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The Texas state flower, the bluebonnet, encompasses all six of the Lupinus species native to Texas. The most widespread and popular bluebonnet, Lupinus texensis Hook., is a winter annual that produces violet-blue [violet-blue group 96A, Royal Horticultural

Society (RHS), 1982] racemes in early to midspring and is predominately self-pollinating.

The Texas Dept. of Transportation uses this species widely for floral displays along roadsides throughout much of the state (Andrews, 1986). Rare white and even rarer pink variants exist in native populations, and a breeding project was initiated in 1985 to develop bluebonnets with novel flower colors for use as bedding plants. ‘Abbott Pink’ was the first seed-propagated cultivar to be developed from this program (Parsons and Davis, 1993). The second cultivar, ‘Barbara Bush’ with novel lavender shade flowers, was developed more recently (Parsons et al., 1994). As with the cultivars previously developed, we used recurrent phenotypic selection to develop ‘Texas Maroon’. This cultivar is intended for use as a bedding plant for maroon flower color.


Originally published in HortScience (2000) 35(2): 313



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