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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - January 02, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plants emerging from "wildflower mix" of seeds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I planted a "wildflower mix" a couple months ago, and now I have a bunch of plants growing that I'm not sure what they are. Some of them are starting to make buds, and I've been looking on the internet to see what blooms this month, but nothing seems to lead anywhere. Do you know what the common seeds are in a Central Texas wildflower mix? Or what wildflowers would probably be blooming right now based on the current climate situation?

ANSWER:

Well, since I don't know where you got your wildflower mix, I can't tell you for sure what is in it. However, Native American Seed in Junction sells several wildflower mixes and you can see what they have in their Native Texas Mix, their Plant-in-Spring or Fall - All Perennial Mix, their Native Trail Mix, their Commanche Mix or any of their other wildflower mixes. You will see that several species occur in more than one of the mixes (e.g., Plains Coreopsis, Greenthread, Missouri Primrose, Indian Blanket, Texas Bluebonnet). One of the earliest bloomers in the various lists is Greenthread (Thelosperma filifolium) which often begins blooming in late February in Austin. Depending on the weather conditions, other flowers, such as the Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) and the Pink Evening-Primrose (Oenothera speciosa) can also begin blooming well before their average March or April bloom time.

If you would like to send us a digital photograph (see instructions under Plant Identification) of the plants and their buds, it is possible that we could identify your flowers that are about to bloom—or you could wait for the blossoms to appear and be surprised and delighted with your new wildflowers.

 

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