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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - April 11, 2008

From: Dallas, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seasonal Tasks, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Bluebonnets in memorial garden in cemetery
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When is the peak time to scatter bluebonnet seeds? I have a loved one that recently died, and she requested that her body be cremated. She would like her ashes to be mixed with bluebonnet seeds and then scattered on the our family burial plot. She feels that she will continue living each Spring when the wildflowers bloom. Fortunately, our family plot is located in a rural cemetery, which already has a large bluebonnet population blanketing it each Spring. Could you please advise me as to the best time of year and method of scattering these seeds.

ANSWER:

What a lovely idea. Apparently you live in Georgia, but if the cemetery you are interested in already has bluebonnets in it, obviously there is not going to be a problem with that. Fortunately, people who know a lot more about bluebonnets than we do have written two How-To Articles that will answer your questions: How to Grow Bluebonnets and How to Grow Bluebonnets: Scarification FAQs. We only include the second one for information, it will probably not be practical to scarify all the seeds, but perhaps a few could be prepared. The hard coats on the bluebonnet seed guarantees that there will be more seeds ready to sprout in succeeding years, adding to the natural disperal from the earlier plants. Just a quick answer to your question about the peak time to scatter bluebonnet seeds. It's best in the Fall, just as the natural drop of the dried seed pods is happening. Hopefully, the seeds will then get the benefit of Fall and Winter rains, and many of them will be ready for Spring beauty.

If you need a source for seeds, we can recommend Native American Seeds in Junction, TX. They do mail order, and seeds ordered from them through our website provide the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center with a donation.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

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