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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Saturday - January 15, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: User Comments, Wildflowers
Title: List of most popular wildflowers in Texas Hill Country from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you please tell me the top 10 wildflowers found in the Texas hill country..by numbers, not popularity?

ANSWER:

We would if we could, but we can't. We have many energetic volunteer members and staff at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, but we don't have enough to count wildflowers, even on the grounds of the Center. We're wondering why you need this information. If it is a class assignment, you might consider asking your instructor what is the point? Teaching you how to do research, possibly, or just giving you something to spin your wheels on.

We will give you some possible places to find comparative numbers, at least. First, here is a set of 34 slides of Central Texas Wildflowers. Next, on our Recommended species page, find a list of Central Texas wildflowers. On that list, click on the link to each plant; when you get on the page on that plant, scroll down to the bottom and click on the link to USDA Plant Profiles. You will get a map with all the states in green where that specific plant grows. Click on Texas, decide which counties you consider to be Central Texas and note how many of those counties have these flowers growing in them. You can then rank them by the numbers of places where they grow.

This sounds a lot like the joke where one guy on a railroad train told another one how many cows there were in the field they had just passed. The second person said "how did you do that?" The reply was "I counted the legs and divided by four." So, you could find a specific area, count the bluebonnets and then multiply by the number of areas that size that have blooming bluebonnets. Of course, it would not be a static number-a cow could step on one, that's minus one bluebonnet. A new crop of 47 plants comes up in a corner, add 47 plants, and on and on.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

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