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?


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


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.


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

Bluebonnets and Texas
March 20, 2004 - Can I plant Bluebonnets outside of Texas?
view the full question and answer

Visiting Texas for bluebonnets
December 29, 2004 - I know rainfall amounts in the winter affect the blooming of bluebonnets in the spring. I am thinking about visiting Texas this spring. What should I be looking for in rainfall amounts? I will watch...
view the full question and answer

Invasiveness of native Viola sororia
June 13, 2007 - I live in Warwick, RI and have a section of my backyard overgrown with common blue violets. My husband and I would like to relocate them to a more scenic location if possible. The advice the cooperat...
view the full question and answer

Methods of planting state wildflowers on roadsides in California
November 06, 2006 - My garden club is initiating a program to plant state hwy 49 within our county with our state flower, California Poppy. Do you have information on using hydroseeding as a method of planting?
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center