En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - More on bluebonnets

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

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

Optimum mowing time for acreage with spring wildflowers
November 17, 2003 - I have several acres where wildflowers grow in the spring, & would like to know when and how often to mow this field for optimum blooms?
view the full question and answer

Plant a wildflower garden
March 20, 2004 - How do I plant a wildflower garden?
view the full question and answer

Color of Englemann's daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)
April 11, 2010 - I'm in Austin and just bought some Engelmann's Daisies at the plant sale on Fri. The picture had them with white petals, and your plant database has them with yellow petals. I specifically wanted wh...
view the full question and answer

Help for Collapsing Tradescantia
August 14, 2013 - My tradescantia has completely collapsed at the crown. The stems are yellowish. This happened once before when I had it planted in full sun and I just had to discard it. This time I have one plante...
view the full question and answer

How to Propagate Mexican Bush Sage in Marble Falls, Texas
September 14, 2010 - I need advice on when, how to separate Mexican bush sage. Ours is happy and HUGE but is now sprouting from the roots at the base. Since we've been so successful with this plant, we want to divide it...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center