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

Wildflower to succeed bluebonnets
April 08, 2008 - I am looking for a "partner" plant for bluebonnets? What perennial plant doesn't really "appear" until after April? What I want is a sea of bluebonnets in March and April but when they go dorm...
view the full question and answer

Is Common Milkweed a Succulent?
March 31, 2015 - Is the common milkweed (butterfly plant) classified as a succulent?
view the full question and answer

Native Texas Plants for SC
June 22, 2015 - I just visited your beautiful facility for the first time and loved it! I'm planning to move to Charleston, SC and would love to replicate some of the wildflower and walkway areas I saw. Would the fo...
view the full question and answer

Getting started in gardening
September 16, 2006 - Does the center publish any or several planting guides to help gardeners get started? I find it is overwhelming understanding where to start. I have some lake property in East Texas close to Athen...
view the full question and answer

Sowing additional wildflower and grass seeds on steep hillside
January 30, 2006 - Mr. Smarty, we recently moved to Hot Springs, AR. We have about a 1000 sf hillside area too steep to plant with shrubs etc. We had wildflower seeds scattered last May in this area and the flowers we...
view the full question and answer

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