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
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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

Grasses and wildflowers for Central Texas
December 29, 2008 - I live between Bastrop and Paige and would like to know native grasses or types of wildflowers I can plant now. thank you
view the full question and answer

Source for seed of Blackfoot Daisy from Amarillo TX
October 29, 2011 - I need help finding Melampodium leucanthum seed. I have spent the last few hours on the web searching for them. I checked the resources in your lists and cannot find seed. I live in Potter Coun...
view the full question and answer

Best time for wildflower planting in the Ozarks
April 13, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Ozarks, and have an open bottomland valley area I want to transform into more natives for many reasons. I am starting a 2 acre field of NATIVE grasses (warm sea...
view the full question and answer

How and when to harvest bluebonnets.
April 30, 2010 - A previous answer mentioned harvesting bluebonnet seeds by pulling up the whole plant when the seed pods turn brown. Two clarifications - when do the seed pods turn brown as these plants are hard to ...
view the full question and answer

Developing fields with native plants from New Egypt NJ
July 24, 2013 - I have several acres of fields that I want to develop with native grasses and flowers. I would like to know the best time to mow the fields so that bushes and volunteer trees don't take over and that...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center