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

Thursday - November 13, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Propagation of wildflower seeds
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently planted seeds for bluebonnets, winecups and pink evening primrose. The bluebonnets have germinated and are growing, but no sign of the other two. Do the winecups and pink evening primrose not germinate until spring? What do the seedlings look like?

ANSWER:

There are a number of species of each genus you have asked about. We tried to pick those we thought most likely to have been planted around Austin, and found a few illustrations to help you recognize them as they emerged from the ground. Remember that wildflower seeds, especially Texas Bluebonnets, will sometimes remain in the ground for years, coming up when they are good and ready, and surprise you by popping out. They will not all germinate the first year, and some will never germinate at all.

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is considered a winter annual; thus, it is already displaying its palmate rosettes, flat on the ground, in November. Those leaves will stay close to the ground, where they are insulated by the warmth of the soil, until the end of January or thereabouts, when they will begin to put out some leaves above that rosette, and soon begin setting buds, to bloom March to May. We found one picture (below) of the rosette flat on the ground without blooms, yet.

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) has rounded, hairy leaves, deeply lobed and cleft, which will probably start emerging early February, to bloom from March to June. This is a perennial, so in future years, your garden may retain some of the green leaves from year to year.

Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. macrocarpa (bigfruit evening-primrose) - leaves alternate, narrowly lance-shaped to oval, beginning to show up in February. Also a perennial, and will bloom from May to July.


Lupinus texensis

Callirhoe involucrata

Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. macrocarpa

Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. macrocarpa

Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. macrocarpa

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Science project
May 16, 2010 - I am doing a science project and have to find 30 examples of flowers native to Texas to photograph. What is available in the Dallas - Fort Worth area that is easily photographed?
view the full question and answer

Germination of bluebonnet seeds in Hempstead, TX
April 01, 2008 - We scattered 20 lbs of bluebonnet seeds on our property near Hempstead. Only about 10 plants have come up even though on another part of the property we have thousands. It is well drained and in sun....
view the full question and answer

Information on Texas wildflowers
February 28, 2009 - Does your site (or another site known to you) have a link to provide information on when our Texas wildflowers should emerge this year at various locations in the state, and whether this year is expec...
view the full question and answer

Schedule for planting perennial wildflowers from Asheville NC
March 22, 2013 - When is the best time to plant perennial wildflowers?
view the full question and answer

Locating wildflowers for school project in March
January 27, 2005 - I have been assigned a school project to collect 10 wildflowers by March. I don't see any around to collect this time of year. Do you know where I could find some? I live in San Antonio.
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