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 - 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

Is common milkweed considered endangered from Woburn MA
February 08, 2010 - Is common milkweed, a food source for monarchs, considered federally protected, endangered, rare or threatened? Does any state protect common milkweed? It would be nice; if not, if state parks and nat...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets and paintbrush for Fredericksburg VA
April 10, 2011 - Can I broadcast Texas bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush seeds, in Virginia, during early Spring and get germination; or, do I need to winterize and plant next spring.
view the full question and answer

Maintenance of wildflower beds
January 21, 2010 - I need to know what to do with my wildflower beds in my front yard. I created the beds last spring, put in an underground soaker/hose sprinkler system and planted a Tx/Ok seed mix from American Meado...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet prospects for 2009 in Central Texas
January 31, 2009 - How does the bluebonnet season look for 2009 in Central Texas (Austin). Will it be a good year and when will it start and when will it peak? Thanks for all you do!!!
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a Shaded Patio Container in Missouri
April 17, 2015 - What kind of native plants would grow well in a pot on a fully shaded patio? I live in Kansas City, Missouri. The patio faces north and doesn't get any direct sunlight, but it gets lots of indirect...
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