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
5 ratings

Tuesday - April 08, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Bluebonnet a weed?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is the bluebonnet a weed?

ANSWER:

The short answer to that is "no." To us, a weed is a plant that is not where it belongs. Bluebonnets and other native plants are growing now pretty much where they have always grown, because they CAN grow there. If someone comes along and plants a non-native that has no natural enemies in terms of insects or disease in the area, it could be considered a weed, and if it starts to take over and crowd out the native plants, it becomes an invasive weed. Just because a plant is growing wild, not with any help from humans, sprouting, blooming, seeding and beginning the whole cycle over again, doesn't make it a weed. We suggest you read this article on Why Use Native Plants? to help you get a feel for what plants belong and what plants don't.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More Wildflowers Questions

Bluebonnet blooming in July in Leander TX
July 27, 2009 - I have a bluebonnet growing in my front yard in July! Early this year, my son planted the bluebonnet seeds. We did not expect them to grow since we planted them in February/March. One plant grew ...
view the full question and answer

Hymenocallis caroliniana and Hymenocallis liriosme Differences
October 09, 2013 - A couple of years ago a neighbor gave me three huge bulbs of a type unknown to her. They fit the description of a spider lily. In attempts to identify it I found Hymenocallis liriosme and Hymenocallis...
view the full question and answer

Mowing Bluebonnets
March 20, 2004 - When is it safe to mow Bluebonnets?
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
March 10, 2007 - It is the first week of March in northeast Oklahoma and I received a wildflower mix that is 60% Lupinus texensis or Texas bluebonnets. Should I wait until fall to plant or can I cold treat or do som...
view the full question and answer

Showy Low Growing Perennial for Michigan
June 03, 2013 - I have been looking for a native perennial that would do well in full sun and moist to dry soil. It would have to be at most 2.5' tall and have showy pink, purple, or red flowers. Is there such a pla...
view the full question and answer

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