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When I purchased potted bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) from Wildseed Farms, located east of Fredericksburg, Texas, a beautiful color variant called "Alamo Fire" sparked my interest in other colors of bluebonnets.

I learned that not only is this non-blue variant also a bluebonnet but that colors of bluebonnets include white, pink, red, Aggie maroon, and several blue-shaded variants. The dark blue-colored flowers are clearly the most common, but seed that flower to other colors have been developed by Dr. Jerry Parsons, Texas A&M, cooperatively with commercial growers who produce seeds for color variants by growing them in isolation to prevent cross-pollination. More information about this process is available in the Plant Answers section of the Aggie Horticulture website at Texas A&M University.

You may add variety to your bluebonnet plantings by purchasing several color strains from commercial sources. When you view the beautiful springtime flush of bluebonnets growing wild, you may want to play "color detective" to see how many color variations you can count.

Ronald D. Yeck, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

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