Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Sunday - March 14, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Strangling Bluebonnets
Answered by: Sage Kawecki

QUESTION:

I have some Bluebonnets that are being strangled by some strange rope-like plant. What’s going on here?

ANSWER:

The yellow-orange rope-like plant is Dodder, a parasitic plant that uses the Bluebonnet as a host. Eventually, it will kill its host. Since Dodder seeds can lie dormant in the ground, it is best to cut the host plants to the ground before the Dodder flowers and burn the material once dried. Contact herbicide treatment can also be used, although it won’t treat mature Dodder seed. If you have a particularly large or intense Dodder infestation, you might consider growing other wildflowers other than legumes for the next five years.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Are Texas wildflowers dying out from Portland, TX
January 27, 2011 - I am doing a school project on whether or not wildflowers are dying out in the state of Texas or not. I need to find a specialist who specializes on this subject. Could you help me??? Please contac...
view the full question and answer

Mrs. Johnsons favorite flower
November 27, 2007 - I recall the the Black-eyed Susan was Lady Bird Johnson's favorite flower, is that true? Did she have other favorites?
view the full question and answer

Digging up and transplanting wild plants in Alloway NJ
July 01, 2010 - I saw some wild growing black eyed susans in a passing field so I dug some up this weekend and planted them in my garden now they look like they are dying. Do you think they will come back next year ?...
view the full question and answer

Texas wildflower guide with every flower listed
November 09, 2012 - Is there a Texas wildflower guide that contains every single flower that grows in the state? I have a few flowers on my land I haven't been able to identify because they aren't in the guide I have. ...
view the full question and answer

Best planting time for wildflower seeds in Texas
September 08, 2006 - My husband bought a large amount of wildflower seeds at the Ladybird Johnson's Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas several months ago, but neglected to ask when to plant them. Some were Bluebonnets a...
view the full question and answer

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