En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 20, 2008

From: Bryceville, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Information about Lady Lupine (Lupinus villosus)
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, Lady Lupine grows in our yard in northeast Florida, and I would like to learn more about it, especially the stages it goes through, like now the purple petals themselves are changing to a feather-like stage. I have not been able to find any information on this. Can you guide me? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has no personal knowledge of Lupinus villosus (lady lupine) and there doesn't seem to me much information about the life cycle of this plant. There are descriptions in several books, however. The majority say that it is a perennial (Bell and Taylor, "Florida Wild Flowers and Roadside Plants"; Taylor, "Florida Wildflowers in Their Natural Communities"; and Duncan, "Wildflowers of the Eastern United States"). However, Nelson, "East Gulf Coastal Plain Wildflowers" calls it a "robust annual or biennial".

Duncan says: "This species to 50 cm. from a deep woody taproot. Stems mostly decumbent, a few to many in a dense clump. Leaves evergreen and simple, which is unusual for lupines since almost all have deciduous palmately compound leaves. Standard purple to reddish with a deep reddish-purple spot."

So, considering that it is perennial (going with the majority) and evergreen, the leaves should persist year round and the blossoms (if they have been fertilized) should produce fruits in the form of pods with seeds inside. The leaves might die down some in the winter but will be replaced in the spring. You might consider gathering the seeds for planting if you are wanting to introduce more into your garden since we suspect that large plants will be difficult to transplant. You should leave established wild-growing plants where they’re growing and collect a few seeds for propagation. You should try to duplicate wild-growing conditions as much as possible in the garden.


Lupinus villosus

Lupinus villosus

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Giant Thistle-Like Plant from Elgin, TX
June 01, 2014 - I have a giant thistle like plant in my field we have been unable to identify. It looks like a milk thistle but it is short..only about a foot tall..stocky...and the flowers are giant..about 6 to 8 i...
view the full question and answer

Dietes bicolor invasive from Brisbane Australia
April 01, 2013 - We have dietes bicolor growing in our garden. I am changing the type of garden and cannot seem to kill it. I've dugged it out, spent too many weekends pulling out every new shoot, used poison, but t...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for gravesite in Maryland
March 13, 2013 - I know this is very unusual question but here I go. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and I am looking for a low ground cover for my grandparents grave. The soil is very sandy and I am looking...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping plants for Sherman, Texas
December 19, 2007 - We are starting from scratch on landscaping our new yard. We live in Sherman, TX and I would like to use plants and flowers that are native to Texas and have a good chance of surviving. What are you...
view the full question and answer

Forget-me-nots choking a spring in Bethlehem PA
June 20, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am restoring a native plant area along a spring that feeds directly into our local creek. Right now the spring is becoming choked with forget-me-nots, that I am trying ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center