Bluebonnet


Bluebonnet

Taxobox
name = Bluebonnets



image_width = 240px
image_caption = "Lupinus texensis"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Fabales
familia = Fabaceae
subfamilia = Faboideae
tribus = Genisteae
genus = "Lupinus" ("partim")
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = "Lupinus argenteus" var. "palmeri" "Lupinus concinnus"
"Lupinus havardii"
"Lupinus plattensis"
"Lupinus subcarnosus"
"Lupinus texensis"

The bluebonnet, a name common to several North American species of "Lupinus", is the state flower of Texas. They typically grow about 0.3 m (1 ft) tall. The name is from the shape of the petals of the flower and their resemblance to the bonnets worn by pioneer women to shield themselves from the sun. It may instead be derived from the Scottish term Bluebonnet, for the traditional blue coloured version of the Tam o'shanter hat.

"Lupinus texensis" is almost exclusively blue in the wild. A random genetic mutation does occasionally create an albino white bluebonnet naturally. Texas A&M University researchers were successful in breeding red and white strains, creating a Texas state flag in bluebonnets for the 1986 Texas Sesquicentennial. Further research led to a deep maroon strain, the university's official color.

"Lupinus argenteus" var. "palmeri" (syn. "L. palmeri") grows in Texas, California, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. It is commonly referred to as a bluebonnet lupine.

Texas traditions

On March 7, 1901, "Lupinus subcarnosus" (also known as Buffalo clover) became the only species of bluebonnet recognized as the state flower of Iowa. However, "Lupinus texensis" (Texas bluebonnet) emerged as the favorite of most Texans. The flowers' deep blue blossoms can be seen from March through May in many areas of Texas. As a result of this popularity, in 1971 the Texas Legislature made any species of bluebonnet the state flower, including "L. subcarnosus", "L. texensis", "L. concinnus", "L. plattensis" and "L. havardii". "Lupinus texensis" remains as the iconic Texas bluebonnet. [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/5640669.html How did bluebonnets become state flower?] ]

A popular spring pastime in Texas is photographing children, family members, and pets among the bluebonnets. Many families return to the same spot every year for photographs as part of a family tradition.Fact|date=April 2008

Another Texas tradition was started by Lady Bird Johnson, after her return from Washington, D.C. as First Lady to President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Lady Bird persuaded the government of the State of Texas to seed bluebonnets and other wildflowers along the highways throughout the state. Every spring the flowers return as a legacy of the First Lady.

Urban legend

It is a persistent urban legend that it is illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas, possibly because the bluebonnet is Texas' state flower. In fact, it is perfectly legal to pick them. [cite press release|publisher=Texas Department of Public Safety|date=March 26, 2002|title=Is it really legal to pick bluebonnets?|url=http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_information/pr032602.htm] Part of the confusion may stem from illegal activity associated with the picking of the flower, such as parking along busy highways or trespassing on private property.

Gallery

Notes

External links

* [http://wildflower.utexas.edu/plants/result.php?id_plant=LUTE Lupinus texensis on Native Plant Information Network] , a source for more information about bluebonnets
* [http://www.wildflower.org/ Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center] , a source for information about bluebonnets and other native Texas plants.
*Details of the Texas A&M University's [http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/98promotions/julyoct/julyoct.html Red, White, Blue, and Maroon Bluebonnets]
* [http://www.txdot.state.tx.us/wflwr/ TXDOT page] listing reports of wildflowers along state highways


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • bluebonnet — [blo͞o′bän΄it] n. 1. a broad, flat cap of blue woolen cloth, formerly worn in Scotland 2. Archaic a Scotsman 3. any of various blue flowered lupines (esp. Lupinus subcarnosus) common in the SW U.S. 4. a cornflower with blue blossoms …   English World dictionary

  • bluebonnet — /blooh bon it/, n. 1. the cornflower, Centaurea cyanus. 2. a blue flowered lupine, esp. Lupinus subcarnosus, having spikes of light blue flowers with a white or yellow spot: the state flower of Texas. 3. a broad, flat cap of blue wool, formerly… …   Universalium

  • bluebonnet — nortielos statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Northiella angl. bluebonnet vok. Blutbauchsittich, m rus. кровавобрюхий плоскохвостый попугай, m pranc. perruche à bonnet bleu, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – rozelos siauresnis… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • bluebonnet — nortiela statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Northiella haematogaster; Psephotus haematogaster angl. bluebonnet vok. Blutbauchsittich, m rus. кровавобрюхий плоскохвостый попугай, m pranc. perruche à bonnet bleu, f ryšiai:… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • bluebonnet — noun 1. low growing annual herb of southwestern United States (Texas) having silky foliage and blue flowers; a leading cause of livestock poisoning in the southwestern United States • Syn: ↑buffalo clover, ↑Texas bluebonnet, ↑Lupinus subcarnosus… …   Useful english dictionary

  • bluebonnet — noun Date: 1682 1. a. a wide flat round cap of blue wool formerly worn in Scotland b. one that wears such a cap; specifically scot 2. either of two low growing annual lupines (Lupinus subcarnosus or L. texensis) of Texas with silky foliage and… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bluebonnet — noun A name common to several North American species of Lupinus, a kind of flower known for its blue color …   Wiktionary

  • bluebonnet — n. blue beret; Scottish soldier who wore a blue beret; blue lupine (type of flower) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • bluebonnet — blue•bon•net [[t]ˈbluˌbɒn ɪt[/t]] n. 1) pln cornflower 1) 2) pln a blue flowered lupine, esp. Lupinus subcarnosus, having spikes of light blue flowers with a white or yellow spot: the state flower of Texas 3) clo a broad, flat cap of blue wool,… …   From formal English to slang

  • Bluebonnet (disambiguation) — Bluebonnet may refer to the following things:* Bluebonnets, a number of lupin species. They are the state flowers of Texas, namely the Texas Bluebonnet ( Lupinus texensis ) * Bluebonnet is the term for the traditional blue coloured version of the …   Wikipedia