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Monday - April 20, 2009

From: Brandon, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Can you grow Texas bluebonnets in Florida?
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Can you grow Texas Bluebonnets in mid-Florida?


By an act of the Texas Legislature in 1971, Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet), which had been named the official State Flower in 1901, was joined by Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) to stop a 70-year-old squabble about which was the prettiest. The Legislature then covered all their bases by stating that "any other bluebonnet not heretofore recorded"  as native to Texas would also be considered the State Flower. This means that Texas has six state flowers, all members of the Lupinus genus and all native to Texas:

Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)

Lupinus concinnus (bajada lupine)

Lupinus havardii (Big Bend bluebonnet)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Lupinus plattensis (Nebraska lupine)

One of those, Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine), is also native to Florida, so, anything is possible. Read our How To Article How to Grow Bluebonnets remembering that the article is very much dealing with Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet), which is a native of Central Texas. 

This USDA Plant Profile of Sundial Lupine shows it growing only in Northern Florida, in the Florida Panhandle, so we're not sure what adaptations you might have to make to get it to grow in mid-Florida. It is a very adaptable plant, but needs good drainage, and enjoys sandy soil.  Bluebonnets are winter annuals, seeding out after they have bloomed, resting in the soil until the weather turns cold, then putting up rosettes usually before Christmas and, in Texas, beginning to bloom by the end of February. You will no doubt have to make some adjustments to get them to grow in Florida to convince the seeds that winter is here, but if you're determined and do some experimenting, you probably will get some to grow. 

Lupinus subcarnosus

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus concinnus

Lupinus havardii

Lupinus perennis

Lupinus plattensis




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