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

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

Mowing Bluebonnets
March 20, 2004 - When is it safe to mow Bluebonnets?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet party for April 17 in Brenham TX
March 15, 2010 - I wish to have a Bluebonnet party. I planted seeds in the spring and fall and the plants have come up like crazy. Given our unusual weather, when can you predict they will peak.?? I was planning t...
view the full question and answer

Planting ironweed in Valley Forge
June 07, 2011 - I work in a national park and we have one population of Vernonia glauca (tawny ironweed), a state-listed endangered species in Pennsylvania. Last year we collected seed and have been successful in gro...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower gardening for Henderson Co. TX
August 10, 2009 - We purchased some of the Lady Bird's Legacy Wild Flower Mix and the Hummers and Singers to plant on Ranch in East Texas, Henderson County, that has Sandy Loam Soil. We would like to plant the seeds i...
view the full question and answer

Time to sow wildflower seeds in Ft. Worth TX
January 07, 2010 - When do I sow wildflower seeds?
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