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
1 rating

Saturday - October 04, 2008

From: Paige, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Seeds for native Sandyland Bluebonnet
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Bastrop County Texas and would like to plant our native Sandyland Bluebonnet, Lupinus subcarnosus. I have checked most of the native plant supply firms, but can't find this species (except for B&T in Europe). Do you know anyone supplying it? Thank you very much for any help you can pass my way.

ANSWER:

You are correct, the usual native seed suppliers that we rely on don't seem to differentiate between the different Texas native bluebonnets in their catalogs. When we searched on the botanical names of the six species of Lupinus considered to be Texas State Flower, our usual old reliable Native American Seed gave us a "hit" only on Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) and they were referred to simply as "Bluebonnets." Lupinus concinnus (bajada lupine), Lupinus havardii (Big Bend bluebonnet), Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine), Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet), and Lupinus plattensis (Nebraska lupine) did not rate a mention. We discussed this with some staff people at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center who do some of the seed and plant collection for the Wildflower Center. They did not know of any harvesting of Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet), specifically. We are of the opinion that, for the harvesters, just determining which species was which when they were taking seeds would be very difficult, especially since the blossoms are long gone when the seeds are harvested. It's very possible that when you buy a packet of Texas Bluebonnet seeds, you may be getting some of the other species' seeds besides Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet), but who could tell the difference?

We did find a very technical article comparing the soils in which Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) and Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet) grow, which stated that Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet) did very well in Bastrop Park sandy loam. Of course, we're sure you know that you cannot harvest seeds in a State park, nor from any private property without express permission from the landowners. However, if you keep a sharp eye out during the next bloom season, you might be able to mark some of the blooming plants in the Bastrop area for the species you want, and (remember, not without permission) harvest some of those seeds for your project. Who knows, you may have Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet) already growing on your property!


Lupinus subcarnosus

Lupinus subcarnosus

Lupinus subcarnosus

Lupinus concinnus

Lupinus havardii

Lupinus perennis

Lupinus plattensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Perennials for flower bed in Humble TX
July 28, 2010 - I have a 10 foot by 10 foot flower bed that needs to be replanted and I am located in Houston, TX so what would be some good perennials to plant that are good to grow in this heat? I have been told L...
view the full question and answer

Number of wild flowers in Durham NC compared to all of North Carolina
April 24, 2009 - How many wild flowers have been identified in the North Carolina Area compared to just in Durham. I would like to photograph them all and want to know how close I can get to capturing photos of all th...
view the full question and answer

Time for planting wildflower seeds in East Texas
August 06, 2007 - I live in northeast Texas, and we have had abundant rains here. Can I plant some wildflower seeds now, and if so, what plants would be appropriate?
view the full question and answer

Recreating a wildflower meadow, central Texas
July 02, 2013 - We have an acre on our property that has bluebonnets. Unfortunately, it also has other plants that we don't want -Johnson grass, nettles, burrs. We plan to do a controlled burn in the fall and re-...
view the full question and answer

Inadvisability of overseeding winter rye with wildflowers
January 15, 2007 - I've recently had such phenomenal success with winter rye seed that I'm looking for a spring wildflower seed mix to dress over the same area -- a thin-soiled and pretty bare open-sun (and sprinkler-...
view the full question and answer

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