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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

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