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

Tuesday - May 07, 2013

From: Ennis, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Wildflowers
Title: Can bluebonnets be made into jelly from Ennis TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are Texas bluebonnet flowers okay for human consumption? I have seen recipes for wild violet jelly,so was wondering about making bluebonnet jelly from the bluebonnet blossoms if they are not poisonous.

ANSWER:

From Prairieland Herbs, here is possibly the recipe for violet jelly to which you were referring.

We found that Mr. Smarty Plants had already answered questions on the toxicity Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) before. Just to bring you up to speed, here are those previous questions:

From Odessa, TX

From Prairievile LA

From Pearland TX

Here's what we are taking away from those answers:

1. The seeds seem to have the most toxicity, and since horses and cows will often graze on nearly everything, the fact that the somewhat unattractive seeds are sticking out there (as opposed to the blooms, which are long gone by then) are what gets nibbled.

2. You must be very sure no man-made poisons are on the flowers, such as pesticides for fire ants, or herbicides for weeds.

3. Beyond that, we could find no proof that they could not be eaten in a jelly, but frankly the violet jelly sounds like it's a whole lot of sugar and a little color from the flowers. If you have bluebonnets that you know could not have been sprayed with who-knows-what and don't mind denying the bees their treats, you could certainly go ahead and try it.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More Wildflowers Questions

Indoor and Outdoor, Fast Growing Plants for California
October 22, 2015 - I’m looking for the best plants for me. I have small kids so they would have to be safe. I would like them to be able to grow inside or outside. I would love for them to grow fast and reproduce fast.
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet peak for 2010
January 14, 2010 - What does 2010 look for bluebonnets in Texas. When will they peak?
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for wedding mid-spring in Austin, TX
November 10, 2006 - My fiancé and I are both native Texans, and we are looking to have a beautiful yet simple wedding on March 31, 2007. We would love to use TX wildflowers. Our colors are white, orange, and blue. Wo...
view the full question and answer

Trimming back wildflower beds in Cody Wyoming
February 20, 2011 - I live in Cody Wyoming and I have some wildflower beds in front of my house that didn't get trimmed back this summer...they look like swamp plants now, super nasty. Should I trim them now?
view the full question and answer

Winter wildflower blooming in East Texas in the winter
October 06, 2009 - Is there a wildflower that will grow/bloom in east texas during the winter that can be tilled into garden in springtime. We put rye and red clover but were interested in getting some color/variety 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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center