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
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

Perennials for flower bed in Humble TX
July 28, 2010 - I have a 10 foot by 10 foot flower bed that needs to be replanted and I am located in Houston, TX so what would be some good perennials to plant that are good to grow in this heat? I have been told L...
view the full question and answer

Mildew and red spider mites on native bluebonnets
April 02, 2008 - In reply to the spider mite question. Absolutely! They were on the tops of the leaves which is unusual. I looked under a magnifying glass and confirmed this. I also have some mildew on the lower leave...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion in IL
August 02, 2012 - We just got done building a house and have leveled all of the dirt piles. We do have a row of straw bales to help prevent the dirt from washing onto the neighbors property. It is the wrong time of ye...
view the full question and answer

Peak period for viewing Central Texas wildflowers
March 31, 2006 - My daughter lives in San Antonio now. I want to time my next visit with the peak period to blue bonnets and other TX wildflowers. When do you recommend that I visit and come to the Center for the fi...
view the full question and answer

Grow bluebonnets in Virginia
September 04, 2007 - I want to ATTEMPT to grow some Texas Bluebonnets in VA because I am homesick and both our kids are back in Austin. That said, the site says " it may be necessary to inoculate the soil with a rhizobiu...
view the full question and answer

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