Talking Texas Bluebonnets

The Texas state flower. 

           It is that time of year again. Fields that have been dead and brown from the winter become colorful sceneries.  Drab roadsides begin to come alive with Texas bluebonnets, the official state flower of Texas.

            The Texas legislature adopted Lupinus subcarnosus , generally known as buffalo clover or bluebonnet, in March of 1901.  In 1930 Texas began a highway beautification program that included scattering bluebonnet seeds beside roadways. 

            While you can drive down almost any road in Texas and see bluebonnets, a few places in particular are the best places to go.

            A couple hours south of Abilene highway 87 runs into Brady the “Heart of Texas”. Take a drive down 87 from Brady to Fredericksburg and you will find yourself in a blue abyss.  It is a great place to pull off the road and take a family photo. Just don’t pick the bluebonnets; it’s illegal. 

            If you are ever in Fredericksburg in March or April, do yourself a favor and travel down the Willow City Loop.  This iconic Hill Country drive takes you through canyons and over hilltops where the views are splendid.  While you will get lost in the scenery, it is important to remember not to go through the fields.  When driving on the Willow City Loop keep in mind you are driving through peoples property so it is important to be respectful.

            If you want your yard to turn into an ocean of bluebonnets in March and April, you can try planting them. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, bluebonnets grow best in well-drained, alkaline soils. Seeds can be planted September through December but it is best to have them planted by mid November.  After seeding, cover the seeds with less than ¼ inch of soil.  Water carefully but gently and continue light watering’s every three days for about three weeks if it does not rain. The germination process can take over eighteen months but the reward is your own slice of Texas paradise.

 

For more information on planting bluebonnets: https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/maintenance/wildflower-program/planting-bluebonnets.html

 

© 2014 Frontier Texas/ Rebecca Kinnison