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
1 rating

Sunday - August 09, 2009

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Backyard bluebonnets in Georgetown, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am growing bluebonnets in my backyard in Georgetown, TX. Even with the drought, I have had blooms all summer and still have two plants blooming. Is this normal? Thanks for all the work you all do to keep Texas beautiful.

ANSWER:

Is this normal? What is normal in Texas weather and plants? Is it natural? Absolutely. We recently received a similar question from someone else in Central Texas who had planted some seeds in February and had bluebonnets blooming in July. An excerpt from that answer:

"It is unusual, but not unheard of. Bluebonnets, like other native plants, have learned to live with their environment and to survive. In order to survive, they must reproduce. In order to reproduce, they must flower in order to set seed. Your seeds were planted at just about the time the bluebonnets are beginning to bloom. Under ordinary circumstances, those seeds would have just stayed quietly in the ground, waiting for better days. They have a very hard coat which allows them to stay viable for several years, if necessary. Changing temperatures and the friction of the soil itself will eventually cause some, not all, of the seeds to sprout. For whatever reason, the little alarm clock in that seed's genetic makeup said "Time to get up!" and it did. The fact that it has been so very hot, but you have been giving the area water, may have had something to do with it. Please watch your bluebonnets and see if they set seed.

Here are the propagation instructions for Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet):

"Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by sowing seed or planting seedlings in fall.
Seed Collection: Allow the bluebonnet to reseed itself by leaving the seed pods intact on the plant until they turn from yellow to brown."

You will likely get more bluebonnets coming up there in the Spring. We will probably never know if those are from seeds dropped by your July crop, seeds planted in February, or seeds that have been transported there and have been waiting for years to grow. Some seeds are simply not viable, and never grow, but obviously you got some good ones."

Images from our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Possible locations of fields of Forget-Me-Nots, Myosotis
March 04, 2006 - This might be kind of a weird question but me and my girlfriend have a really special thing with the forget me not wild flowers, and I will be asking her to marry me soon and would love to do it in a...
view the full question and answer

Will the new bluebonnet plants survive the winter?
October 31, 2009 - I live in Leander, and we've had 19 1/2 inches of rain in the past three weeks. ALL of our bluebonnets are coming up! Can they survive the winter?
view the full question and answer

Showy Low Growing Perennial for Michigan
June 03, 2013 - I have been looking for a native perennial that would do well in full sun and moist to dry soil. It would have to be at most 2.5' tall and have showy pink, purple, or red flowers. Is there such a pla...
view the full question and answer

Blue vervain native to Indiana
January 06, 2003 - I have a species I need to know if it is native to my area (southern Indiana) - Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
view the full question and answer

Book on the wildflowers of South America
May 25, 2007 - i am looking for a book on wildflowers of south america...any idea where i can find one?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center