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

Excessive nitrogen inhibiting coreopsis blooms
September 28, 2006 - I planted coreopsis in the summer last year and they bloomed profusely nonstop from June 2005 to April 2006. However, this past summer, continuing to present time, my coreopsis have not bloomed at a...
view the full question and answer

Best planting time for wildflower seeds in Austin, TX
February 13, 2007 - When would be the best time to plant wild flower seeds and mow an area where we want to grow wild flowers in Austin Texas?
view the full question and answer

How do I grow bluebonnets in East Texas?
April 03, 2009 - I live in the Piney Woods region in N.East Texas. I bought a flat of bluebonnets and want to know if they will grow back next year? If not, how do I get bluebonnets to grow back every year in my yard ...
view the full question and answer

Dicentra Late in Emerging in the Spring
April 29, 2013 - I have had a bleeding heart plant that has come up for over 50 years. This year it did not come up. Is there anything I can do? Is there a chance that it will come up next year or should I assume that...
view the full question and answer

Time of year for wildflower viewing in Northern Indiana and Michigan
April 22, 2007 - I used to live in the southern US but now live in Northern Indiana and was wondering if wildflower fields will be blooming here and in Michigan by early May (I was hoping to do some rural exploring th...
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