Wildflowers Blossoming Now
Early spring means early wildflowers in Canyon Lake and New Braunfels.
Pack a swimsuit for the water fun but bring a camera along for those famous roadside shots of “Texas treats.”
Andrea DeLong-Amaya, director of horticulture at The University of Texas at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, says fall and winter rains, coupled with warm February temperatures, mean wildflower season is “taking off faster than you expect.”
Iconic bluebonnets are blooming throughout the area. To see a list of sightings as of late February, click here.
Texas historian Jack Maguire (1920-2000) wrote: “It’s not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat… The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”
Where to look
- “When to Come to See Texas Wildflowers”: http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/…/…/threadid/1269/scope/posts
- “Texas Bluebonnet and Wildflower Report: 2017 Outlook” – first eBook in the list at: http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/eBooks
- “Texas Bluebonnet and Wildflower Routes” eBooks at: http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/eBooks
- Gary Regner’s Wildflower Color Index at: http://www.texaswildflowerpictures.com/wf_index.htm
- Texas Wildflowers Facebook Group at : https://www.facebook.com/groups/92643952383
- Texas Flora Facebook Group at : https://www.facebook.com/groups/texasflora
- Texas Plants and Invertebrates at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TXPlantsInvertebrates
Safety, Texas law and regulations
- Texas Department of Public Safety: “Safety Tips for Wildflower Fans” and “Can you Pick the Bluebonnets?” at: http://www.dps.texas.gov/…/media_and_comm…/2014/pr040414.htm
County Laws: Some counties in Texas do not permit stopping along some roads, especially Ranch and Farm to Market roads.
Other colorful plants
Other colorful plants bordering the areas roadsides and the banks of the Guadalupe and Comal rivers are Indian Blanket, Indian Paintbrush, Green Thread, Winecup, and the Square-Bud Primrose, aka “Buttercup.”
Most famous are Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, Phlox, Verbena and other colorful flowers.
DeLong-Amaya says Pink Evening Primrose, also known as Buttercups, should enjoy a strong year.
Visitors to Central Texas over Spring Break also will spot the fragrant, trumpet-shaped yellow blooms of Carolina Jessamine. Other plants blossoming early include Elbow Bush, Golden Groundsel and Agarita. Redbuds are producing pink blossoms.
Over in Guadalupe River State Park in Spring Branch, emerging Antelope-Horns milkweed stems also herald an early spring and the soon return of monarch butterflies from their winter home in Mexico.
On Saturday, April 1, Guadalupe River State Park Ranger Craig will lead a walk in search of butterflies and wildflowers.
And don’t forget to visit New Braunfels’ famed Lindheimer House, once home to Ferdinand Lindheimer, the father of Texas botany who collected over 1,500 species of plans during the 1830s and 40s.
In 1933 the Texas legislature adopted a state flower song, “Bluebonnets,” written by Julia D. Booth and Lora C. Crockett.
When the pastures are green in the springtime
And the birds are singing their sonnets,
You may look to the hills and the valleys
And they’re covered with lovely Bluebonnets.
Blue is the emblem of loyalty,
They’re as blue as the deep, deep sea,
Their smiling faces bring gladness,
For they bloom for you and for me.
Bluebonnets, so gorgeous and stately,
In your mantle of blue and of green,
In the spring when you’re in your full glory,
You’re the loveliest sight ever seen.
You’re beautiful when you sway in the sunshine,
You look like waves of the sea,
Ah, Texas was wise in her choice of a flow’r,
So we offer our homage to thee.
Bluebonnets, blue lovely Bluebonnets,
More beautiful than all the rest.
Texas chose you for her flower,
And we love you best, Bluebonnets.
Famed children’s author Tomie de Paolo wrote an award-winning book, The Legend of the Bluebonnet, about a killing drought that threatened the existence of a Comanche tribe.
In it, a courageous little Comanche girl sacrifices her most-beloved possession. The Great Spirit’s answer results not only in much-needed rain but a very special gift in return.
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