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

Wildflowers of April wedding in Liberty Hill TX
September 02, 2015 - We are planning a wedding for April 9 in Liberty Hill, TX (78642) and live on several acres. We would like to plant wildflowers on the land to use for bouquets and centerpieces. Could you please recom...
view the full question and answer

Yellow and purple wildflowers for a wedding in Burgettstown PA
August 10, 2010 - I'm not sure exactly what I am looking for and I'm sorry if its too much to ask but....I want to have a fun relaxed wedding next June or July time. I can't find wildflowers that would bloom during...
view the full question and answer

A&M maroon bluebonnets for Hawaii
July 10, 2011 - My daughter graduated from Texas A&M and has moved to Hawaii. She would love to have the maroon bluebonnets developed by A&M to plant in her new home. How would she need to prepare the seeds since t...
view the full question and answer

Viability and storage of bluebonnet seeds past "use by" date
April 26, 2006 - I have several packets of Bluebonnet seeds and wildflower seeds which have "packed for 2006 use by 3/07". My questions: 1) will these seeds be good for the 2007 growing season?; 2) how should I ...
view the full question and answer

Need help with a Coreopsis eating beetle in Shiro, TX
April 20, 2011 - Mr.Smarty Plants,(Sorry, I kept messing up with my emails) Anyway, here goes: I usually have a beautiful meadow full of lanceleaf coreopsis blooming by now. Not this year. I found to my horror every s...
view the full question and answer

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