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
16 ratings

Saturday - January 31, 2009

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Bluebonnet prospects for 2009 in Central Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How does the bluebonnet season look for 2009 in Central Texas (Austin). Will it be a good year and when will it start and when will it peak? Thanks for all you do!!!

ANSWER:

We had a similar question to this, way back in June 2008 from someone planning a reunion. Being terminally lazy, we are recopying it here, and will make corrections to any of the links we previously mentioned.

Gee, ask us an easy one, like how to have world peace. Or cheap gasoline. Nature is a law unto itself, and predictions are risky, to say the least. Officially, the peak bloom of bluebonnets in Central Texas is in mid-April. They are winter annuals, with the first green rosettes appearing in January, and earliest blooms sometimes in late February. As you no doubt know, 2007 was a banner year for bluebonnets, with rains the previous Fall and again in the late Winter and early Spring, all just the right time. We had a moist, cool Spring and early Summer, and the blooms not only started early, they were profuse and lingered late. In 2008, they seemed to vanish. West of Austin, there was so little rain that wildflowers were few and far between, with bluebonnets not even appearing in many places. In Austin, it wasn't much better, and we were recommending that people wanting to see fields of blue should go east toward Brenham, but even there, they felt the unsatisfactory conditions. Since we have been in an extreme drought in Central Texas for more than a year, we fear that the results are going to be much the same. Possibly, if we get some substantial rains soon, some of the season might be saved, but bluebonnets really depend on Fall rains and a period of cold winter to develop and germinate. 

The Wildflower Center website always has information on what's blooming, and will have bluebonnet forecasts in the Spring. Several other groups provide information on sightings and routes for viewing wildflowers. One of these is Lonestar Internet, Inc. You can find more routes and information at the Texas Hill Country Wildflower Trail web site. DeWitt County offers its own wildflower site as does Brenham, Texas in Washington County. On the Brenham page, select "Visitor Information", then "Nature Watch" to find their information on wildflowers. We went in and checked all these sites, and it is apparently too early for anyone to be predicting; everyone is in the same predicament we are, as in "who knows?" Keep checking those sites, and as the situation develops, there will start being more specific information, hopefully, information that the bluebonnets have miraculously pulled a great blooming season out of their hats. 


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Native plants for an outdoor wedding in New York
February 06, 2009 - I am planning an outdoor wedding in New Rochelle, NY in May. We would like to use native plants. Can you suggests some that we can use in the bouquets and as potted plants? Thanks
view the full question and answer

What happened to the bluebonnets?
June 09, 2008 - I was wondering if you could tell me why there weren't any bluebonnets out this year? I live in the Hill Country and drive to Austin everyday. I look forward to seeing the bluebonnets up and down the...
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas Bluebonnets in Colorado
February 12, 2009 - I bought bluebonnet seeds from your wildflower center last August when visited Austin. Being a Texas native, I want to enjoy bluebonnets here in Colorado. When do I plant my seeds outdoors? In the gro...
view the full question and answer

Frostweed under oaks
September 29, 2007 - Our 5 acre property is located about 12 miles West of Salado on FM 2843. Under our beautiful Live Oak trees reside some plants that are just coming into bloom (9/29/07). They are about 3-4 ft high wit...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for West Texas Permian Basin area
March 19, 2007 - What wild flowers grow out here in West Texas (Permian Basin Area)? I know a lot of the wild flowers from other parts of the state will not grow out here in the dry heat and poor soil. Thanks for you...
view the full question and answer

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