En EspaŅol

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
Not Yet Rated

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

More Wildflowers Questions

Goldenrod recommendations for Buda, TX
January 22, 2011 - I am looking for a Solidago species Goldenrod that is non-invasive and suited to the area around Austin/ Buda, TX. I prefer to use a native, non-hybrid, especially since I am adjacent to a wild area. ...
view the full question and answer

Survival of wildflowers after Hurricane Irene in Perkasie PA
September 03, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We have (had) a beautiful row of wildflowers and sunflowers along the one side of our house. Now that Hurricane Irene has passed, most of the flowers are matted down from the wind...
view the full question and answer

When and where does sand verbena, Abronia ameliae, bloom in Texas
April 04, 2009 - Hello, I am a botany student in California. I need to collect a branch or two of Abronia ameliae, a Sand Verbena that grows only in Texas. I must collect this plant when it is both in flower and fruit...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower gardening in Leander , TX
September 02, 2009 - I live in Leander, Texas. I bought a couple of seed mixes last fall, and had wonderful wildflowers growing all along our fences, all spring and into the first part of the summer before it got way too ...
view the full question and answer

Volunteer bluebonnets in Farmville VA
May 17, 2010 - I have two small Texas bluebonnet plants that came with no instructions as to how to plant them regarding soil or sun. Everything I read has to do with seeds, can you please help me? Thank you.
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center