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
2 ratings

Monday - February 04, 2008

From: Navasota, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Wildflowers
Title: Is there a variety of bluebonnet called black gumbo
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Grimes County, Texas on the eastern edge of the Blackland Prairie. A few years ago my hillside of Bluebonnet seed was harvested. I was told it was a rare 'black gumbo' variety of bluebonnet. Is there such a variety?

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants can show you articles about bluebonnets of different colors, but we haven't heard of a "black gumbo" variety of bluebonnet. Who told you this? Do you think, perhaps, they were 'pulling your leg' because the soil in the area where the bluebonnet seeds were collected can turn into a 'black gumbo' after rains?

Only Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet or sandyland bluebonnet) and Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet or buffalo clover) occur in or near Grimes County. Here are more pictures of L. subcarnosus and L. texensis. In general, L. texensis is more widespread than L. subcarnosus and is usually the one seeded along highways. However, L. subcarnosus was the only species designated as the State Flower in 1901. In 1971, all six Lupinus spp. that occur in Texas (L. subcarnosus, L. texensis, Lupinus concinnus (bajada lupine), Lupinus havardii (Big Bend bluebonnet), Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine), and Lupinus plattensis (Nebraska lupine)) were proclaimed to be the State Flower of Texas.

 

From the Image Gallery


Sandyland bluebonnet
Lupinus subcarnosus

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Annual lupine
Lupinus concinnus

Big bend bluebonnet
Lupinus havardii

Sundial lupine
Lupinus perennis

Nebraska lupine
Lupinus plattensis

More Plant Identification Questions

Spriranthes sp. blooming on rocky hilltop
November 13, 2015 - I am not sure if my previous question went thru, so I am submitting it again. How unusual is it to find a few blooming specimens of Spiranthes sp. on a rocky hilltop west of Loop 360 near Bee Caves R...
view the full question and answer

Identification of giant lilies
October 12, 2007 - I have giant lilies that I can't identify. The bulbs are about 4" in diameter, the leaves are 4 ft long. The flowers of the pink emerge only in the early summer, the flowers of the red emerge in s...
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine with yellow flowers in Nevada
August 10, 2014 - A flowering vine started growing in our Henderson back yard about 2 months ago. It has variegated green leaves & yellow flowers. We decided not to pull it out & now it's spreading. I've looked on v...
view the full question and answer

Identity of red flower that looks like a blue bell
May 31, 2013 - Looking for the name of a flower that grows in Breckinridge county Kentucky. It's looks similar to the blue bell but blood red in color. Any help is appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with large leaves and blue-black berries
January 15, 2013 - I visited a creek with a limestone seep spring that supplies it. Around the creek is growing some kind plant that has leaves that are very similar to a briar, or snailseed. However, the leaves of the ...
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