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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Tuesday - April 08, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Bluebonnet a weed?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is the bluebonnet a weed?

ANSWER:

The short answer to that is "no." To us, a weed is a plant that is not where it belongs. Bluebonnets and other native plants are growing now pretty much where they have always grown, because they CAN grow there. If someone comes along and plants a non-native that has no natural enemies in terms of insects or disease in the area, it could be considered a weed, and if it starts to take over and crowd out the native plants, it becomes an invasive weed. Just because a plant is growing wild, not with any help from humans, sprouting, blooming, seeding and beginning the whole cycle over again, doesn't make it a weed. We suggest you read this article on Why Use Native Plants? to help you get a feel for what plants belong and what plants don't.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

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