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Thu March 6, 2014
Flower Power: Forecasters Predict A Good Spring For Texas Wildflowers
The forecast is calling for colorful displays of wildflowers in the parts of Texas that received ample fall and winter rains.
The University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center said Thursday that while cooler-than-usual weather might delay the wildflower season in some parts of Texas, many areas should have full blooms and the first stirrings of spring can already be seen.
"This year we're looking forward to a good year in parts of Texas, better than last spring but not the 2010 banner year that we had," said Damon Waitt, the senior botanist at the wildflower center.
He says in some patches it could be "spectacular."
The center says that some wildflowers are already popping up across the state.
In North Texas, bluebonnets typically peak in mid-April.
Sightings across the state
- Cold weather in North Texas has slowed the onset of this year’s season, but there have been sightings of spring beauties at the new Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park in Mansfield and elbow bush at Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas. Trout lilies came to life in recent weeks in Tandy Hills Natural Area in Fort Worth. Large colonies may be seen at places such as Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Cedar Mountain Preserve and White Rock Lake.
- Along Highway 123 south of Seguin, the Dugger Cemetery has a blanket of Drummond phlox, Texas groundsel and other wildflowers. Along Highway 37 north of Corpus Christi, some large patches of emerging bluebonnets have been sighted, as well as pink evening primrose.
- At Houston Audubon’s Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary, the leaves of a number of wildflowers including rosinweed, Texas coneflower, black-eyed Susan, rattlesnake master and blue-eyed grass are up, but not many have flowered yet. The exceptions are some violets and Carolina jessamine.
- Though temperatures are still cool in the Brenham area, good clusters of bluebonnets have begun to open up on the medians of Highway 290. The Highland Lakes area also has a few early bluebonnets, as well as prairie paintbrush, Drummond and prairie phlox, and prairie verbena.
- Along the River Road between Presidio and Lajitas and elsewhere in Presidio and southern Brewster counties, Big Bend bluebonnet and Torrey yucca are among the wildflowers spotted in early bloom. Meanwhile, the Texas Panhandle has been quite dry with very little snow, and early spring rain may be needed to help wildflowers flourish.
- At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Mexican plum, agarita, Carolina jessamine, golden groundsel and elbow bush are just a few of the plants currently in bloom. As the wildflower season progresses, the center will offer visitors abundant displays of many varieties—including bluebonnets.
Did you know?
Fall and winter moisture are important as many popular wildflowers—including Texas bluebonnets, Indian blanket and Texas star—get a jumpstart on their spring growth by germinating during the winter and establishing themselves as rosettes.
Track the spring forecasts at:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.