Bluebonnets a Colorful Backdrop While Traveling in the Texas Hill Country
Texas has over 5,000 species of wildflowers, and the Hill Country of central Texas (between Austin and San Antonio) is one of the best places in the state to view them.
Akin to New England’s fall foliage, wildflowers in Texas herald a new season in a brilliant natural display. Wildflowers here are at their peak mid-March through May. The intensity of the display will depend on the weather; a rainy winter and spring will produce a more prolific show while drought will tone down the display. Texas makes it easy to enjoy these wildflowers even along the main thoroughfares; the Texas Department of Transportation buys and sows roughly 30,000 pounds of wildflower seeds each year along their roadways.
The Bluebonnet: Texas’ Favorite Flower
While only one of the many species you might see, the Bluebonnet is indisputably the most popular wildflower in Texas. It is the official state flower and, like most things Texan, is a source of great pride among its residents. Taking family photos in a patch of bluebonnets each spring is a tradition for many Texas families. Bluebonnets attract throngs of people to road side patches for pictures or just to have fun walking among the flowers. Bluebonnets start blooming in the middle of March and usually peak in mid-April.
When wandering through any field of wildflowers be cautious; snakes and other critters may be lurking in the tall grasses and flowers. Also, use common sense and limit meandering near busy roadsides.
Things to Do in Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country is filled with meandering roads marked by cedar groves and wide open fields. In the spring, these fields are filled with flowers. Whether staying a day, weekend or longer, there are many activities in Texas Hill country to complement wildflower viewing.
Fredericksburg and Wimberley are both quaint towns abundant in antique shops, curio stores and bed and breakfasts, and the roads leading to these towns are sure to be full of blooms. 18 miles north of Fredericksburg is Enchanted Rock State Park, a unique and beautiful spot for hiking and camping. (On a busy weekend the park may close to new visitors by mid morning, so be sure to show up early.) An increasingly popular activity in the Hill Country is wine tasting. An afternoon could be spent driving to various wineries along flower strewn back roads, or at the Wine & Wildflower Tour which occurs in April.
Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, located in Austin, is dedicated to protecting and preserving North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. An educational center, gardens, and several short trails meandering through woodlands and meadows showcase wildflowers and native plants of the Texas Hill Country. The Center is open daily for its Wildflower Days, held mid-March through May 31st.
Whether as a local or a visitor, it is worth taking the time to appreciate and enjoy the Hill Country wildflowers. What a better way to spend a warm spring day than driving, hiking, or picnicking among these gems of central Texas.