There's a devious plot afoot, or, as the Houston Chronicle cheekily puts it, "a scandal of potentially epic proportions." The University of Texas in Austin has noticed some maroon bluebonnets popping up in flowerbeds beneath the UT Tower, a place where only traditional bluebonnets (that is, blue ones) have been planted. So what's behind the strange growth? The leading theory: sabotage, courtesy of Texas A&M, which confirmed it was indeed the one to breed maroon-bonnet seeds. Says the head of the UT team that handles the school's plantings, it's "likely these seeds were created at A&M and brought over here."
An A&M horticulturalist says it probably was an intentional planting, but professes to have no knowledge of any such plot. He notes, however, "God chose to put a maroon gene in (the bluebonnet family), but there ain't no orange one." UT can take solace in the fact that when planted with blue ones, white and pink bluebonnets tend to become blue over time, and KXAN notes some of the maroon ones have already started to turn pink. UT plans to further squash the maroon variety by cutting off seed cases to halt the spread. (Click to read about how a flower shortage might have doomed the mighty woooly mammoth.)