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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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Thursday - April 06, 2006

From: Mescalero, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflower Center
Title: Ball moss (Tallandsia recurvata), epiphyte on oaks at Wildflower Center
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I visited your center a couple weeks ago, was very impressed with the educational aspects. I noticed the epiphyte commonly growing in the oak trees, and also on the elm oak. Do you have the name of this plant?

ANSWER:

Yes, the epiphyte is not truly a moss even though it is called Ball Moss (Tillandsia recurvata). It is a close cousin to Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides). You can find out more about this member of the pineapple family by clicking here.
 

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