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 texana

More Propagation Questions

Controlling agave pups from Galveston, TX
July 26, 2013 - I live in Galveston, Tx.I have several large 5ft tall century plants in my yard and the pups are coming up everywhere..how do I control these??? HELP!!
view the full question and answer

Rooting cuttings in water from Rifle CO
July 11, 2012 - Found russian sage lavender stems from cutting. Need to find out if I can root them in water? I also have found rose cutting; wondering if I can put them in water to root? I have a western chokecher...
view the full question and answer

Final size of a Texas mountain laurel
August 11, 2014 - I have purchased a Texas Mountain Laurel. The plant tag says it will grow 25 to 35 feet. LBWF plant data base says 10 to 15 feet. Which data should I go with? It's either plant close but not close to...
view the full question and answer

Pollination of blackberries in Lake Winnebago, MO
May 27, 2010 - Not sure if blackberries are native, but my daughter got a start of one at a plant exchange at the nature center. Do we need more than one for it to pollinate correctly? We have strawberries growing i...
view the full question and answer

Saving frozen yuccas from North Carolina
February 23, 2013 - I live in NC and have 2 potted yucca plants on my deck. Every year I have brought them in for the winter. This year, someone told us that we could leave them out all winter. They began to die in the c...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center