En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - April 05, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: From Austin, some Texas bluebonnet seeds that will grow in San Diego, CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Is there a variety of Texas blue bonnet that will grow in San Diego, CA?


Since you are writing from Austin, we assume you would like to send someone in San Diego a packet of seed, or perhaps you are moving there and wish to take some Texas with you. We get many, many requests for bluebonnet seeds that will grow all over the world.

The five state flowers of Texas are: (From The Texas State Historical Association)

  1. "Lupinus subcarnosus, the original champion and still co-holder of the title, grows naturally in deep sandy loams from Leon County southwest to LaSalle County and down to the northern part of Hidalgo County in the Valley. It is often referred to as the sandy land bluebonnet. The plant's leaflets are blunt, sometimes notched with silky undersides. This species, which reaches peak bloom in late March, is not easy to maintain in clay soils.
  2. Lupinus texensis, the favorite of tourists and artists, provides the blue spring carpet of Central Texas. It is widely known as THE Texas bluebonnet. It has pointed leaflets, the flowering stalk is tipped with white (like a bunny's tail) and hits its peak bloom in late March and early April. It is the easiest of all the species to grow.
  3. Lupinus Havardii, also known as the Big Bend or Chisos Bluebonnet, is the most majestic of the Texas bluebonnet tribe with flowering spikes up to three feet. It is found on the flats of the Big Bend country in early spring, usually has seven leaflets and is difficult to cultivate outside its natural habitat.
  4. Lupinus concinnus is an inconspicuous little lupine, from 2 to 7 inches, with flowers which combine elements of white, rosy purple and lavender. Commonly known as the annual lupine, it is found sparingly in the Trans-Pecos region, blooming in early spring.
  5. Lupinus plattensis sneaks down from the north into the Texas Panhandle's sandy dunes. It is the only perennial species in the state and grows to about two feet tall. It normally blooms in mid to late spring and is also known as the dune bluebonnet, the plains bluebonnet and the Nebraska lupine.

Since that list was published, apparently two more native bluebonnets have been added to the list. So, you can follow the links to the webpages to see all the information on bluebonnets native to Texas:

Lupinus concinnus (Annual lupine)

Lupinus havardii (Big bend bluebonnet)

Lupinus perennis (Sundial lupine)

Lupinus perennis ssp. gracilis (Sundial lupine)

Lupinus plattensis (Nebraska lupine)

Lupinus subcarnosus (Sandyland bluebonnet)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)

Next, we searched on the 39 members of the genus Lupinus native to Callifornia and found that exactly one, Lupinus concinnus (Annual lupine) is native to both Texas and California. This USDA Plant Profile Map  shows that Lupinus concinnus (Annual lupine) is, indeed, native to San Diego County. The only picture of this plant in our Native Plant Image Gallery is the one below, and it was not taken in a very good light. Here are some more pictures from Google.


From the Image Gallery

Annual lupine
Lupinus concinnus

More Wildflowers Questions

Bluebonnets and paintbrush for Fredericksburg VA
April 10, 2011 - Can I broadcast Texas bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush seeds, in Virginia, during early Spring and get germination; or, do I need to winterize and plant next spring.
view the full question and answer

Should I thin my bluebonnet seedlings in Austin, TX
October 20, 2009 - It is October, and we have hundreds, maybe thousands, of bluebonnets sprouting at Eilers Park. The seeds are from plants we installed last year. They look like they should be thinned. Should we thin t...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating Claytonia virginica in Varna IL
April 13, 2010 - How do I get rid of or control Claytonia virginica? It is starting to take over my lawn.
view the full question and answer

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

Meadow planting on a shale slope with shallow soil in NY
March 04, 2010 - Need to elaborate on my previous question which I am sure will produce a different response. We have a very large slope, near the top of a very long driveway, that is in a sunny location and comprise...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center