En Español

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

Sunday - April 12, 2009

From: Hurst, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: When to harvest bluebonnet seeds in Hurst TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I harvest the Blue Bonnet Seeds now (April) or do I have to wait until they dry up & pods begin to open?

ANSWER:

Here is an excerpt from a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question.

"Bluebonnets  Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)  are described as winter annuals; they germinate in the fall, form rosettes and overwinter, then flower in the spring. When mature, your bluebonnet legumes will burst open, slinging the seeds quite some distance in a seed-dispersal strategy known as explosive dehiscence.  Many plants employ this method of seed dispersal.  You can pull them, roots and all, from the ground just as the seedpods are turning brown and put them in closed paper grocery bags.  You'll be able to hear them popping inside the bag for days or weeks.  When they're finished popping, remove the seeds from the bottom of the bag and compost the plants and paper bags."

You can also read our How-to article on Bluebonnets and note that the seeds can then be planted wherever you would like to plant them either right away or in the fall following the instructions in the article.  


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Need plants for a ecoregion prairie project in Cleburne, TX
October 30, 2014 - I have a ecoregion prairie project in which students are to plant from pots a small area so visitors might see what the seeded area will become. We are struggling to find potted plants. HELP
view the full question and answer

Sequence of Seeding Wildflowers and Grasses in Texas
July 24, 2016 - In the How To article on meadow gardening, it recommends that a good chunk of your garden (50%-80%) should be native grasses. The kind mentioned in that article are typically warm season grasses. In...
view the full question and answer

Storing Rudbeckia Hirta Seed
October 10, 2014 - I just bought and planted your Rudbeckia hirta seed. I have a lot leftover. Can I store it until spring or better yet, next fall? If so, how?
view the full question and answer

Flowering ofPluchea odorata in Houston, TX
August 13, 2014 - I sprouted Pluchea odorata seeds this spring, but the plants seem too small to bloom this year. Although your website characterizes this plant as an annual, do you think it will survive the Houston wi...
view the full question and answer

Seeding the opposite bank of a canal in Texas
June 26, 2013 - We have a canal in our backyard. I thought it would be lovely to have flowers growing on the opposite bank. I could get to it to toss seeds, but not plant anything in the dirt because the ground slop...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center