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: binghamton, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: More on bluebonnets
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I am a displaced Austinite - As of last week now living in upstate New York (Binghamton). As I was leaving town - a friend presented me with a pound bag of bluebonnet seeds. A thoughtful gift - but I am a bit of a brown thumber. I'd love to foster a crop of them in my, somewhat sunny - except for those darn tall trees:), yard. I haven't got a clue how to get them started - or when to plant them (I wouldn't think April would work - although it is supposed to snow today!). My Mom, a real big help on the matter, said that I needed to score the seeds to get them going. Is that fact or fiction, and what does that require....? Quite frankly, life was easier when I just had to hop in car and drive down MoPac. Lupine clueless in Binghamton!

ANSWER:

Hmmm...you have put Mr. Smarty Plants in a bit of a bind. Each region of the country has its own unique flora and bluebonnets are a unique part of the Central Texas flora. It is highly unlikely you would be successful growing them in New York's cold clime even if you were to sow the seed at the right time of year (which is in early Fall) and score the seed (fact not fiction).

Have you considered doing some research on plants native to your area by visiting our Native Plant Database and selecting New York from the combination search. I think you will find some excellent wildflowers native to your area like Castilleja coccinea (scarlet Indian paintbrush), Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan), Anemone canadensis (Canadian anemone), Trillium erectum (red trillium), and Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium).

Here are some bluebonnet pictures to tide you over while you explore the New York wildflowers.


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Late-blooming flowers for Northeast PA
May 12, 2007 - We have a weekend house in Northeast PA...Poconos. Pretty rocky terrain....when can we plant wildflowers? Is it too late to plant in late May? If so, when is best? What variety do you recommend fo...
view the full question and answer

Grow bluebonnets in Virginia
September 04, 2007 - I want to ATTEMPT to grow some Texas Bluebonnets in VA because I am homesick and both our kids are back in Austin. That said, the site says " it may be necessary to inoculate the soil with a rhizobiu...
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

Deer Resistant, Fast Growing Groundcover Suggestions for Georgia
April 20, 2013 - Our driveway is 1/4 mile in length and is steep on both sides (one side up one side down). It currently has grass that our contractor planted using seed when we built our house. We are unable to cut t...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Galveston
February 12, 2012 - I'm looking for low maintenance, drought tolerant plants for Galveston, on the bay side, in a well drained area with morning sun. I was thinking of Phlox, Muhly grass, Lantana.....and I am looking f...
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