Maroon Flowers: University of Texas' Unusual Blooms an A&M Prank?

Image: Maroon Flowers: University of Texas' Unusual Blooms an A&M Prank?

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 05:01 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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As spring arrived at the University of Texas campus in Austin, so did maroon bluebonnet flowers, fueling suspicion that the red blooms were seeded by the school’s rival, Texas A&M.

At least one UT employee, Markus Hogue, program coordinator for Irrigation and Water Conservation at the college, thinks it’s possible the maroon-colored flowers that are marring the flower beds could have been a Texas A&M prank, UT's alumni magazine The Alcalde reported.

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“Personally, I feel it is (intentional). A&M created these,” Hogue told The Alcalde. “There’s the possibility they were planted by staff, but I doubt that aspect. The coincidence that the maroon bluebonnets are located at the Tower beds seems to fit the rumor that Aggies put the seeds out.”

The maroon-colored bluebonnets — the flowers are typically the blue of their name — come from a recessive gene and rarely show up without being seeded intentionally, Daphne Richards, a Texas A&M horticulturist, told The Alcalde.

“I don’t want to speak ill, but it would be uncommon for such a large stand all in one place to pop up without any help,” Richards said. “I’m surprised no one has taken credit yet.”

"There were just a few at first but now there's much more," Hogue told the Houston Chronicle. "Some find it cute. Others say if they get too much, they want them removed."

The Chronicle said the maroon variety is called “Alamo Fire” and was developed in the 1980s.

No one may have claimed credit, but many online, apparently A&M fans, expressed their appreciation for the alleged prank.

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