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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!

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Tuesday - April 17, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Introduced invasive Melia azedarach along Shoal Creek in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Along the Shoal Creek Trail in Austin are many flowering trees with sparse clusters of small pink/purple, star-shaped flowers with a dark red center stalk, blooming now in April. They have a fragrance that reminds me of honeysuckle. Can you identify these, please?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks you are seeing Melia azedarach (Chinaberry tree), an introduced species classified as invasive because of its ability to outcompete native species.
 

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