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?

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
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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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 October wedding from Rockford AL
April 26, 2013 - Want to plant wildflowers that will bloom in early October in central Alabama for a wedding. Can you give me any suggestions ?
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Can you produce hay and bluebonnets on the same field?
March 03, 2010 - Hi - We have a field that produces wild bluebonnets every spring. Is it possible to grow and bail hay in this field and not kill off our bluebonnets? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Wildflower Meadow Gardening
September 16, 2005 - Good morning! I want to overseed a buffalo lawn that has been down for about a year with a wildflower mix, how would you recommend that we prepare the site.
view the full question and answer

Time for seeding wildflower seeds in Castle Rock CO
October 03, 2011 - I live in Castle Rock, CO. When is the best time to plant wildflower seed?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center