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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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Wednesday - April 25, 2012

From: Lansing, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Need to identify a fungus in a flower garden in Lansinging, MI.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a fungus in my flower garden. It is white and ground hugging. It is in a moist area under a large spruce where mulch has been laid down. When I step on it , it expels a green dust. What is it and how do I get rid of it? Thank you Pete

ANSWER:

What you are describing is very typical of many  fungi. They grow in shaded, moist areas with organic matter to provide food. The green dust you mention is a cloud of spores that disseminate the fungus. However, nothing in your description gives Mr. Smarty Plants a clue as to the identity of the fungus in question.

I suggest the you contact the folks at the Ingham County Office of Michigan State University Extension who can provide a mycologist or gardener who can identify the fungus you are describing, and offer suggestions for combating it.



 

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