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: 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

Where can white prickly poppy be viewed en mass from Baton Rouge LA?
January 16, 2013 - Does the center feature the native White Prickly Poppy? When is prime blooming season? Can you give me some specific locations in the area where the plant can be seen en mass and photographed? Thank...
view the full question and answer

Mildew and red spider mites on native bluebonnets
April 02, 2008 - In reply to the spider mite question. Absolutely! They were on the tops of the leaves which is unusual. I looked under a magnifying glass and confirmed this. I also have some mildew on the lower leave...
view the full question and answer

Springbeauty in New Jersey and Dog Allergies
May 11, 2013 - Is Claytonia virginica in New Jersey and could my dog be allergic to it?
view the full question and answer

Favorite Wildflower
July 31, 2011 - Dear Green Guru - What are your favorite wildflowers? Signed Curious
view the full question and answer

Mixed wildflower seeds in pots in Houston
March 02, 2010 - Hello - I live in Houston, TX and was recently given a few seed packets of mixed wildflowers. Unfortunately, I live in an apartment and I'm limited to a large balcony with a container garden. The ba...
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