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
1 rating

Wednesday - June 13, 2007

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Bluebonnets as a source of nitrogen fixation
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am fascinated by Texas Bluebonnets and want to introduce them to k-12 students as a major source of Nitrogen fixation. As I want to present this to the teachers can I get any guidance from you, like some hands-on activity about seed germination or nitrogen fixation that can be completed within 10 minutes?

ANSWER:

A good place to start would be the Wildflower Center's article on Texas Bluebonnets which includes a short discussion of the species' capacity to fix nitrogen as well as a lengthy discussion on how to germinate bluebonnets. A succinct overview of nitrogen fixation may be found on Wikipedia. A more in-depth discussion of the topic may be found at Dr. David Dalton's Reed College webpage. We know of no simple teaching demonstrations for nitrogen fixation. However, it would be a simple matter to wash the soil off roots of bluebonnets and show the students what the rhizobium nodules look like along with a discussion of how they work.
 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Karoo rose
June 15, 2007 - Where would the Adenium obesum/desert rose/Karoo rose pictured in the Austin American-Statesman's Gardening section on 06/09/07 be available for purchase in or near the Taylor, Texas (76574) area?
view the full question and answer

Source for Habiturf sod in Central Texas
October 02, 2015 - Do you know any source for Habiturf sod in Central Texas? I contacted Blade Runner Farms and they replied that their Habiturf project was discontinued.
view the full question and answer

Why are Virginia strawberries native to Massachusetts?
February 26, 2009 - Thank you for your answer regarding Virginia wild strawberries. I thought they were only native to Virginia and that Virginia fragaria duchesne is the accepted name for them. Why do strawberries of Ne...
view the full question and answer

Resource for information on phytoremediation
April 27, 2006 - Hello, I've been searching for a resource that will tell me which contaminants certain plants are able to absorb (in terms of phytoremediation). Thanks so much - I do hope to hear from you so...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seed sources for Collinsia verna.
June 29, 2009 - Hello, I am looking for seeds of Collinsia verna to plant in my woodland wildflower garden. I live in NC, a bit out of the native range, so don't have immediate access to native seeds. Do you kno...
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