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

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

Monday - June 13, 2011

From: Clifton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Collecting seeds for Texas Bluebell from Clifton TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How and when should I try and collect seeds from the Texas Bluebell?

ANSWER:

We are going to assume that you mean Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum (Texas bluebells). There is another plant, Campanula reverchonii (Basin bellflower) that has as one of its common names Texas Bluebell, but we doubt that is the one you want. In Bosque County, you are not far from Washington County, where the famous creamery was named after the bluebell, so we are assuming you have stands of this plant available in your area for collecting seeds. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that is indeed the case.

From our Native Plant Database page (which read) here are the Propagation Instructions:

"Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: The seed is exceptionally small and somewhat difficult to germinate. The best results have come from surface seeding (since the seed requires light for germination) in flats at approximately 70 - 75 degrees. Field seeding can be done in spring or fall, however, spring germination usually results in the vegetative growth overwintering and not flowering until the second summer. Fall germination should produce flowers the first season.
Seed Collection: Collect seed when seeds inside the capsule are black.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: When the seed capsule ripens (in September or October), the stalk should be cut back to 2 - 3 inches above the ground. By mid September, the base will develop a cluster of 8 to 10 new shoots. These will remain as a cluster of leaves throughout the winter and resume growth in the spring. Plants that overwinter are usually much stronger and have more flowers than they do the first year."

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebells
Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Texas bluebells
Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Texas bluebells
Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Basin bellflower
Campanula reverchonii

More Propagation Questions

Student project on Hudson Valley, NY native plants and ecology
January 16, 2009 - Mr. Smarty, Hi I am starting a project with a school group 4th-6th grade, that has a greenhouse. The goal is to teach children about native plants & ecology of the Hudson valley region in NY. We will ...
view the full question and answer

Reseeding with Gulf cordgrass, Spartina spartinae
May 23, 2007 - Are the seeds of Spartina spartinae sterile? If not, when is the best time to harvest for replanting? We are involved in the restoration of the Bahia Grande section of the Laguna Atascosa National Wi...
view the full question and answer

Pollinator to Arkansas yucca from Arlington TX
May 15, 2012 - Thank you Barbara for your answer. However, my Arkansas yuccas bloom every year, but do not set seed. I am asking for the name of the moth that pollinates them, or other native plants that serve as ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Sideroxylon lanuginosum in Austin
August 12, 2009 - I have a tall (30-40 ft) Sideroxylon lanuginosum in my backyard. Last fall hundreds of saplings popped up in my yard following runners from the tall tree. I would like to keep a few of these sapling...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of native Ohio buckeye from seed
September 25, 2008 - My granddaughter has collected "buck eyes"; can we plant them to start our own tree? If so, how do we go about it!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center