September 28th, 2009
Bluebonnet Seeds

bluebonnet seeds

If you’ve ever bought bluebonnet seeds, you might have noticed that they looked like varied multi-colored pebbles. But if you collect your own seeds, you might notice that all the seeds from the same plant look alike.

When the bluebonnets are blooming in my yard, I go around marking plants from which I want to save seeds. I’m a bit of an extremist so I tend to mark plants with the deepest blue flowers and the palest blue flowers. Every once in awhile a pale pink bluebonnet or white bluebonnet will appear but these rarely set many seeds. I saved seeds from the child of my oversummering, December-blooming bluebonnet and notice how pale beige they are compared with the others.

bluebonnet seeds
I saved these seeds not because the plants were remarkable but because the seeds themselves were so pretty.

The week before we went on vacation seven of inches of rain fell and immediately the bluebonnets began sprouting. The week we were gone, we received an additional 3.5 inches. I returned to find my yard covered in bluebonnet sprouts of the seeds I didn’t save. I’m going to have to hustle to get my saved seeds in the ground somewhere.

by M Sinclair Stevens

6 Responses to post “Bluebonnet Seeds”

  1. From Nell Jean:

    They tell me that bluebonnets will not grow in our sandy, acid soil, so I’ve never tried.

    Do the various colors indicate possible blossom color, the way hyacinth bulb colors give a clue as to whether to expect pink or blue or yellow?

    I don’t know. Usually white and pink bluebonnets revert to blue with only a small percentage carrying on the recessive color characteristic and producing a new generation of white or pink flowers. But I’ll keep experimenting and testing and reporting back with my findings. — mss

  2. From Diana - Austin:

    What a fascinating post. I hadn’t, in fact, noticed that the seeds from different plants varied, because I haven’t had luck with reseeding. I have too much mulch, but I plan to scrape myself places for seeds this fall. Guess that might be NOW!

  3. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter:

    I’ve never seen Bluebonnet seeds. They are beautiful. It’s interesting how different the colors are.

    I save seeds from lots of different annuals but I don’t think I’ve encountered the variation that I find in bluebonnet seeds anywhere else. What I find most striking is that the seeds from the same plant look the same. It wouldn’t have surprised me as much if they were all variable or if just the seeds from one flower or one pod were the same. — mss

  4. From Linda Lehmusvirta Austin, TX:

    Fascinating! You’re such a plant scholar.

    If we’re lucky, looks like another round of rain coming to get more seeds in. Gotta get busy myself.

  5. From Nancy , Fort Worth, TX:

    I wanted to thank you for your superb garden diary. Your records of when things bloom is nothing short of amazing, and it has been the best resource I could ever find for my own garden. We’ll be having a wedding in my yard, next March, mid-month. I have pored over your comments about your blooms around that time, over and over! Thank you so much for all the work you have put into your diary. It is my MOST favorite garden website.

    Well, thank you. You’re too sweet. I haven’t been as disciplined as I used to be about keeping my records. It’s encouraging to know that people use them; it makes me want to be more observant and exact. Fort Worth is quite a bit colder than Austin. Even within Austin, there’s an amazing amount of variation, I’ve discovered from other garden bloggers. But rain seems to be more important than temperatures when it comes to what will be in flower. I hope you have a lovely wedding. — mss

  6. From Union Glashutte:

    I wanted to have bluebonnets in my texas wedding, but they were not in season as we got married in December. I would love to have them in my garden though..thanks for the tips on picking seeds!
    -Sylvia

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