Contact Us Host an Event 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

Thursday - April 19, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: More on bluebonnets
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are pink bluebonnets still considered very rare? I discovered several growing amongst normal blues on the National Instruments corporate campus here in Austin. I wasn't sure if the Wildflower Center or perhaps someone at UT/A&M would be interested in them in any way? I've posted a picture at http://ftp.ni.com/outgoing/bluebonnet/pink_bluebonnet.jpg In summary, is this indeed a pink bluebonnet, how rare are they really, and should we report it to anyone? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Yes, pink bluebonnets, like white bluebonnets (see the recent posting), are rather rare, although they are pretty easy to spot since they stand out in a field of blue ones. These color variants are the result of mutation in the gene(s) reponsible for the blue pigment that colors the flowers. And, unless their flowers are pollinated by pollen from a plant with similarly colored flowers, the seeds that they produce will grow into plants next year that have the typical blue flowers—not the unusual pink or white flowers.

You might contact Dr. Jerry Parsons at Texas A&M to see if he is interested, or knows anyone interested, in tracking these rare color mutants. Dr. Parsons is responsible for selecting and breeding red and maroon bluebonnets. You can read that story in The Color-ization of the State Flower.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Monarda species seed for heirloom gardens in Wales
June 15, 2012 - Hello. I am trying to obtain seeds for the following Monarda species: - barletti, lindheimeri, russeliana, and viridissima. Our address is Wales, United Kingdom and we are hoping to obtain the full c...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on showiest time for wildflower blooming
August 22, 2004 - I have been to Austin a few times, but never during wildflower season. Can you suggest to me what would be the ideal time to come?
view the full question and answer

Information on what Texas wildflowers are disappearing
August 02, 2011 - I was shocked to find that Texas Bluebells were vanishing. What other Texas wildflowers are vanishing? There is an endangered species list but I want to help before my wildflower neighbors before t...
view the full question and answer

Proliferation of Small Palafoxia in Dallas Co. TX
June 07, 2013 - A few years ago I noticed a new wildflower I hadn't seen before in the southwest Dallas County area. I found the name to be Small Palafoxia. It was growing along the edges of HWy 67 in Duncanville ...
view the full question and answer

Pink evening primrose in San Antonio
February 03, 2010 - We purchased the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Mix from the Native American Seed Co. last year. It included Pink Evening Primrose. Their colonization has gone extremely well -- so much so that it is t...
view the full question and answer

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