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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - February 25, 2007

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Prediction on 2007 wildflower blooming chances
Answered by: Damon Waitt


Do you have a prediction on the wildflower season this year? Last year was very poor compared to other years and my sister from Georgia is wanting to visit this spring to go on wildflower expeditions. What do you think?


Here is our 2007 Wildflower Forecast courtesy of the Wildflower Center's ecologist, Dr. Mark Simmons.

Heavy Rains Could Bring Impressive Wildflower Displays - Above average rainfall in Central Texas could mean good things for wildflower displays and the many wildflower enthusiasts that enjoy them each spring. “Wildflowers typically do well in El Nino years,” said Mark Simmons, ecologist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. El Nino events are defined as a major warming of the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean, usually occurring every 3 to 7 years, and are characterized by shifts in “normal” weather patterns.

Wildflowers could be expected to start blooming in early March, since rainfall throughout the fall and winter months is a key factor in the healthy establishment of many early spring wildflowers. The icy weather this winter should not affect the spring displays because wildflowers are very resistant to cold and freezing conditions. However, with the increased wet conditions, bluebonnets can sometimes suffer from fungal infection. They typically thrive in well drained areas along slopes and in places like Marble Falls and Burnet, TX, where the soil has high granite content. The downside of the rainfall, Simmons said, is that invasive species also do well in these conditions and can push native wildflowers out. Invasive species are defined as non-native or alien to the local ecosystem and whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm. Gardeners are encouraged to plant non-invasive plants in their own yard to prevent their spread into natural areas. They should use invasive-free seed mixes and weed-free soil and mulch mix. To learn more about preventing the spread of invasives and protecting native wildflowers and other native plants visit www.beplantwise.org.

Expect to see early spring bloomers such as: bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, winecups, Blackfoot daisy, Drummond phlox and giant spiderwort.


More Wildflowers Questions

Photo of plant Beggar Tick
October 12, 2006 - I am looking for information and a photo of the plant Beggar Tick. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Preparation of seeds of Cosmos parviflorus for planting
July 21, 2014 - This is in regards to Cosmos Parviflorus. I reside directly outside of Big Bend National Park in Terlingua, TX. Cosmos Parviflorus grows naturally here and I have collected some seeds from a couple of...
view the full question and answer

Culture and location of native Stachys coccinea
May 10, 2006 - What are the soil, light, and water requirements for Texas betony (Stachys coccinea) and in what area(s) of Texas does it naturally occur?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets in memorial garden in cemetery
April 11, 2008 - When is the peak time to scatter bluebonnet seeds? I have a loved one that recently died, and she requested that her body be cremated. She would like her ashes to be mixed with bluebonnet seeds and ...
view the full question and answer

Flowers for Central Texas wedding in May
September 27, 2008 - Hi there! I am getting married in Marble Falls, TX in May. My soon to be husband and I are very eco-conscious, and were wondering what type of flowers are local and in season for a Central Texas weddi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center