Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 - January 09, 2007

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: More on bluebonnets
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have had an area in my yard where I have established bluebonnets. Since we had such a dismal showing in the spring of 2006 I was looking forward to a great show for 2007. Lo and behold I had about a 9 foot square area where some seeds germinated in late spring. I tended the area carefully all summer and they started blooming in the fall ofm 2006 and are now covered with blooms and buds. Is this unusual? I'm happy but perplexed. Of course I have plants that have started this fall as is normal, so will be having a good showing this spring. I really just want to know if the ones that have been blooming since fall are unusual.

ANSWER:

It is very unusual for bluebonnets to flower in fall and early winter, though not unprecedented. Seeds of plants germinate and plants grow and flower when all of the conditions necessary for germinating and growing and flowering have been met. Occasionally, those conditions are met outside of the normal season; this happens most often in garden settings, but can occur in the wild as well. We do not know what combination of conditions were realized that resulted in your bluebonnets' flowering out of season. It is certain though, that bluebonnets flowering in the fall and winter is a treat to be enjoyed and appreciated.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Native Groundcover Suggestions for Under Florida Oak Trees
April 03, 2015 - I am looking for native plants that will do well under several oak trees in Northeast Florida. My yard doesn't get much sun and I'm told I have acidic soil. Are the any plants that would do well wit...
view the full question and answer

How to Propagate Mexican Bush Sage in Marble Falls, Texas
September 14, 2010 - I need advice on when, how to separate Mexican bush sage. Ours is happy and HUGE but is now sprouting from the roots at the base. Since we've been so successful with this plant, we want to divide it...
view the full question and answer

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Rain-lily
April 12, 2005 - What is the common lily (I think) that grows in the ditches and especially this year because of all the rain. The flower is trumpet shaped and has red stripes in the petals? Very common everywhere t...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets and paintbrushes for Florida
September 13, 2008 - Will bluebonnets and indian paintbrushes grow in the Florida panhandle?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.