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

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

More on bluebonnets
March 14, 2003 - How did the bluebonnet get its name?
view the full question and answer

Companion plants for non-native Santolina virens
March 23, 2015 - Can you recommend companion plant options for Santolina virens? The companion plant would be planted randomly and interspersed with the santolina and needs to be no taller than 12 inches because of th...
view the full question and answer

When Should Wildflower Seeds be Planted in Dallas, Texas
November 28, 2011 - Mr. Pants: I have received some seed packets of wildflower seeds from GO TEXAN. How late can I plant these in central Dallas (8 a/b)?
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds affected by mulch in Austin
October 24, 2010 - I have a small wildflower garden in my central Austin yard. In early summer, I had some extra mulch and put it in this garden. Now I'm thinking that was a mistake. The bed has re-seeded itself for se...
view the full question and answer

Native grass and wildflower possibilities for Weatherford, TX
July 04, 2006 - I live in Weatherford, Texas - 20 acres and would love to have a prairie or soft cover throughout the year (less mowing). What do you recommend? I don't know anything about this ... So, feel free to ...
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