Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Friday - April 04, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Best of Smarty, Wildflowers
Title: What is wrong with the bluebonnets?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

This doesn't seem to be a very good year for bluebonnets. What's up with that?

ANSWER:

Sorry 'bout that. You're absolutely right that the bluebonnets are not as spectacular as they were last year. But, think back, the year before that, they were even less impressive. The nature of native wildflowers is that they are programmed to survive. When there is rain in sufficient amounts, the seeds in the ground, some of which may have been there for years, come popping up as quickly as they can. The drive is to reproduce and to permit the species to survive. So, last year, they came up, they bloomed, and we all marvelled. Then, they seeded out, and died. And the appropriate amount of rain at the appropriate time didn't happen this year. Spoiled by last year, the wildflower lovers are sulking some this year. But those seeds are still there, still waiting. It may be next Spring, it may be two or three years, but the seeds will get the rain and germinate and we'll have another great year for bluebonnets. In the meantime, enjoy all the wildflowers that are blooming and will bloom all year. We're awful lucky to be in Texas!

 

From the Image Gallery


Leavenworth's eryngo
Eryngium leavenworthii

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Tanseyleaf tansyaster
Machaeranthera tanacetifolia

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Kunth's evening-primrose
Oenothera kunthiana

Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Entireleaf indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

More Wildflowers Questions

Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
view the full question and answer

Fall blooming native Texas wildflowers
July 30, 2007 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm a writer working on a historical set in TX in 1821 in the fall. My characters travel from the piney woods in east TX to the South Plain around San Antonio in Sept and e...
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas Bluebonnets in Colorado
February 12, 2009 - I bought bluebonnet seeds from your wildflower center last August when visited Austin. Being a Texas native, I want to enjoy bluebonnets here in Colorado. When do I plant my seeds outdoors? In the gro...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers for farm in Virginia
December 24, 2008 - I am looking for wildflowers native to VA to spread in various beds around our Virginia Beach farm - does a mix exist, similar to what would have been spread along highways, that you can help me locat...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting native bluebells in Texas
July 02, 2008 - Hello Smarty, Italy TX here again! Your advice on crape myrtles has inspired me to try harder, but now I have a question about a TRUE native wildflower,the Texas Bluebell, growing in my pasture. I ca...
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.