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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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Sunday - March 21, 2010

From: Magnolia, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Is Texas Mountain Laurel what I planted in Magnolia TX?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I think I planted Texas Mt. Laurels and need to see a pic of early plants. Can you help?

ANSWER:

You think you planted Mountain Laurel? Were they big red seeds? According to this USDA Plant Profile, they are native to West Texas, but that wouldn't have prevented you from planting seeds in East Texas, in Magnolia. This plant is usually slow and difficult to germinate and grows very slowly. From our Native Plant Database, here is a description of the plant, without the flowers which would not yet appear if these are newly-emerged plants:

"Dense, dark green, glossy foliage is evergreen and has shiny, leathery, compound leaves, made up of 7–9 leaflets that are rounded on the ends. Leaflets up to 2 inches or more long, tapering more gradually to the base than to the tip, and arranged along an axis terminated by a single leaflet ."

We found no pictures of very small plants in our Native Plant Image Gallery, but you can look at this Texas AgriLIFE Research Extension at Uvalde website, pictures of leaves, branch, seeds of Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel). Here are more pictures from Google Images.

If this doesn't help, go to our instructions for sending us a photograph, submit a photo, and we will see if we can figure it out. 

 

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