Exceptional Bluebonnet, Wildflower Season Expected Statewide This Spring

Feb. 24, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — Widespread fall and winter rains should make for an excellent wildflower season in much of Texas, according to Dr. Damon Waitt, senior botanist of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

"The return of El Niño last summer brought much needed relief from the extraordinary drought conditions we have been experiencing since the fall of 2007," Waitt said, noting that the ocean-driven weather system brought extensive, consistent rain from mid-fall into spring. "These rainfall patterns should make for exceptional early and late spring wildflower displays in many regions of Texas."

Already, Waitt has spotted large clusters of Texas bluebonnet rosettes ready to flower alongside Highway 290 near Brenham, Texas.

"El Niño favors el conejo," Waitt said, referring to the Spanish name (the rabbit) for Texas bluebonnets, based on their white tip of flowers that resembles a cottontail.

Drummond phlox, another winter annual that grows in late fall-early winter and blooms in early spring, should also put on a dramatic show.

Wildflower Center conservationists have reported Texas bluebonnets prepping to bloom in granite along roadways between Marble Falls and Llano, Engelmann's daisy along Interstate 10 heading toward El Paso, and Big Bend bluebonnet in and around its namesake parks.

Central Texas is among the regions that already has a scattering of wildflowers in bloom. They include lavender-petaled widow's tear and clusters of windflowers with white, blue or sometimes pink flowers. Also spotted have been blankets of inconspicuous Whitlow-grass and denseflower bladderpod with tiny flowers.

The real show begins sometime in March, with North Texas lagging behind a few weeks because of its cooler weather. Besides Drummond phlox and Texas bluebonnet, other wildflowers to look for along roadsides and in fields include pink evening primrose, Indian paintbrush and prairie verbena.

Thousands of Texas bluebonnets will also flower in upcoming weeks in the gardens and meadows of the Wildflower Center. It provides comfortable, safe spots for Texans' traditional baby-in-the-bluebonnets picture.

And for those who need a bluebonnet fix right away, the Wildflower Center has a live video of bluebonnets growing.

"If you like watching paint dry or are curious about seeing a bluebonnet develop from a juvenile into its flowering stage, check the BBCAM daily," Waitt said.

The center's extensive online resources also include a wildflower quiz to test participants' skill at identifying 12 Texas natives.

To learn more about North American wildflowers, search the Wildflower Center's Native Plant Database. To locate national distributors of wildflower plants and seeds, visit the native plant suppliers search engine.

Wildflower photos are available upon request.

For more information, contact: Barbra Rodriguez, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 512 232 0105.

21 Comments to "Exceptional Bluebonnet, Wildflower Season Expected Statewide This Spring"

1.  helen said on March 1, 2010

Several years ago there was a spectacular show of bluebonnets on a bank adjacent to Hwy 290E. Naturally it attracted "baby picture" enthusiasts, so many that the flowers were trampled and did not seed. I watched that bank in the following years; the bluebonnets did not come back.

Photographers: Try not to hurt the flowers you love.

2.  sharon blassingame said on March 4, 2010

I was thinking of planning a trip for March 27-28 from Richmond, Texas, to Austin, taking I10 to Columbus then 71 to Austin. Any comments would be helpful. Thanks!

3.  C. Hargrove said on March 9, 2010

I am going to Fredericksburg, Texas, on March 23. Will the blue bonnets and other flowers be blooming?

4.  Teresa said on March 17, 2010

Just watch out for fire ants when you take your kids for their annual bluebonnet pictures.

5.  Sterling Cruger said on March 18, 2010

For the past 18 years we have photographed families in bluebonnet fields in the San Antonio area -- of course with the exception of the last two years. We have searched high and low all over north San Antonio, and, other than finding them along the roadways, we have found very few patches. Anyone who has seen a field with bluebonnets near San Antonio please let me know. Thanks.

6.  BCollins said on March 20, 2010

Try this route: Burnet to LLano, to Fredericksburg, to Johnson City, back to Burnet. There are side routes: Hwy. 2341 loop off of Hwy. 29 W of Burnet, and Hwy. 2241 N of Llano. Supposed to be one of the best Central Texas Bluebonnet routes.

7.  Barbara Little said on March 22, 2010

I am thinking of coming to Spring Branch, Texas, April 1-4. Any chance the bluebonnets will be blooming? If so, which locations?

8.  Melody said on March 26, 2010

I'm new to the Dallas, Texas area and have heard about the bluebonnets but still haven't seen any...when are they coming out?

9.  Lea S. Fagin said on March 27, 2010

Big Bend National Park had the bluest top Bluebonnets with the greenest leaves. They also had some pink Bluebonnets. It was so unusual to see this flower in the desert-like terrain. But, they do add to the natural beauty of the mountains. If you can get away this is a great place to go and enjoy the beauty of Texas.

10.  K. Hayes said on April 1, 2010

We love the bbq at Cooper's in Llano and were thinking about making a trip this weekend 4/03. How are the wildflowers (especially bluebonnets) between Austin and Llano? We travel on Hwy 71 but Is there a better viewing location? Thank you

11.  Cindy said on April 7, 2010

On April 16, my husband and I are taking a "bluebonnet" trip. We will leave Granbury, take 281 until we feel like turning. That's all the plans we have made thus far. The only real plans we have made is taking LOTS of pictures. LOL

12.  Nicole said on April 8, 2010

I live in Austin and we have a beautiful bluebonnet bloom going on now, but am curious if anyone knows how long it will last?

13.  Bill Grizzle said on April 8, 2010

Will be in the Hill Country of Texas on the 15th of April. Will the bluebonnets be in full bloom then?

14.  Frank said on April 9, 2010

How long can we expect bluebonnet 'season' to last? I really want to get out of town and experience the Texas wildflowers away from the major highways and exhaust fumes, but it's hard to find time other than one or two weekends I'm not working later in April. Will there be any left?

15.  William F. Raivel said on Nov. 4, 2010

Planning a trip from Lewes,DE..... Will the wild flowers be in bloom in the 1st wk. of April 2011???????

16.  George Hurt said on Feb. 13, 2012

Grew up in George West TX, left for the Navy in January 1956. I want to view the Bluebonnets one last time. When would likely be the best time to view them this spring (2012) in the George West area.

George Hurt
Adventure Aviation

17.  Barbra Rodriguez said on Feb. 15, 2012

Thanks for your question, Mr. Hurt. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will list some statewide wildflower sightings as a part of our first spring forecast that will be posted at http://www.wildflower.org, by late February. The Wildflower Center will also have its live video feed of on-site bluebonnets active in upcoming weeks at http://www.wildflower.org/bbcam.

To find out about sightings in a specific Texas location, visit websites such as http://www.lnstar.com/wildflowers/, contact the local chamber of commerce or tourist information center, or call the Texas Dept. of Transportation's hotline at 1-800-452-9292. I hope this helps.

18.  nancy raney said on March 3, 2012

I would like to visit Austin and surrounds early April or the best time to see texas bluebonnets at the height of their flowering. Thank you.

Nancy Raney

19.  Barbra Rodriguez said on March 5, 2012

Please see Feb. 15 posting of the best ways to find the current wildflower sightings in Texas (i.e. posting 17). We will also post another wildflower forecast summary on the Wildflower Center web site by late March.

20.  patty fry said on March 16, 2012

have vacation planned for 4/13-4/20. am I too late to see the bluebonnets?

21.  Barbra Rodriguez said on March 22, 2012

Patty, no easy answer for that question. The bluebonnets are looking great in many places around Austin right now, and new bluebonnets will continue popping open in various places in upcoming weeks. How long open flowers lasts depends on how hot it gets/heat fades flower blooms. Right now it's only topping out in the low 80s here, so they're doing well. And there are other wildflowers-phlox, Indian blanket, etc.-that are blooming now and others that will replace them, such as those in the sunflower family, once we get into summer.

Our second, and final, wildflower forecast was posted this week at: http://www.wildflower.org/feature/?id=88

Please refer to the box at the bottom for routes to get the most up-to-date sightings information through a 1-800 number or web sites.