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

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


Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

Leavenworth's eryngo
Eryngium leavenworthii

Firewheel
Gaillardia pulchella

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

Stiff greenthread
Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium

Entireleaf indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

More Wildflowers Questions

Instructions on making wildflower seed balls
September 20, 2007 - About 2 years ago I visited the LBJ Wildflower Center and picked up a sheet that described how to make wildflower seed mud balls. I've lost the sheet and can't find the directions on your site. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Early spring wildflowers of Pennsylvania
September 30, 2011 - What native wildflower is the first to bloom in Weedville, Pa? (Jay township, Elk county) I am working on a research paper for my Environmental Problems class, and this would be very helpful. Thank y...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seed balls
November 13, 2007 - On one of the HGTV garden shows Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was featured. It showed how you could make little dirt balls filled with wild flower seeds and throw them around your land making i...
view the full question and answer

2012 wildflower forecast from Friendswood TX
September 29, 2011 - What is your current view of the 2012 Wildflower Forecast? What weeks might be best for someone traveling from Colorado to see our flowers? We are concerned about what the drought will do to the 20...
view the full question and answer

Flowering perennials beneath Ashe juniper.
March 25, 2009 - Dear Sir: What type of flowering perennial plants will grow underneath Mountain Cedar and its pine needles? Thanks.
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