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
16 ratings

Saturday - January 31, 2009

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Bluebonnet prospects for 2009 in Central Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How does the bluebonnet season look for 2009 in Central Texas (Austin). Will it be a good year and when will it start and when will it peak? Thanks for all you do!!!

ANSWER:

We had a similar question to this, way back in June 2008 from someone planning a reunion. Being terminally lazy, we are recopying it here, and will make corrections to any of the links we previously mentioned.

Gee, ask us an easy one, like how to have world peace. Or cheap gasoline. Nature is a law unto itself, and predictions are risky, to say the least. Officially, the peak bloom of bluebonnets in Central Texas is in mid-April. They are winter annuals, with the first green rosettes appearing in January, and earliest blooms sometimes in late February. As you no doubt know, 2007 was a banner year for bluebonnets, with rains the previous Fall and again in the late Winter and early Spring, all just the right time. We had a moist, cool Spring and early Summer, and the blooms not only started early, they were profuse and lingered late. In 2008, they seemed to vanish. West of Austin, there was so little rain that wildflowers were few and far between, with bluebonnets not even appearing in many places. In Austin, it wasn't much better, and we were recommending that people wanting to see fields of blue should go east toward Brenham, but even there, they felt the unsatisfactory conditions. Since we have been in an extreme drought in Central Texas for more than a year, we fear that the results are going to be much the same. Possibly, if we get some substantial rains soon, some of the season might be saved, but bluebonnets really depend on Fall rains and a period of cold winter to develop and germinate. 

The Wildflower Center website always has information on what's blooming, and will have bluebonnet forecasts in the Spring. Several other groups provide information on sightings and routes for viewing wildflowers. One of these is Lonestar Internet, Inc. You can find more routes and information at the Texas Hill Country Wildflower Trail web site. DeWitt County offers its own wildflower site as does Brenham, Texas in Washington County. On the Brenham page, select "Visitor Information", then "Nature Watch" to find their information on wildflowers. We went in and checked all these sites, and it is apparently too early for anyone to be predicting; everyone is in the same predicament we are, as in "who knows?" Keep checking those sites, and as the situation develops, there will start being more specific information, hopefully, information that the bluebonnets have miraculously pulled a great blooming season out of their hats. 


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Requirements to grow Lupinus albifrons
October 07, 2008 - What is required to grow Lupinus albifrons? Temp., soil mix, alkaline or acid, etc.?
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep clay bank in Summerfield OH
April 07, 2012 - Hello, We have a steep 15-20 foot high bank behind our house here in southern Ohio. Probably 50 ft.long. What could we plant for beauty and erosion control. It is nasty clay soil with lots of shale an...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower driving tours in Texas
March 06, 2005 - I am looking for suggested wildflower driving tours in Texas. Do you perhaps have a listing of suggested driving routes one might take for a day or two in order to view the Springtime wildflowers? A...
view the full question and answer

How to grow bluebonnets in Atlanta TX
March 04, 2011 - How can I grow bluebonnets in Atlanta Texas?
view the full question and answer

What to plant in northern Virginia
October 20, 2004 - We have recently purchased 10 acres in Northern Virginia, and would like to plant native wildflowers on 4 of the acres. The soil has a high clay content and is currently covered in a mixture of grasse...
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