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 date for spring bluebonnet blooms for 2015
January 31, 2015 - What is the estimated date range for the best bluebonnet viewing in the Hill Country this year (2015). I have guests from the north planning a visit and we'd like to pick a weekend with great possibi...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a water collection pit in Bronson, FL
August 22, 2013 - I live near Gainesville, FL in a low rural area with many cypress swamps around & bought this 5 acres 2 years ago. About 15 years ago a pit was dug on my 5 acres to give the rainwater somewhere to go...
view the full question and answer

Is common milkweed considered endangered from Woburn MA
February 08, 2010 - Is common milkweed, a food source for monarchs, considered federally protected, endangered, rare or threatened? Does any state protect common milkweed? It would be nice; if not, if state parks and nat...
view the full question and answer

Native Streambank Plants for SE Pennsylvania
July 18, 2013 - I help manage a nature preserve in southeastern Pennsylvania. Along the stream the banks have been beaten down by a large number of visitors for their educational activities such as stream studies. Th...
view the full question and answer

Orientation of roots of Ranunculus
April 11, 2006 - I need to know how to plant "Ranunculus". I don't know which way to put the rhizomes/bulbs in the ground. Do they go flat side down or strange long tubular things upward ?
view the full question and answer

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