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

Monday - April 20, 2009

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

QUESTION:

Can you grow Texas Bluebonnets in mid-Florida?

ANSWER:

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

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Milkweed Seedlings Source for Austin, Texas
March 18, 2013 - Where can I find seedlings or four inch pots of common milkweed? I have a backyard garden that is mostly filtered sunlight and space for them.
view the full question and answer

Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
April 29, 2013 - We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
view the full question and answer

Short wildflowers to interplant with grass in PA
July 05, 2011 - I live in NE PA and would like to grow short wildflowers throughout my yard mixed in with my grass. Is this possible? If so, what would be a good match for my zone? I will be mowing the grass once a w...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Gay Feather
September 22, 2005 - Can I transplant the flower Gay Feather any time or should I wait until the plant dies this winter?
view the full question and answer

Wildflower Garden for a June wedding in Pepper Pike OH
February 24, 2013 - Greetings, We have a grand idea to plant a wildflower garden for an outdoor wedding in June. Located in Pepper Pike, Ohio at the home of the groom. They have a large property and we wondered what woul...
view the full question and answer

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