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
1 rating

Sunday - April 12, 2009

From: Hurst, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: When to harvest bluebonnet seeds in Hurst TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I harvest the Blue Bonnet Seeds now (April) or do I have to wait until they dry up & pods begin to open?

ANSWER:

Here is an excerpt from a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question.

"Bluebonnets  Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)  are described as winter annuals; they germinate in the fall, form rosettes and overwinter, then flower in the spring. When mature, your bluebonnet legumes will burst open, slinging the seeds quite some distance in a seed-dispersal strategy known as explosive dehiscence.  Many plants employ this method of seed dispersal.  You can pull them, roots and all, from the ground just as the seedpods are turning brown and put them in closed paper grocery bags.  You'll be able to hear them popping inside the bag for days or weeks.  When they're finished popping, remove the seeds from the bottom of the bag and compost the plants and paper bags."

You can also read our How-to article on Bluebonnets and note that the seeds can then be planted wherever you would like to plant them either right away or in the fall following the instructions in the article.  


Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

More on bluebonnets
April 19, 2007 - I am a displaced Austinite - As of last week now living in upstate New York (Binghamton). As I was leaving town - a friend presented me with a pound bag of bluebonnet seeds. A thoughtful gift - but I...
view the full question and answer

Information on native plants in Canyon State Natural Area
April 21, 2006 - I am the Cubmaster for a Cub Scout Pack here in San Antonio. I am planning summertime activities for the kids this summer. One thing I have decided to do it take them on a hike in the new Government C...
view the full question and answer

Raising bluebonnets in Stanford CA
January 17, 2011 - I'm a Houston girl now living in Northern California (Stanford). I would like to know if I need to adjust my growing timing for lupinus texensis? Mostly, I want to know when I should actually put th...
view the full question and answer

Seeds of mayflower
May 03, 2005 - Although I now live in Virginia, I grew up in eastern South Dakota. Several years ago while visiting SD I was walking in the pasture and noticed that many of the wild mayflowers (pasqueflowers) had ...
view the full question and answer

Can bluebonnets grow in a field of Bahia grass in Silsbee, TX?
September 14, 2010 - My question is if you have a field of Bahia grass, can bluebonnets grow there or will the grass choke them out?
view the full question and answer

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