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Monday - August 04, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Bluebonnets for wedding in February
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm getting married in February 2009. My father passed away when I was younger and thus, won't be there to walk me down the aisle. His favorite flower was bluebonnets and I would like to include them in my bouquet in his honor. However, I'm having trouble figuring out where to buy bluebonnets in February. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

You are definitely going to have a tough time finding bluebonnets in the wild in February. You will occasionally see a few along the roadside blooming that early, but it is rather rare. The peak bloom is usually the end of March or early April. One possibility for finding them is to contact a nursery that specializes in native plants. Sometimes they sell bluebonnets in small pots and they are often further along in growth than ones in the wild. You can find a list of nurseries that specialize in native plants in National Suppliers Directory and I would contact them right away to see if they have a source for greenhouse-grown bluebonnets.

It is possible that you could get bluebonnets or one of the other lupines that look like bluebonnets through a florist. Generally, bluebonnets have not done well as cut flowers for bouquets or vases because they tend to wilt rather quickly. However, cultivars of Lupinus havardii (Big Bend bluebonnet) (one of the six bluebonnet species that are the official Texas State Flower) have recently been developed that have short growth time, yield lots of blooms, and have a long vase life. The cultivars, 'Texas Sapphire' and 'Texas Ice', were developed at Texas A&M by Wayne Mackay and Tim Davis. I am not sure if these two cultivars are commercially available as cut flowers yet, but there should be other cultivars of Lupinus that are available. You should check with florists in Austin to see what their availability would be in February. Although these might not be one of the species of Lupinus that is an official Texas State Flower, their general shape and appearance are going to look like bluebonnets.

 

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