Sunday, April 5, 2009

Texas wildflowers

All along the verges of state route 59 in Texas, the wildflowers are in bloom.

The Texas Department of Transportation helps encourage wildflowers along its roadways by adapting its mowing schedule to allow the flowers to set seed.

There are over 5,000 species of wildflowers that grow in Texas, and they are much beloved by Texas citizens. No one loved them more than an East Texas girl named Claudia Taylor, who - known by her childhood nickname - grew up to be one of America's best loved First Ladies, Lady Bird Johnson.

She is credited with raising awareness of America's scenic treasures and historic sites. She devoted herself to promoting and preserving the natural beauty of our nation. She campaigned to beautify America's roadways by removing unsightly billboards and signage, and by planting native plants.

On my trip through East Texas, I was thrilled to see flowers like these.

Texas bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, the official flower of the state of Texas.

Crimson clover, Trifolium incarnatum

Missouri primrose, Oenothera missouriensi

Evening primrose, Oenothera berlanderi

Indian paintbrush, Castilleja species

Bluebonnets and yellow groundsel, Senecio ampullaceus

Even the medians were filled with flowers. Here Queen Anne's Lace, Evening Primrose, and purple Vetch bloom at a stoplight on Route 59 near Livingston, TX.

Paintbrush and Purple Vetch, Vicia dasycarpa

A hillside along Route 59.

The Old Tyler Road, west of Nacogdoches.

This photo of Lady Bird is by photographer Dennis Fagan, of Austin, Texas. I love how it shows the utter joy she shows in a field full of bluebonnets. Thank you, Lady Bird!


Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Probably the most aboslutely PERFECT blue flower, isn't it?

Kate said...

Gorgeous photographs. When we lived in Houston, a drive northwest up into the heart of wildflower country this time of year was one of my favorite things to do. Those blue bonnets; oh my! There may not be a wildflower any more lovely!

KBeau said...

I love your photos of the bluebonnets and other wildflowers. When we lived in Texarkana, there was a beautiful patch of bluebonnets that grew in a median on one of the main streets (probably State Line Blvd.). Anyway, bluebonnets have to be allowed to go to seed in order to bloom the following year. One year the city mowed the patch too soon. No bluebonnets the next year.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I remember bluebonnets in our garden when I was a child ... they are such a vibrant colour!

phd in yogurtry said...

Beautiful post! Thanks for showcasing the colorful wildflowers of Texas .. and their fair madam champion, Lady Bird.
I traveled East over the weekend and saw a few fields of bluebonnets, but wanted to see more.. so it's a timely post too.

mo.stoneskin said...

Lovely. I really like the roadside picture, reminds me of a walk near me.

Queenly Things said...

It must be a magnificent site. I read an article in Victoria magazine about this. I hope someday to see it with my own eyes. Lovely!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

You make Texas look nice. ;-)