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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 17, 2006

From: Buckeye , AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: More on bluebonnets
Answered by: Dean Garrett


I'd like to know if Texas Bluebonnets or even Aggiebonnets (maroon bluebonnets) can be grown in the Phoenix, AZ area. If so, what conditions would you recommend doing this in, as our spring and summers are drier and hotter than there in Texas? Also, any suggestions for growing them in Missouri? Thanks so much!


There are six species of the genus Lupinus in Texas. All are officially the state flower. If another species of Lupinus is discovered in Texas, it will also be considered a state flower. In Texas, all Lupinus species are called bluebonnets. Outside of Texas, species in the same genus are called lupines, and their variety increases the farther west you go on the continent.

Though it is only one of the six state flower bluebonnet species, Lupinus texensis is the most familiar, commonly seeded along highways throughout the state but native only to Central Texas. It is the species from which the 'Alamo Fire' maroon bonnets were bred.

We provide cultivation information for Lupinus texensis, but we don't recommend introducing species to areas outside their native range, especially since Arizona has many striking native species of Lupinus already, one of which also occurs in Texas: Lupinus concinnus. Other Arizona lupines include Lupinus argenteus, L. arizonicus, L. bicolor, L. caudatus, L. latifolius, L. palmeri, L. pusillus, L. sericeus, L. sparsiflorus, and L. succulentus.

Check with your state's native plant society and with our National Suppliers Directory for seed sources.

Unfortunately, there are no Lupinus species listed in the Flora of Missouri.

More Wildflowers Questions

Baby Butts in Bluebonnets
March 14, 2004 - Do photo sessions in the Bluebonnet patch cause harm to the plants?
view the full question and answer

Wildlife management programs for tax exemptions
March 17, 2006 - I own a property in La Grange, Texas on which we're considering a wildlife management exemption. Would there be a program that also provides tax advantages for growing wildflowers?
view the full question and answer

Taking bluebonnets to Anchorage AK from Sealy TX
June 10, 2010 - Moving to Anchorage Alaska from Texas and I am bringing bluebonnet seeds to plant there. Will the moose eat these plants/flowers?
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
September 13, 2006 - I have a small field (about 1/2 acre) where I would like to grow bluebonnets and perhaps some other wildflowers for added color. Do bluebonnets need to be fertilized? Should I water them? How can I...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on showiest time for wildflower blooming
August 22, 2004 - I have been to Austin a few times, but never during wildflower season. Can you suggest to me what would be the ideal time to come?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center