There are so many reasons to love Spring, but wildflowers make the top of my list.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Texas spring wildflowers are predicted to shine bright this season despite the winter storm. With the deaths of so many of our agaves, cacti, sago palms, bougainvillea, rosemary, et al, I had little faith our precious wildflowers would survive.
“Believe it or not, most native perennial or biennial plants such as bluebonnets fared just fine under the insulated snow and ice,” said Jason Singhurst, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) botanist. “If we can get some steady rain in the coming weeks and temperatures stay in mid-80s or below through April, it should be a great Texas bluebonnet spring.”
My work mates and I were recalling the spectacular wildflower season of 2019 that was a super bloom across Texas. According to Wide Open Country the Texas wildflower season of 2019 was the best one in ten years. The Pleasanton Express gang collectively could not even remember seeing a single wildflower in 2020. Probably, because we were in the midst of lockdown.
The Pleasanton Express holds an annual Wild about Wildflowers photo contest. In 2019, we received more than 600 entries. We had so many photos to choose from that we had to break the contest into categories wildflower scenery, people and children, and animals.
TPW reports that during the early spring, Texans everywhere can expect to see a flourish of trout lilies, butter cups, many mustards, Dakota vervain, four-nerve daisy, spring beauty, violets, Texas rainbow cactus, fishhook barrel cactus, Texas mountain laurel flowers, among many others.
Singhurst says that he anticipates that this spring will allow for a very promising wildflower season in the Big Bend and far west Texas region so plan road trips. Previous years have had extremely dry winters, but this season will likely be more colorful due to increased wet weather over the winter. In central Texas, Singhurst anticipates that residents will see many vegetative bluebonnets, Engelmann’s daisy, Blackfoot daisy, Drummond’s skullcap, Lindheimer’s paintbrush, Missouri primrose, prairie fleabane, and many others.
Texans who set out to view wildflowers this spring can log the flora they see on the iNaturalist app and contribute to biologist’s knowledge of the state’s wildflowers. The platform also allows other plant enthusiasts to assist one another in identification of species throughout the state.
So, spring into action. Plan some road trips. Take some photos and send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to our Facebook page #wildaboutwildflowers. Sign your family up to iNaturalist and connect with a community of over a million scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher and Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at email@example.com.