Texas Bluebonnets

 

Nothing steals my breath more than a field covered with Texas Bluebonnets. It’s simply too gorgeous for words. Each spring folks load into cars and tour buses to see the bluebonnets just like the people in the northeastern states take tours to view the spectacular fall foliage

But although I’ve lived in Texas most of my life I found out some things I never knew that I’d like to share with you.

Bluebonnets are only found growing in their natural state in Texas and no other location in the world. That means they weren’t brought in from somewhere else by the early settlers. Bluebonnets are as well known as the shamrock is to Ireland and the cherry blossoms of Japan.

Many of you may know that the bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas and has been since 1901. But did you know there are five different kinds and that choosing the state flower started a bitter dispute that wasn’t finally settled until 1971? Arguments ensued over which variety was going to be declared the proper state flower. The Texas Legislature finally settled the dispute by declaring that any and all varieties of the bluebonnet are the state flower.

The “lupinus texensis” variety is the most common and the one most visitors see when they come to Texas. It has pointed leaflets and the flowering stalk is a breathtaking blue with a white tip. But less common ones grow in pink, rosy purple and royal blue and there’s even a solid white bluebonnet.

Bluebonnets typically bloom in the spring from March through April and sometimes into early May. The profusion is dictated by the amount of rain and germination in the fall, long before they pop their heads out of the soil. In times of drought the amount of bluebonnets is considerably less. Although bluebonnets need heat to germinate the seed, cool weather is crucial to develop the complicated root structure.

Bluebonnets are very difficult to grow in gardens and pots. They cannot tolerate poorly drained, clay based soils. And they need lots of direct sunlight. Guess that’s one reason they grow so well here in Texas. We have oodles of sunshine.

Other common names for the flowers are buffalo clover, wolf flower and el conejo (Spanish for “the rabbit”.)

Usually found blooming amid patches of bluebonnets are Indian paintbrush, Indian blanket, and coreopsis.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not illegal to pick them.

In 1982 the state legislature named Burnet (SW of Austin) the official Bluebonnet Capital of Texas. Each April the town holds a Bluebonnet Festival which includes street dancing, concerts, a carnival, 5K run, pet parade and wiener dog races. Sounds like fun.

So, I hope you enjoyed this look at the bluebonnet. We’re very proud it chose this state in which to shower us with its beauty.

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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!
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23 thoughts on “Texas Bluebonnets”

  1. Thank you for the wonderful photos… I’ve always heard about the bluebonnets, but for whatever reason, never seen photos… or didn’t realize what I was looking at when I did. I love the lupine flower varieties..

  2. I love bluebonnets! Every spring, I peel my eyes to spot the first patch. We don’t get them as profuse up here in Abilene as they grow in the hill country, but we usually can find some. A couple years back the conditions were just right, and we had fields of them. I drug my kids out into the fields and took pictures. These are the shots I have on display in my office. The kids look good in bluebonnets. But who wouldn’t? 🙂

  3. Amazing photos, Linda! I’ve always thought those endless fields of bluebonnets are just gorgeous and hope to see them one day in person.

    I had no idea bluebonnets were only found in Texas and no where else in the world. Great fact.

  4. CateS……..you’ve certainly missed out if you’ve never seen a bluebonnet. I tell you they are quite eye-catching, especially when you find a whole field of them. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Karen W………..yep, we always know spring is here when we can find bluebonnets. I don’t know about you but I feel really blessed to have them so accessible. And yes, they make the prettiest photos. Especially when children are sitting in their midst.

  6. Kirsten………thanks for stopping by today. I’m glad you like my bluebonnet photos. I, too, think it’s amazing that they only grow in the wild here in Texas. And not only in certain areas. Different varieties grow all over the state. It’s very easy to find them. But the prettiest ones grow in the hill country. We all load up and go bluebonnet hunting the minute spring gets here.

  7. Margaret……..I’m glad you found my photo to your liking. Bluebonnets do make a very lovely picture. There’s just something about them. It’s kinda magical in a way. Enjoy your California lupines. I know they’re breathtaking. There are nothing like flowers to lift the spirits.

    By the way, I’m reading DAWN COMES EARLY and it’s wonderful! So many funny scenes. I find myself cackling at times.

  8. You make me want to come and see them, Linda.
    And I have coreopsis as a bedding plant. It’s so funny to think of the carefully nurtured plants we have here in Nebraska growing wild down there.
    But they have to come from SOMEWHERE!

  9. What beautiful pictures! Wish my trips to Texas had been earlier in the year becuse I missed them!

  10. Gorgeous pix,, Linda. I truly enjoyed learning about these lovely flowers. I brought back seed packets of bluebonnets for souvenirs after my trip to Texas a whilemback, but I don’t know if anybody planted them LOL….and Mary , our hillsides here in California are sprouting coreopsis like mad right now.this branch of them, we call sea daisies.

    Great post and comments today!

  11. Beautiful pictures, Linda! I’ve been to Texas a few times because my brother lives in Dallas but I’ve never seen them. I read about them in books all the time but now I can put these photos in my memory when I read about them!

  12. Beautiful pictures Linda, and it was fun to learn a little more about my neighbor state’s flower. I never knew there were so many varities or that they grew wild only in Texas.

  13. Mary…….come on ahead, we’d love to have you visit Texas in spring. Funny about your carefully cultivated coreopsis when we do nothing at all here and have it covering the roadsides and pastures. Mother Nature plays funny tricks on us sometimes. Hope you enjoy the ones in your flower garden.

  14. Connie Lorenz…….glad you enjoyed the pix. Maybe you can arrange a visit in spring sometime.

    Tanya……..enjoy your beautiful coreopsis or sea daisies. They are quite pretty to look at.

    Valri…….to find bluebonnets you have to go to the countryside. But maybe one reason you didn’t see any was that you didn’t come in spring. They don’t bloom for very long.

    Winnie………I’m sure Louisiana has some very beautiful wildflowers too. But anytime you want to see some, just skip over the state line and come visit.

    Jackie W……….thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures.

  15. I have lived in Texas all my life and had always heard it was illegal to pick bluebonnets beside the road, so now I will have to stop and pick one next time I see them blooming. They are beautiful wildflowers and can also be planted in a flower bed but they only bloom a couple of weeks.

  16. Tretha……….my partner in crime! I’m glad I was able to ease your mind about picking them. Next time you see a patch you’ll have to stop and pick some. You’re right, they are really pretty flowers, Mother Nature at her best. I’m so glad God created them. Nothing lifts the soul quite like pretty flowers. I enjoyed my tour of the Ralls cemetery.

  17. Linda, Thanks for the beautiful photos! What a great start to Wildflower Week! I have seen many photos of fields of bluebonnets, but never known what they looked like up close and personal. Trips to see Texas in the spring and Colorado when the aspen turn are both on my bucket list. I have a feeling that list will have grown by the time this week is over.

  18. I had no idea the Bluebonnet grew only in Texas. I just mentioned that to my husband and he said it was mentioned when we visited the State Museum.. Somehow I missed that. They are lovely. Too bad we weren’t there when they were in bloom.

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