AUSTIN – Spring is just around the corner and that means the start of the amazing spring wildflower season in Texas. Late winter yearbooks and perennials lead the 2021 Flora Parade along the highways and states of Texas in our various ecoregions and spring landscapes.
Texas bluebonnets typically peak in late March through mid-April. Bluebonnets often begin to bloom near Interstate 10 between San Antonio and Houston and then further north towards the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex. The native range of the Texas bluebonnets are primarily the Hill Country and Blackland Prairie ecoregions, although the Texans have sown these flowers well beyond that.
“Recent Facebook posts about Texas flora and photos from local plant enthusiasts that I received during the winter storm included flowering, ice-covered bluebonnets in central Texas,” said Jason Singhurst, botanist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD ). “Believe it or not, most native perennial and biennial plants like bluebonnets have done well under the isolated snow and ice. If it can rain steadily over the coming weeks, and temperatures stay until the mid-80s or below, it should be a great Texan bluebonnet spring. “
During early spring, Texans everywhere can expect trout lilies, butter cups, lots of mustard, Dakota verbena, four-nerved daisies, spring beauty, violets, Texas rainbow cactus, fishhook barrel cactus, and Texas mountain laurel flowers to flourish, many others.
Singhurst believes this spring will enable a promising wildflower season in Big Bend and far west Texas. In previous years, winters have been extremely dry, but this season is likely to get more colorful due to the increasing wet weather this winter. In central Texas, Singhurst anticipates residents will see plenty of vegetative bluebonnets, Engelmann’s daisies, Blackfoot daisies, Drummond’s skullcap, Lindheimer’s brush, Missouri primrose, prairie flea, and many others.
Texans who headed out to see wildflowers this spring can keep a log of the flora they see on iNaturalist and add to the biologists’ knowledge of the state’s wildflowers. The platform also allows other plant enthusiasts to help each other identify species across the state.