BEVO BEAT

Maroon bluebonnets at UT getting plucked? Not so fast

Posted April 17th, 2014

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In the latest on one of the strangest (but prettiest) higher education sagas of the year, University of Texas officials now say that they will not take steps to remove maroon bluebonnets from flowerbeds in front of the school’s iconic tower.

The announcement, posted on the official UT Tumblr with the title “UT Bluebonnet Update: The Flowers are Safe,” comes as a contradiction to earlier reports. News outlets including the Houston Chronicle and the Associated Press had quoted officials as saying the reddish flowers would be removed at an unspecified date. Though no one has claimed responsibility, many assumed the flowers were part of a Texas A&M-related prank.

From the latest statement:

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The university would like to clarify that contrary to some reports, the bluebonnets are safe. UT Austin has no immediate or official plans to pull up the Aggie-colored wildflowers.

The statement also quotes Mark Simmons, director of the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, as saying the maroon bluebonnets deserve the right to grow just as much as their azure brethren. Even UT Austin President Bill Powers weighed in on the blooms. According to the university, Powers said on radio station KUT:

“If it’s the work of some Aggies, hats off to them, it’s kind of clever. You know anyone wearing maroon would love to wake up and be in a better place.”

We here at the American-Statesman collegiate landscaping bureau will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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