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

Wednesday - November 03, 2010

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Do pecans and bluebonnets only bloom every other year from New Braunfels TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Is it true that bluebonnets only seed every other year? I know we see bluebonnets every year, so this is quite a mystery to us. Also, is it the same with pecan trees?

ANSWER:

For Carya illinoinensis (Pecan), the answer is partially, yes.  Native pecans and many older cultivars typically bear heavy crops only every other year.  This is true for many nut-bearing trees.  However, some newer cultivars, such as 'Hopi', bear heavy crops every year. 

In the case of  Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet), no. The bluebonnet is an annual plant. By definition this means the plant must live out a full life cycle in under 12 months, every year. The seeds fall from the seed pods (or are squirted up to 20 ft. away by "explosive dehiscence") and lie in the soil until the conditions are right for germinating, which may be 60 days or 5 years. Those seeds that are viable and sprout produce rosettes about Christmas, and begin to show blooms late in February. About 6 weeks of furious blooming, the seed pods begin to form, and the cycle begins again. Every living organism's Prime Directive is to reproduce itself, and the way it is timed has everything to do with how long that plant will live, how long it has to reproduce.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Carya illinoinensis


Carya illinoinensis


Carya illinoinensis


Carya illinoinensis


Lupinus texensis


Lupinus texensis


Lupinus texensis


Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Grafting Pecan Trees
July 05, 2013 - I have planted two pecan nuts and now they are about 4 feet tall trees, they have not been grafted but can I graft one of the trees to the other and vice versa and expect pecans from then, they are he...
view the full question and answer

Trillium seed collection
August 08, 2008 - I am interested in propagating trillium from seeds. When are the seeds ready to be harvested? I removed day lily pods prom the plants and then found out I had picked them too early
view the full question and answer

How to propagate Clematis texensis in Austin, TX?
May 14, 2012 - How do I propagate a Clematis texensis Buckl. Scarlet leatherflower from the seed pod?
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas wildflowers indoors for a March wedding from Austin
October 01, 2013 - I have learned so much from this site! Thank you! I am getting Married this March and I am hoping to use Texas wildflowers for the centerpieces. I hope to grow them in containers indoors and have the ...
view the full question and answer

Starting yucca from seed from Austin
December 24, 2012 - I would like to start a soft leaf yucca recurvifolia from seed. Is that possible? Also, I've looked for seed on dried flower stalks, and I'm not sure that what I'm finding is the seed, and I ...
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