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

Native plants growing between Eagle Pass and Del Rio, TX
October 25, 2005 - I have just bought an acre near Quemado, Texas. That's about halfway between Eagle Pass and Del Rio. I'd like to know what the native plants for this area are, especially colorful flowers for the ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants wildflower gardens
January 08, 2004 - I want to plant a wildflower garden but I live in NC And I want My garden to be in bloom all year what types of wildflowers will stay in bloom all year and do I have to import them?
view the full question and answer

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

School Rain Garden in Iowa
January 08, 2013 - Could you recommend plants for a rain garden to be installed on a middle school campus in the Council Bluffs Iowa area???? Many thanks!
view the full question and answer

Native plants of Taos and Los Alamos NM from Houston
April 07, 2012 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, can you recommend a guidebook for the native plants of the Taos/Los Alamos region? (I'm most interested in forbs.) I'll be headed there in May--is there anything I should es...
view the full question and answer

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