SAN ANTONIO – After the winter weather decimated many plants in February, many people wonder if it will affect Texas wildflower season.
If you hold your breath, we won’t hold your breath – the answer is we should have enough bluebonnets this year. They can only bloom a little later in the spring.
Experts at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center say bluebonnets can handle the cold.
“Our Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) and many other native wildflowers are adapted to cold temperatures,” Andrea DeLong-Amay, director of horticulture, was quoted on the center’s website as saying. “And the 6 to 8 inches of snow the area received acted as a blanket to protect it from the many days of freezing temperatures.”
DeLong-Amay said that because we had warm weather until the February frost, bluebonnets may have bloomed earlier this year. But because of the cold, they’re more on the way to blooming in March and peaking in early to mid-April.
Bluebonnets usually start blooming first along I-10 between San Antonio and Houston and then move north to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to botanist Jason Singhurst of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
“The native range is primarily the Hill Country and Blackland Prairie ecoregions of Texas, although the citizens of Texas have sown it well beyond that,” Singhurst said.
The Texas Department of Transportation buys and plants around 30,000 pounds of wildflower seeds each year. The flowers are planted along Texas highways to beautify the roads and because, along with native grasses, they “help conserve water, control erosion, and create habitat for wildlife in all natural areas of Texas “, According to the TxDOT website.
“If it continues to rain and temperatures stay until the mid-80s or below through April, it should be a great source of bluebonnet in Texas,” Singhurst said.
But there is some disappointing news for flower lovers. While the flowers are still in bloom on the ground, we may not see as many beautiful blooms on our native flowering trees this spring. According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, some red buds, Texas Mountain laurel, and native plums may not bloom this year as February freezes.
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