Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
5 ratings

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

More Wildflowers Questions

Best Asclepias for Kansas City
October 06, 2014 - I have a question about the Asclepias. I live in the Midwest, in Kansas City with hardiness zone 5b or 6. I want to know which of these plants would be good for me in a cultivated garden. It's not to...
view the full question and answer

Planting Suggestions for a Lake Home in Wayne County, MO
April 03, 2014 - We have a lake home in Wayne County, MO at Lake Wappapello. The soil is very rocky. We recently cleared an area around our home of assorted dead trees, some cedars and what seemed like tons of vines. ...
view the full question and answer

Seeds native to New Jersey from Glendora NJ
April 16, 2012 - My sister is getting married and would like to send out native wildflower seeds to the guests in her save the dates. We want these seeds to be NJ native seeds, but we are actually having some trouble ...
view the full question and answer

Native xeric grasses for Colorado
June 24, 2010 - Tired of mowing - replacing western exposure full sun lawn with native xeric grass. Please explain the pros and cons of Bouteloua Gracilis (Blue Grama) and Bouteloua Dactyloides Bella (Bella Blue Gra...
view the full question and answer

Short, Shady Plants for South Carolina
February 24, 2015 - I have a shady part of my mother's garden that doesn't drain very well. Do you have any suggestions as to what type of flowers or plants (preferably native to S.C.) that aren't red that might grow ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.