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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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Tuesday - July 02, 2013

From: Richland, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Planting, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Will maroon and Texas Bluebonnets prosper in Richland MO?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Richland, MO and have obtained both Maroon and Texas Bluebonnet seeds from Fredricksburg, TX. Will they prosper in this area and when is the best time to plant? I have read how and what type of soil and drainage, etc. Thank you for your help.

ANSWER:

The Texas Bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas and is planted along roadways throughout the state which brightens up spring time travel in the Lone Star State.
I’m going to refer you to several sites that will give you more information about bluebonnets and eventually answer your questions.

There are at least six species of bluebonnets that are designated the state flower as explained in this link to  aggie-horticulture 
Each species has a page in our NPIN Database
Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) ;   distribution (scroll down to distribution map for each species)
Lupinus subcarnosus (Sandyland bluebonnet);    distribution
Lupinus concinnus (Annual lupine);   distribution
Lupinus havardii (Big bend bluebonnet);   distribution
Lupinus perennis (Sundial lupine)distribution   
Lupinus plattensis (Nebraska lupine);   distribution 

Notice the growing conditions and distribution of each species. You will see that none of these species occur in Missouri, however, L. perennsis and L. plattensis come close.

Will they prosper in Richland, Missouri? Maybe, maybe not.

A plant’s basic needs are light, water, nutrients, soil (or other growth medium). appropriate pH, and a suitable temperature. Compare the temperatures in Missouri with those in Texas where the bluebonnets grow on this USDA hardiness  zone map. Our “How to Article” on Bluebonnets recommends fall planting for the seeds. This may not work for Missouri, unless the seeds are germinated in flats inside, and later transplanted outside when the weather warms.  However, it seems that the cold winters would also interfere with the plants re-seeding.

This link to aggiehorticulture tells the interesting story of the development of the maroon bluebonnet.

 

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