On the Road in Search of Bluebonnets

Bluebonnet image by Brittan Hussing

Photo by Brittan Hussing

The forecast is great! Thanks to the winter rains, the Spring wildflower season may be one for the record book. Make your plans now to pack your camera and a picnic lunch and head out on the road to see the spectacular swaths of color created by Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrushes, Pink Evening Primroses and a succession of beautiful wildflowers filling the fields and roadsides of Texas. The wildflower trails are concentrated in three areas of the state: Northeast Texas centered on Ennis; in East Texas around Chappell Hill and Brenham; and in the Hill Country from Burnet and Marble Falls to Johnson City and Fredericksburg.

In the past, the Texas Department of Transportation’s Wildflower Hotline was a great resource, providing updates on the routes for the best wildflower viewing. But, unfortunately, it is no more. Today the most up-to-the-minute information can be found on Facebook. What the pages lack in organization, they make up for in timeliness. Visit Texas Bluebonnet Sightings and Texas Wildflower Report – like them and click on notifications and you should be up-to-date on daily wildflower sightings from around the state.

Web pages can also be a source of good information. Texas Wildflower and Bluebonnet Sightings Report has offered route information in past years. Look for updated postings coming soon. For the motherlode of information visit Texas Bluebonnet Reports at Wildflower Haven. They have three free, pdf ebook guides to Brenham, Ennis and the Hill Country complete with route maps.

If you need help in identifying some of the plants you find, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Database. You won’t have to know the plant’s name to find it. There are search options by location, month, color, leaf type and height that can help you hone in on the correct identification.

Bluebonnet image by Johanna Schmidt

Photo by Johanna Schmidt

For many Texans, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Shake off those winter cobwebs and get outdoors to see the countryside decked out in wildflowers. Take a classic Bluebonnet photo of the ones you love. And like a good Texan, look for other creatures that might be enjoying the Bluebonnets as well, particularly snakes. Step carefully so the area will remain beautiful for those who come after you, and so that the wildflowers will survive to reseed, ensuring Spring beauty for years to come.