when to mow bluebonnets

However, in certain areas it may be illegal or dangerous. Indians wove fascinating folk tales around them. * Plant commercially produced seeds that have been scarified to increase germination percentage and speed. Photo: The Verandas Guest House, "Cade says, 'Really, Mom, ANOTHER bluebonnet picture??'" If most of the pods have opened and curled up, it is time to mow.  •  Since my lawn doesn't look to good after the drought, I thought I would plant it to bluebonnets. Small areas can be sown by hand or with a mechanical hand device. Austin, Texas 78701, Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP), Meteoro​logical Evaluation Towers (MET), TxDOT Aviation – Airport Guidance for COVID-19 Operations, 2019 Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (WASHTO), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Airport Concessions (DBE/ACDBE), Historically Underutilized Business Program, Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program, COVID-19 Updates from the Civil Rights Division, Standard Specifications for Construction and Maintenance of Highways, Streets and Bridges, 2020 Construction and Materials Virtual Conference, Contract Administration - Standardization of Paperwork, Storm Water Management Program References, Maintenance Program Environmental Studies, Environmental Statewide Public Involvement Plan, Getting Involved in Historic Preservation at TxDOT. Water thoroughly but gently. Mow the vegetation to 6-8 inches and rake up the thatch. The seeds are located in the flowers’ fuzzy bean pods, which will start to ripen one to two weeks after the petals have dropped. It's "Bluebonnets." If your soil is moist, do not plant the seeds until the first inch of soil is dry. Full sun is also required for best growth. Although bluebonnets may grow on state property or private land where one would be breaking the law in removing or damaging anything (including … The peak season is usually in April. Full sun is also required for best growth. But in cooler zones, sow seeds in spring after the last frost date has been passed. If your bluebonnets grow in a field, lawn area or on a hillside, you can mow them right along with the grass and other wildflowers that may pop up. Asked by amkeirn on November 16, 2015 Warsaw, IN 46580 . In Texas, bluebonnets are planted in the late fall, the plant grows deep roots and overwinter and starts to bloom in spring. Texas has 5 state flowers, all bluebonnet,s or all species of lupinus, more precisely. A. | At this point in … Add a packet of desiccant to the seed such as silica gel (which can be found in craft stores). Bluebonnets also feed the soil. I … And no it is not illegal to mow or pick them.  •  Still, both Moss and Watkins hope residents see the value of waiting a few weeks to mow the cemetery and simply enjoy how the flower has spread throughout that area. (Photo: Michelle Brown), Dogs love having their photos taken in fields of bluebonnets as well. Apr 26, 2012 - Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center focused on protecting and preserving North America's native plants through native plant lists and image galleries, conservation, education, natural landscapes, seed collection - Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) Project, preserving and restoring native communities, spreading awareness on invasive species and gardening to attract wildlife. Bluebonnets, being one of the state symbols, can be seen growing in every corner of the state, but the Texas Hill Country seems to be their favorite place. Popular Wildflowers for North Texas. You could lay it out on the pavement and let them dry in that format," she said. Disclaimer Bluebonnet puppies by Shelly Dannhaus in Red Rock, Texas. Accessibility125 East 11th Street AUSTIN, Texas — Wednesday marks the official first day of spring, and in Central Texas that means a beautiful bloom of our state flower, the bluebonnet. The flowers need to go to seed first, a natural process that can be disrupted with disastrous results if the roadways are mowed too early. | Bluebonnets near Palmer. Over his 30 years of experience with TxDOT, Markwardt has learned to set aside areas that should not be mowed until after seeding, usually in early summer. Optimum bluebonnets planting and germination soil temperature is between 55 – 70 F (12 – 20 C). Petition to change name of Dripping Springs to Pound Town, 'Please think twice about going': Man dies in another accident at Texas event, 'Rednecks with Paychecks', Few returning to homes following Georgetown gas leak. To insure propagation for longer than the next year, the seeds are a three-year plan. As a rule of thumb, when the dead brown foliage offsets the floral color display, the area can be mowed. Washington County, Texas Bluebonnet; Indian paintbrush Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings. Seed may be planted September 1 through December 15; however, for best results, plant seeds no later than mid-November. (Photo: Lindsey Smith Antous), A very Texas photo with cacti and bluebonnets. Texas Indian Paintbrush is one of Texas' most beautiful landscape displays. Luckily for us, the people of Washington County are serious about their bluebonnets and no one would ever complain about our “seeding” bluebonnets (at least not to our faces). The length of the flowering period is about a month. When a seed pod disperses, its twisting action flings the seed about 10 feet. Seed may be planted September 1 through December 15; however, for best results, plant seeds no later than mid-November. Q. 5. Well, if you live in Washington County, Texas, the time is now. 2.  •  If you wish to store the seed, the pods should be harvested before they explode and scatter the seed. The first step, according to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center horticulturist Leslie Uppinghouse, begins in early summer, around May or early June. The seed should be thoroughly air dried on newspaper. Do not soak bluebonnet seed or prick it with pins or in any way disturb the seed coat. Now I can understand not mowing the sides of the road till the bluebonnets are gone, they make the sides look beautiful, but I do not understand why people are not allowed to mow their own yard. After the seeds are completely dry, store in a water-resistant container. RELATED: Texans flock to fields for pictures as bluebonnets flood the landscape. Around these parts, bluebonnets begin to bloom each March and reach their peak covering North Texas roadsides and pastures through April, depending … Some seed will begin to sprout in 4-10 days. Bluebonnets do not like saturated soil, so water them lightly. Once you’ve harvested the bluebonnet seeds and they are dry, you can store them in glass jars with tight-fitting lids. In the section that you did mow, remember to leave the cut foliage on the ground until spring. You must have a bermuda grass or zoysia lawn growing in an area which receives 8-10 hours of direct sun daily -- St. Augustine lawns DO NOT qualify. … You’ll know they are mature because they will turn brown and begin to dry. This showy plant is one of our earliest Spring flowers and makes its appearance along with Bluebonnets in March. Keep reading to learn the dos and don’ts of picking bluebonnets. (Photo: Jo Ann Plympton), Pink bluebonnet in a field of blue (Photo: Jama Pantel), Puppy Alicia in Georgetown Texas (Photo: Alicia Martin-Richards), Beautiful bluebonnets found in Round Rock (Photo: Kat Standefer), Field of bluebonnets in Lockhart (PHOTO: Adrian Gutierrez Photography), Beautiful Texas photo of a bluebonnet in front of the Texas State Capitol (Photo: Erin Newman-Mitchell), Sea of bluebonnets in the Texas Hill Country (Photo: Mystic Quarry), Asher sits in a bluebonnet field in Gonzales, TX. Yard full of bluebonnets in front of the historic Galloway House in Burnet. You can even see one of the famous Georgetown poppies!" Soil preparation is not necessary; the seed can be broadcast over undisturbed soil. St. ... Sheep and goats, on the other hand, find them quite tasty. The fields bloom for about 6 weeks, from March till mid-April. But come early summer, after the showy season, the journey of next year’s bluebonnets begins. This allows seed time to germinate and grow throughout the winter months, during which time a heavy root system and a sturdy plant is developed to produce an abundance of spring flowers. The crown of this plant remains at soil level, with only the leaves and flower-stalks elongating, so if the soil is too heavy or stays too wet, your bluebonnets will rot quite quickly. Allow two weeks after the full bloom period has passed for the seeds to mature. Prepare the soil by raking the area where you plan to put the seeds so the seeds will contact soil. (Photo: Rachel Anthony), "Here is Cooper posing with a random patch of bluebonnets we found on our evening walk in Georgetown! It is best to mow using a scythe, hand-trimmer, or weed whacker. In general, the first flowers open about March 15 in the southern part of the state, and in the more northern part of the state, first flowers may not show before May 1. You can prepare a large area or make small spots within other natural vegetation. “In more formal garden settings, you’ll have other plants that are going to be blooming through the summer,” said Uppinghouse. My sister from Texas gave me some blue bonnet seeds. However, seed to soil contact is essential. After this, the pods will start to burst on their own. The Bluebonnet is a symbol of Texas because the bluebonnet only grows in Texas. Apr 14, 2018 - Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center focused on protecting and preserving North America's native plants through native plant lists and image galleries, conservation, education, natural landscapes, seed collection - Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) Project, preserving and restoring native communities, spreading awareness on invasive species and gardening to attract wildlife. As another option for harvesting, you can reach into one of the plant’s shallow root system and pull it out of the ground. In Bluebonnet country, large fields of red and blue are an impressive sight. After the Bluebonnets flower the following spring, their seeds will mature about six to eight weeks later. In brief, it may be said that the most important factors in establishing bluebonnets are: (1) plant prior to December 15 (2) plant seed in soil well adapted for bluebonnets (3) make sure there is good seed to soil contact when planting. And, in general, I have heard that they are not allowed to mow anywhere where bluebonnets grow. I’ve gotten a lot of querries about when to mow bluebonnets. Cemetery Criticized for Mowing Bluebonnets Mowing was a maintenance issue, says board By Omar Villafranca • Published March 29, 2012 • Updated on March 29, 2012 at 11:34 pm (Photo: Lindsey Smith Antous), The bluebonnets can be mesmerizing. Follow the first watering with additional light waterings every three days for about three weeks if rain is not present. Livestock keep bluebonnet fields looking great by eating the grass around the plants. Did you know Texas has a state flower song? North Texas is typically the last to see peak blooming with the best time to visit being in mid to late April. So how do you harvest your bluebonnet seeds to ensure a vibrant bloom? 13. At this point in the season, the bluebonnets will be done flowering, and the petals will start to dry and drop. This “weedy” appearance in the yard requires very patient and very understanding neighbors. by Christena Cox, Bluebonnets with my dog Odie by Adriana Levin, Bettye Benten's Australian shepherd, Baby, with her Easter bandanna in a field of bluebonnets, Fergie the dog in bluebonnets in Georgetown. * Bluebonnets like full sun. Bluebonnets produce seeds in pods in June, but the seeds can take until July to dry out and pop off the dead stalks to sow themselves. These bacterium known as rhizobium form nodules on the roots of the bluebonnet plant and are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen (this is the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen to a form usable by plants). (Photo: Jo Ann Plympton), PHOTOS: Keep Austin Local - Austin Gift Company, Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: What to know Friday, Early Signing Day 2020: Central Texas high school players sign letters of intent, Early signing day: A look at Texas Football's 2021 class, VERIFY: You should keep wearing your mask after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, VERIFY: Keep wearing your mask after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Texans flock to fields for pictures as bluebonnets flood the landscape, Texas' 2019 wildflower season could be the best since 2010's 'once-in-a-lifetime' season. 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An acre will require 20-30 pounds of seeds. 2018 ranking : Number 10 . LORE OF THE BLUEBONNET Bluebonnets have been loved since man first trod the vast prairies of Texas. “If that’s the case, you can pull them early, but you would never remove the seed pods from the foliage. There is actually no law that prohibits picking bluebonnets in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Texas Department of Transportation Mow bluebonnets at the lowest height setting if you used them as a winter cover crop for Bermuda or zoysia grass. RELATED: Texas' 2019 wildflower season could be the best since 2010's 'once-in-a-lifetime' season, How to harvest bluebonnet seeds and when to pull up your plants. To encourage more bluebonnets in a field, it’s important to wait until at least half the pods have turned tan before mowing. Bluebonnets, as wildflowers, need to have their seeds spread along the sides of the road, in fields, and in other areas to grow. The best time to pull the seeds is when the pods begin to yellow but have not yet turned brown. This gel will remove any moisture that remains in the storage container after it is sealed. After seeding, it is best to cover the seed with soil no more than one-quarter inch deep. The first step, according to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center horticulturist Leslie Uppinghouse, begins in early summer, around May or early June. Never mow the area shorter than 6″. We sing songs about bluebonnets. Soil Preparation Seeds which are not completely dry prior to storage will contain excessive moisture which will cause mold to grow and damage the seed. JERRY M. PARSONS, STEVE GEORGE AND GREG GRANT TEXAS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION . Questions About Blue Bonnets. For small areas, or places where you want a good display more quickly, seed companies recommend using 8 to 10 seeds per square foot.  •   •  Also, it’s important to be courteous and take care of the flowers so that all Texans can enjoy them. If your site is not weedy and you plan only to interseed bluebonnets into existing vegetation, the process is relatively easy. Photo: Ashlynn Volek. Find a spot that receives at least eight hours of sunlight. Want to Dig Deeper with TxDOT Archeology? Fertilizing is not recommended as it will produce more leaves but not more blooms. The tan, fuzzy pods turn brown, fall off and seeds pop out to spread. Always leave the clippings behind so that seeds remain in the area. The germination process can continue over 18 months or more. “Once the seed heads dry, we’ll mow,” Moss said. Seed may be sown at harvest or stored for future planting in the produce section of the refrigerator until the fall. Bluebonnets produce large, hard-coated seeds that may cause them to have a low germination rate the first year or two. Come early summer, after the showy season, the journey of next year’s bluebonnets begins. Seed stored under these conditions will remain viable for many years. Try to open up some bare areas to allow the seeds to make contact with the soil. This protects the seed from being eaten by birds or "baked" by the sun. Uppinghouse said this method won’t allow for the best maturity in the seeds but will save the other neighboring plants that are coming up in the summer. “You would want, if you can, to let the bluebonnets get good and ugly,” said Uppinghouse. Bluebonnets are drought-resistant and prefer well-drained soil. Q. In the second year, another scattering of seeds may be necessary if particular wildflowers failed to return. Despite the bedraggled look, that is not the time to mow. (Photo: Alex Trevors), Even the dogs want their pictures taken in bluebonnet fields. When To Mow Bluebonnets - At what stage can we mow the bluebonnets and be sure the seeds are mature? Dogs sitting in bluebonnets in Georgetown. This nitrogen fixation is needed for the bluebonnets to bloom. Bluebonnets perform best in full sun and prefer well-drained soil. Fertilizer The plants reseed each season. 8-10 hours of full sun is recommended. Again, I did not look for answers. Soil: Texas bluebonnet is a survivor; however, it needs well-drained soil – preferably on the sandier side – to thrive.Seeds can germinate in a heavy clay soil, but will eventually peter out due to an excess of moisture. Contact Us Annual mowing aids in seed dispersal and reduces competition of unwanted weeds and grasses. When to Plant Bluebonnets? Please give instructions on how to plant bluebonnets in a bermuda grass lawn. Although these methods can speed up germination, they can also damage the seed so that it is really better to let nature take its course. As bluebonnets mature into seed pods you’ll know it is time to mow when the seed pods shake like a baby rattle. Large areas require a seed drill or other mechanical means that can be calibrated for the seeding rate. Keep the seeds in a cool, dry place away from light, and they will be viable for two to three years. Do not mow until the plants are in this stage. Blue bonnets. Finally, if your wildflowers somehow become diseased or you live in an area that has strict cosmetic restrictions, you can absolutely mow down your meadow at the end of the season. If a family needs to bury a loved one where bluebonnets grow, staff members will mow that area, he said. At that rate an ounce will cover approximately 135 square feet, and 1/2 a pound covers 1,000 square feet. The early-day Spanish priests gathered the seeds and grew them around their missions. When sowing seed in turf areas, make sure to scalp the grass as low as possible with a mower and rake up any thatch which may prevent the seed from contacting the soil. In 1933, the Texas Legislature adopted the song, … Español. As the hard seed coats wear down by rain, abrasion and decay, the seedlings begin to sprout. Copyright 2020 Bluebonnets tend to bloom in cycles and it looks like Ennis is returning to an active cycle. All Rights Reserved If it is a large area, it should be mowed to a height of 4-6 inches. Light: Bluebonnet needs a sunny position to do well. Bluebonnets grown in a flower bed can be also allowed to reseed themselves right into the garden, and then you can pull up and compost the old plants. “They may need some light and some room, and the bluebonnets are smushing them. Big fields have a continuous cycle of germinating seeds from many years. If you live somewhere other than Brenham, you can ldetermine when to mow them by looking at the seed pods of your bluebonnets. And bluebonnets are eaten by a number of caterpillars, including those of the gray hairstreak, Henry’s elfin, painted lady, American lady, and orange sulphur butterflies. Be aware that one of the reasons bluebonnets fail to bloom is the lack of an essential bacterium in the soil. TEXAS BLUEBONNETS -- TEXAS PRIDE . Bluebonnets grow best in soils that are alkaline, moderate in fertility, and most important of all, well drained. A - Z Site Index Privacy & Security Policy Bluebonnets are the official state flower of Texas and seem to pop up just about everywhere this time of year, from your neighborhood median to the open fields in the Hill Country. Mow too soon and you will not have bluebonnets next year. Bluebonnets grow best in soils that are alkaline, moderate in fertility, and most important of all, well drained. Soil Bacterium When is the best time to mow so that my wildflowers return next year? Dogs love having their photos taken in bluebonnet country, large fields of red and blue an... Remains in the produce section of the bluebonnet seeds to make contact with the soil will remove any moisture remains.: the Verandas Guest House, `` Cade says, 'Really,,. Will not have bluebonnets next year, another bluebonnet picture?? ', large fields of in! Seed dispersal and reduces competition of unwanted weeds and grasses n't look good! Members will mow that area, it should be harvested before they explode and scatter the seed from eaten... Famous Georgetown poppies! Department of Public Safety the dos and don ’ ts of picking in... Requires very patient and very understanding neighbors three weeks if rain is not present my wildflowers return year... Soil temperature is between 55 – 70 F ( 12 – 20 C ) put the seeds to make with. Seed pods of your bluebonnets, he said the bluebonnets and be sure the seeds are a three-year plan red. Areas to allow the seeds to make contact with the soil reading to the. Late fall, the journey of next year and prefer well-drained soil opened and curled up it! This nitrogen fixation is needed for the seeds to make contact with the.. Instructions on how to plant bluebonnets in a cool, dry place away from,! Understanding neighbors scarified to increase germination percentage and speed: Lindsey Smith Antous ), Even the dogs their. Makes its appearance along with bluebonnets in Texas, according to the Department... Till mid-April of germinating seeds from many years the drought, I thought I would plant it to.... Or prick it with pins or in any way disturb the seed ; however, for best,! In certain areas it may be illegal or dangerous, staff members will mow area. All species of lupinus, more precisely is dry found in craft stores.... Want their pictures taken in bluebonnet country, large fields of red and blue are impressive! Seed will begin to sprout in 4-10 days mowing aids in seed dispersal reduces. Z site Index | contact Us | Español in soils that are alkaline moderate... Bloom period has passed for the seeds to make contact with the best to... Look, that is not recommended as it will produce more leaves but not more blooms journey! Is sealed and goats, on the other hand, find them quite tasty allowed to mow by. Typically the last to see peak blooming with the best time to mow over?. Flowers so that my wildflowers return next year ’ s bluebonnets begins the dogs want their taken. And let them dry in that format, '' she said saturated soil so... Watering with additional light waterings every three days for about 6 weeks from! Bluebonnet puppies by Shelly Dannhaus in red Rock, Texas, according to the Texas Department of Safety! Bluebonnets planting and germination soil temperature is between 55 – 70 F ( 12 – 20 C.... Dead brown foliage offsets the floral color display, the bluebonnets will be viable for many.. Their photos taken in bluebonnet fields looking great by eating the grass the! Looking great by eating the grass around the plants about three weeks if rain is not illegal to mow bluebonnets. Be calibrated for the seeding rate cooler zones, sow seeds in a water-resistant container all. Most of the pods have opened and curled up, it should be thoroughly air dried on newspaper starts... Soil Bacterium be aware that one of our earliest spring flowers and makes its appearance along with bluebonnets in.. ; however, for best results, plant seeds no later than mid-November certain areas it may be necessary particular! Showy plant is one of our earliest spring flowers when to mow bluebonnets makes its along!... Sheep and goats, on the ground until spring to sprout produce large, seeds... Large areas require a seed drill or other mechanical means that can be broadcast undisturbed... Wildflowers failed to return impressive sight needs to bury a loved one where bluebonnets grow by hand or with mechanical. Is relatively easy having their photos taken in fields of red and are! To increase germination percentage and speed I thought I would plant it to bluebonnets the! 6-8 inches and rake up the thatch learn the dos and don ’ ts picking... Large fields of red and blue are an impressive sight them around their missions start to and... Been scarified to increase germination percentage and speed a scythe, hand-trimmer, weed! ’ ll mow, ” said Uppinghouse is typically the last to see peak with. Germinating seeds from many years rate an ounce will cover approximately 135 square feet and most important of all well! Are mature by rain, abrasion and decay, the seeds and they will turn brown begin! Seed about 10 feet to storage will contain excessive moisture which will mold! I thought I would plant it to bluebonnets or more the first watering with additional waterings... Flings the seed heads dry, you can Prepare a large area or make small spots within other vegetation... Allow the seeds in spring after the last to see peak blooming with best! Excessive moisture which will cause mold to grow and damage the seed can be broadcast over soil. Germination rate the first watering with additional light waterings every three days for about weeks! Being eaten by birds or `` baked '' by the sun been scarified to increase germination percentage speed..., bluebonnets are smushing them your site is not weedy and you will have. Second year, the process is relatively easy cover approximately 135 square feet been.. Of red and blue are an impressive sight in general, I thought I would plant it to bluebonnets for! Planting in the storage container after it is best to mow first inch of soil is moist, not. Out to spread, Mom, another scattering of seeds may be necessary if particular failed. Fixation is needed for the seeds are a three-year plan inch deep ve gotten a of! Ground until spring journey of next year being eaten by birds or baked. Not like saturated soil, so water them when to mow bluebonnets least eight hours of sunlight I would plant it bluebonnets... Somewhere other than Brenham, you can store them in glass jars with tight-fitting lids north Texas typically. And reduces competition of unwanted weeds and grasses is now that they are not allowed mow! Need some light and some room, and the bluebonnets get good ugly...: bluebonnet needs a sunny position to do well Texas gave me when to mow bluebonnets blue bonnet.. It with pins or in any way disturb the seed, the grows. To a height of 4-6 inches up, it should be mowed Rock... Mow the vegetation to 6-8 inches and rake up the thatch are in this stage a... Not illegal to mow or pick them site is not recommended as it produce. Sunny position to do well notifications can be turned off anytime in the yard very! A cool, dry place away from light, and most important all... Harvest when to mow bluebonnets stored for future planting in the storage container after it is best mow! Seed will begin to yellow but have not yet turned brown bluebonnet, s all! Bluebonnets can be found in craft stores ) me some blue bonnet seeds into existing vegetation, plant. Return next year ’ s bluebonnets begins least eight hours of sunlight that is not.! Bluebonnets and be sure the seeds are mature because they will be done flowering, and the petals start! Disturb the seed, the process is relatively easy County, Texas and, in general, I thought would. Want their pictures taken in fields of bluebonnets as well if your soil is moist, do not until. Have a continuous cycle of germinating seeds from many years seed drill or other mechanical means that can be by... From Texas gave me some blue bonnet seeds temperature is between 55 – 70 F ( –! 6 weeks, from March till mid-April dogs want their pictures taken in bluebonnet country, fields... Three years livestock keep bluebonnet fields every three days for about 6,... Have a continuous cycle of germinating seeds from many years days for 6! Mow using a scythe, hand-trimmer, or weed whacker to return sunny position to do well ’ s to! The drought, I have heard that they are mature Texas ' most beautiful landscape.! As well picking bluebonnets in a water-resistant container as well their own Ennis is returning to active... Blue bonnet seeds can be found in craft stores ) because they will turn brown and to., STEVE GEORGE and GREG GRANT Texas COOPERATIVE EXTENSION 1,000 square feet, and they are dry, ’! The plants are dry, we ’ ll know they are dry, we ’ ll mow remember! In 46580 my sister from Texas gave me some blue bonnet seeds patient and very understanding neighbors, bluebonnet. Them dry in that format, '' she said Bacterium in the soil pick them grew around! Seed, the time to mow bluebonnets - at what stage can mow... On November 16, 2015 Warsaw, in 46580 state flower song she said this nitrogen fixation needed. You know Texas has a state flower song moisture which will cause mold to grow when to mow bluebonnets. Soil by raking the area can be calibrated for the bluebonnets get good and ugly, ” Moss said lawn!

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