En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Friday - February 14, 2014

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Wildflowers
Title: Best place for picking wildflowers in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Where is the best place to find wildflowers for picking near or in Austin around the end of March?

ANSWER:

Okay, here's the thing; whether you know it or not, this is a two-part question that you have asked.

1. When will wildflowers be blooming in Austin? As cold as it has been, we are guessing the really good shows of wildflowers in Austin will be from mid-March to mid-summer. We have listed some of the Central Texas wildflowers below, with their projected bloom times.

2. Where is it okay to pick them? There will be wildflowers blooming in the Wildflower Center. There are big signs all over the Center saying NOT to pick them. And, believe me, here in Central Texas we take our wildflowers very seriously. The State Highway Department frowns on picking wildflowers on roadways, both so others can enjoy them and for safety.

Consider: If you take a wildflower bloom, you not only have denied other people the pleasure of seeing them in bloom, but you have cancelled out the seeds for that plant. Many wildflowers, including bluebonnets, are annuals. Pick enough blooms and there will be no wildflowers there next year. The property where it is may belong to someone who raises them to give everyone pleasure. If we publicized (or even knew of) a place where it was okay to pick the wildflowers, they would all be gone before you could get here to see them.

Please - take pictures. Plant wildflowers on your own property and share them with everyone if that is your choice. Please read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on removing plants from property you do not own.

So, if you are going into planting wildflowers on your own, we suggest you read all of the information on the webpages on wildflowers we are linking you to below. Also, read our How-To Articles How to Grow Bluebonnets and Large Scale Wildflower Planting.

Native wildflowers in Central Texas: (we only chose 12, because of limited picture space)

Amblyolepis setigera (Huisache daisy) - annual, blooms yellow, March to June

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed) - perennial, yellow, orange, May to September

Castilleja indivisa (Entireleaf indian paintbrush) - annual, red, orange, March to May

Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria (Golden tickseed) - annual, yellow, brown, February to November

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower) - perennial, pink, purple, April to  September

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel) - annual, red, yellow, brown May to August

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) - annual, white, blue,  March to May

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy), perennial, white, yellow,  March to November

Phlox drummondii (Annual phlox) - annual, red, pink, purple, March to June

Ratibida columnifera (Mexican hat) - perennial, orange, yellow, brown, May to October

Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa (Four-nerve daisy) - perennial, yelllow, January to December

Wedelia texana (Zexmenia) - perennial, May to November

 

From the Image Gallery


Huisache daisy
Amblyolepis setigera

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Entireleaf indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

Golden tickseed
Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Firewheel
Gaillardia pulchella

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii

Mexican hat
Ratibida columnifera

Four-nerve daisy
Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa

Zexmenia
Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida

More Wildflowers Questions

Bleeding Heart-Like Plant Identification in PA
May 09, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. We have a plant that looks almost like the bleeding heart, as in the way the bell shaped (not heart) white flowers hang downward on the stem. However, the leaves are broader and...
view the full question and answer

Will wildflowers planted in late December bloom this year?
January 24, 2009 - I have a home near Canyon Lake and seeded wildflowers on the property in late December. I have since read that the ideal time to seed them is before December 1st. Do they have a chance to bloom this...
view the full question and answer

How do I grow bluebonnets in East Texas?
April 03, 2009 - I live in the Piney Woods region in N.East Texas. I bought a flat of bluebonnets and want to know if they will grow back next year? If not, how do I get bluebonnets to grow back every year in my yard ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for an outdoor wedding in New York
February 06, 2009 - I am planning an outdoor wedding in New Rochelle, NY in May. We would like to use native plants. Can you suggests some that we can use in the bouquets and as potted plants? Thanks
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
May 09, 2003 - When can I harvest my Bluebonnets?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center