En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 07, 2008

From: Kingsbury, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Genetically altered bluebonnets?
Answered by: Damon Waitt


I am trying to locate where I can purchase what I consider real bluebonnets not the genetic altered ones. The ones I am talking about are completely blue without the white tip on top. Do you have any idea where they can be purchased?


If you find bluebonnets that are completely blue without a white tip on top, those would be the ones that are genetically altered. The white tip is a natural part of the inflorescence development. If you look closely at the picture below you will see that the white tip is made up of immature flowers. As the tip grows upward these green and white buds will develop into flowers with blue pigmentation. The white face on the banner petal of the flowers midway up the inflorescence is also naturally occurring. Notice that it turns red as the flower ages as indicated by the flowers at the bottom of the inflorescence. You are basically going back in time as you work your way from the tip to the bottom of the flowering stalk.

Lupinus texensis



More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflowers for September wedding from Licking MO
June 02, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am getting married this September in Licking Missouri back in the woods on my dads land. I would like to have wildflowers for the bouquets and reception decor. Can I get some...
view the full question and answer

Care of wildflower meadow dried out in drought
June 30, 2011 - Mr Smarty Plants, Our wildflower patch is completely dried up here in Lucas,Tx. What do you do with the field? Mow it? Trim it? Let it be? The patch is about 1/2 acre.. Thanks,
view the full question and answer

Collecting bluebonnet seeds
May 13, 2008 - Greetings, My bluebonnets have bloomed nicely, and are showing a good crop of seed pods. I know that if I wait they will all open and spray the seeds everywhere, but I want to harvest some of the s...
view the full question and answer

Is there a variety of bluebonnet called black gumbo
February 04, 2008 - I live in Grimes County, Texas on the eastern edge of the Blackland Prairie. A few years ago my hillside of Bluebonnet seed was harvested. I was told it was a rare 'black gumbo' variety of bluebon...
view the full question and answer

Planting wildflowers from Wichita Falls, TX
August 24, 2013 - Hi, Thanks so much for the answers you give! You've been very helpful to me in the past. I have two quick questions: 1) I have been harvesting seeds from my wildflowers. I wonder when the best time...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center