June 13, 2013
Can deer, bear and wild turkey and squirrels eat the nuts and leaves from the bottlebrush buckeye shrub without being posioned by it.
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Ingestion of agave sap from Albuquerque NM
June 11, 2013
My boyfriend was out in the Arizona desert without water for two days and sought moisture through what he thought was a yucca plant but instead we believe was agave. He sucked the moisture off the ins...
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Non-floweriing vines not poisonous to dogs from Pittsburgh PA
June 10, 2013
Are there any vines or crawlers (nothing that flowers) that are non poisonous to dogs? Everything I am finding is poisonous, I want to plant some vines up a chain link fence around a swimming pool.
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Damaged leaves on bottlebrush buckeye from Glen Mills PA
June 09, 2013
My recently planted bottlebrush buckeye plants' leaves are looking damaged but it doesn't look like insect or fungus damage. They look battered by wind but I don't understand why that would happen...
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Vines non-poisonous to dogs from Madison WI
June 09, 2013
Are there any vines or crawlers that are non poisonous to dogs? Everything I am finding is poisonous, I want to plant some vines up a fence on their kennel run.
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Is Clethra alnifolia toxic to dogs?
June 01, 2013
Is Clethra alnifolia toxic to dogs?
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Climbing Vine for Illinois That is Non-Toxic to Dogs
May 31, 2013
I am looking for a climbing vine hardy in Illinois (zone 5) that it non-toxic to dogs. Can you help?
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Spreading Poison Oak to Clothes and Shoes
May 31, 2013
I had a poison oak rash about 2 years ago and during that time I had to attend a wedding. At the wedding I wore a pair of dress shoes and a pair of cowboy boots. Can I wear these shoes again? Is there...
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Non-native pothos ivy from Houston
May 30, 2013
My pothos devils ivy is about 5 years old and grows outside. A couple of years ago its leaves became spectacularly large, like 12" wide and its stalk about 1 - 2" wide. A couple of years ago i gui...
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Beneficial characteristics of Phytolacca americana (Pokeweed)
May 21, 2013
I have a surprise Polk weed plant growing in my back yard, does it have any beneficial uses,and if not, how best to eradicate it. Thank you.
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Non-native Star Jasmine poisonous to dogs from Dallas
May 20, 2013
Is star jasmine poisonous to dogs?
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Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013
I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
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