En EspaÑol

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

Tuesday - February 15, 2011

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: General Botany, Wildflowers
Title: Will recent freezes delay wildflowers from Dripping Springs TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What effect will the recent freezing temperatures have on the Texas Hill Country Wildflowers? Will it delay blooming? Thank you!

ANSWER:

To prepare the answer to your question, we looked back at previous Mr. Smarty Plants' answers. Did you know you could do that, and often find the exact answer you are looking for? Go to "Ask "Mr. Smarty Plants" on our website wildflower.org under the tab for "Explore Plants" and search on "bluebonnets." We did that this morning and there were 197 possibilities. Scanning through them, we found basically the same question as yours at about the same time of year, for the last several years. Sometimes they were concerned about too much/too little rain, cold temperatures, hot temperatures, etc., etc. The gist of these answers:

Texas wildflowers are adapted to living in the capricious weather of Texas-the long droughts, the flooding rains, the heat and sudden drops in temperature. They adapt by dropping their seeds on the ground in the Fall, the gentlest time of year for planting seeds. Then, they wait in that soil until warmth, rain and other conditions tell them it's time to germinate. This could be 60 days after the seeds drop, or 5 years. They will endure insect attacks, loss of fertility, even rotting but, because of the great number of seeds produced every year, some will survive to germinate, grow, bloom and make more seeds to continue the species. If there are blooming delays, it won't be for more than a few days. In fact, there are already bluebonnets in bloom on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Grounds, see picture. That picture was taken on January 19.

The tops of the rosettes on your bluebonnets may have gotten a little nipped, but they are growing with their roots in the nice warm soil, which doesn't freeze. Like other native flowers, they have learned to keep their heads down until worst threat of freezing weather is past. The first imperative of any organism is to produce more of itself. Those plants will be working hard to bloom, seed, cast those seeds and reproduce.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More Wildflowers Questions

Landscaping recommendations for site in Dubuque, IA
March 27, 2010 - I need a seed recommendation. Here are the variables: Location: Dubuque, IA (east Central Iowa) Soil type: Sandy to sandy and gravelly. Part is a riverbank facing east. Steep bank then flat to ...
view the full question and answer

Collecting native plants of Texas
March 06, 2009 - Where can I find native plants of Texas to collect? I am doing a project and I need native Texan flowers here in Austin or around here.
view the full question and answer

Seeds of Meremia dissecta from Austin
September 30, 2012 - I have a large quantity of seeds of Merremia dissecta that I acquired from plants growing in the parking lot of the San Antonio Museum of Art. (Hmmm… I wonder if it's called alamo vine because of som...
view the full question and answer

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
view the full question and answer

Current forecast for wildflowers from Colorado Springs
February 24, 2012 - What is your current forecast for wildflowers this spring?
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