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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.

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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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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!

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Sunday - July 10, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Lavender near Austin TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Are there places to view blooming lavender near Austin in July 2011?

ANSWER:

There might be, but Mr Smarty Plants needs to sputter and harumph a few times.  You see Mr Smarty Plants is here to promote the beauty and diversity of wildflowers and other native plants as part of the Wildflower Center mission.  It turns out Lavender is so foreign that the USDA only recognizes that English Lavender grows wild in New York and French Lavender in California.

Consider visiting the Wildflower Center for it's blooms!  I’m looking out my window right now at blooming Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo).  It has beautiful lavender-pinkish blossoms and is very healthy and thriving even in this drought!  When I was mowing my native yard this morning I had a hard time dodging the Ruellia drummondiana (Drummond's ruellia)and the Malvaviscus arboreus (Turkscap) is in full bloom!  Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum (Texas bluebells) are just starting.

Still, you asked about local lavender. Lavender blooms roughly April to June, but with care and good conditions the bloom can extend to August or so.  With the kind of heat and drought we’ve had - I’d call first!  Your opportunities are pretty much to the South.   Here are a number of weblinks to local farms and festivals:

Blanco Lavender Festival

Becker Vineyards  [out towards Fredericksburg on 290]

Wimberly Lavender Farm   [closes in mid-July]

Hummingbird Lavender Farms  [Johnson City]

and the Blanco Lavendar Fest’s Farm Map    and, as I noted above, I'd call first!

 

From the Image Gallery


Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Drummond's ruellia
Ruellia drummondiana

Texas bluebells
Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

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