In early spring, the fields of Texas turn a vibrant shade of blue. The season for bluebonnets starts now and we love it!
The bluebonnet is a kind of lupine that belongs to the Fabaceae family. It is endemic to Texas and parts of northern Mexico. In fact, there are six types, although the best known one is the Lupinus texensis. It’s main characteristic is that the stems are topped by clusters of blue flowers, while the tip of the cluster is white.
The seedlings start to emerge in the fall, and continue to grow over the winter. Finally, they bloom in the spring. They grow naturally in Texas, in meadows and roadsides alike. However, if you want to grow them at home, follow these instructions.
This pretty wildflower got is name because it resembles a sunbonnet. But it has had other names, like buffalo clover, wolf flower or conejo (Spanish for rabbit).
State flower of Texas
In 1901, the state legislature was asked to select a state flower. The contenders were the cotton boll, cotton being an important crop, the prickly pear cactus flower, and the bluebonnet. In the end, the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in Texas prevailed and the bluebonnet was chosen.
Where and when to see bluebonnets in Texas
Although bluebonnets begin to bloom in early March, their peak is mid-March to late April.
You can see them in places like roadsides, fields, parks, or nature preserves. Do you feel the need for a road trip? Follow any of the drives across the state from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. If you’re nowhere near Texas, follow the Center’s Instagram for some wildflower eye candy.
The Texas Legislature named Ennis the Texas Bluebonnet Trail and official bluebonnet city of Texas in 1997. I’d say that the Hill Country is also another great place to spot bluebonnets.
*While the leaves and seeds are poisonous, the flowers are toxic. Don’t let small children and pets munch on them.
*The Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT, sows about 300,000 pounds of wildflower seeds every year.
*Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t illegal to pick bluebonnets unless you’re trespassing on private property or are in a Texas State Park. You shouldn’t pick them, anyway.