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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

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 - March 30, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Few bluebonnets on MoPac in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

The grass fields along Mopac from Lake Lady Bird to Southwest Parkway usually have a grand display of bluebonnets. This year I do not see any color at all. Can you help me understand what is happening to this area?

ANSWER:

Nobody at the Wildflower Center (home of Mr. Smarty Plants) is happy about that, either. Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is a winter annual. This means it blooms like crazy in March and April, drops its seeds where they can sleep away the heat of Summer, and waits for the winter rains of December and January. And you know how much rain we had then -  little to nothing. The reason that the Texas Bluebonnet has survived thousands of years of the brutal Texas climate is because its seeds can hide and wait in the soil for better days and some rain, and pop up again in all their glory. We are looking for rain dancers.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

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