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
4 ratings

Wednesday - May 14, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Spanish name for bluebonnet
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Anne Ruggles

QUESTION:

What is the Spanish name for bluebonnet? They were in Texas before any other Europeans and must have named the flower. I cannot find it anywhere.

ANSWER:

One Mexican name for Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is "el conejo" (the rabbit) referring to the white tip of the flower that resembles the tail of a cottontail rabbit, according to Silverthorne in Legends and Lore of Texas Wildflowers (p. 22) and Andrews in The Texas Bluebonnet (p. 13).

We also found a couple of other Spanish names given to the bluebonnet in an older dictionary (Williams, Edwin B. Spanish and English dictionary. Diccionario inglés y español. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962). The other two words were:

1. "azulejo"—the major definition is 'tile', but it was also defined as 'bluebonnet', 'indigo bunting' and 'cornflower'.

2. "aciano"—defined as 'bluebonnet' and 'cornflower'

Then, on SpanishDict.com we found these translations for 'bluebonnet':

!. "gorra azul, mote de los soldados escoceses, que llevan tal gorra" = bluebonnet (or blue cap), nickname for Scottish soldiers who wore such a bonnet (or cap)—not necessarily related to the flower.

2. "flor azul silvestre" = wild blue flower

The botanical name, Lupinus texensis, is the same in every language, of course.

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

List of most popular wildflowers in Texas Hill Country from Austin
January 15, 2011 - Can you please tell me the top 10 wildflowers found in the Texas hill country..by numbers, not popularity?
view the full question and answer

Forecast for 2008 Spring wildflower season
February 18, 2008 - Has there been a forecast made for this spring's bluebonnet and wildflower season?
view the full question and answer

Prime wildflower bloom viewing times in Texas
January 31, 2007 - I am planning to drive from Wisconsin to San Antonio in the spring. My schedule is flexible, so I would like to time the trip with the wildflower bloom. I grew up in Texas, but I can't remember when ...
view the full question and answer

Requirements to grow Lupinus albifrons
October 07, 2008 - What is required to grow Lupinus albifrons? Temp., soil mix, alkaline or acid, etc.?
view the full question and answer

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
view the full question and answer

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