Is the Bluebonnet a weed? The answer will depend on your perception.

According to Wikipedia, a weed is defined as any plant that crowds out cultivated plants. The term “weed” can refer to a nuisance plant, and is normally applied to unwanted plants in human-made settings (gardens and lawns).

The Bluebonnet is a native Texas plant, and is the official Texas state flower.  There are five Bluebonnet types recognized as the state flower (L. subcarnosus, L. texensis, L.Havardii, L. concinnus, and L. plattensis). 

Bluebonnet blooms are blue, white and pink.  Blue is the most prolific color you will see.  A maroon bloom is under development. 

Go A & M!

The plant (L. subcarnosus) is a broad leaf, herbaceous perennial. If you have this plant in a human-made setting, and you want to get rid of it, use mechanical practices (hoe, pull, and cut).  If you observe this plant thriving in a place you wish to grow it, then nurture it with mulch. 

Since it is a native Texas plant, it is hardy and draught tolerant.  The seed has a tough coat that will sprout when wet. 

The seed coat is composed of varying thickness, so not all seeds will sprout at the same time, or in the same year. 

The seed should be planted in the fall so the fall/winter/spring rains will help the plant develop into rosettes indicating the roots are becoming established. 

If you are nurturing this plant and want it to return, do not cut it between April and July.  That is the time of year wildflowers seed out. 

As a result of the time of year this plant seeds out, Cedar Hill has adopted a municipal ordinance (Sec 16-2, b) establishing regulations for the maintenance of any public right of way. 

The following information is according to the ordinance posted on the municipal web site:

(b) Wildflower exception. To ensure the environmental sanctity and beauty of the wildflowers in the city, the mowing is prohibited from April 1 to July 15 annually in designated areas until the wildflowers have seeded out.  Signs are posted in these designated areas during the prohibited time.

If you think wildflowers are weeds, please check your municipal web site to see if an ordinance prohibits mowing specific right of ways, designated as wildflower areas, before you register a mowing complaint.

One last thing – is it illegal to pick a Bluebonnet in Texas? 

No.  However, because of the way they propagate, it would not be prudent to remove the blooms or plants if they are growing in welcomed areas.

If you decide to stop on the side of the road to take a picture, check the traffic laws.  Please do not trespass on private property, and above all, maintain safety first as you enjoy the beautiful colors of Texas wildflowers.

We encourage you to visit one of our Expo Sponsors, who will have free complimentary tickets in early March. For a complete list of our sponsors, as well as further information on the Expo, visit www.ecmga.com.

Mark your calendars!  Saturday, March 26, 9 a.m. -5 p.m. for the 11th Annual Lawn & Garden Expo at the Waxahachie Civic Center!