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?

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

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

Thursday - April 19, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: More on bluebonnets
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are pink bluebonnets still considered very rare? I discovered several growing amongst normal blues on the National Instruments corporate campus here in Austin. I wasn't sure if the Wildflower Center or perhaps someone at UT/A&M would be interested in them in any way? I've posted a picture at http://ftp.ni.com/outgoing/bluebonnet/pink_bluebonnet.jpg In summary, is this indeed a pink bluebonnet, how rare are they really, and should we report it to anyone? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Yes, pink bluebonnets, like white bluebonnets (see the recent posting), are rather rare, although they are pretty easy to spot since they stand out in a field of blue ones. These color variants are the result of mutation in the gene(s) reponsible for the blue pigment that colors the flowers. And, unless their flowers are pollinated by pollen from a plant with similarly colored flowers, the seeds that they produce will grow into plants next year that have the typical blue flowers—not the unusual pink or white flowers.

You might contact Dr. Jerry Parsons at Texas A&M to see if he is interested, or knows anyone interested, in tracking these rare color mutants. Dr. Parsons is responsible for selecting and breeding red and maroon bluebonnets. You can read that story in The Color-ization of the State Flower.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Locales for photographing wildflowers in Dallas, TX area
April 17, 2007 - My daughter has a project for school where she has to find and take her picture with 20 different Texas wildflowers and identify them. We have found some of the more common ones, but I was wondering ...
view the full question and answer

Are bluebonnets toxic to horses from Pearland TX
March 10, 2011 - Are bluebonnets toxic to horses?
view the full question and answer

Information on what Texas wildflowers are disappearing
August 02, 2011 - I was shocked to find that Texas Bluebells were vanishing. What other Texas wildflowers are vanishing? There is an endangered species list but I want to help before my wildflower neighbors before t...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 05, 2006 - Hello: We have been told that the sparse Bluebonnet appearance this Spring is due to sparse rainfall at the appropriate times. Were there fewer seeds to sprout and grow? Or are the seeds still ...
view the full question and answer

Asters bloom period
April 16, 2005 - When do the asters bloom?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center