If you haven’t snapped a family portrait among these iconic blooms—and received an ant bite or two to prove it—then you’re a rarity among Texans.
Many wildflowers dot the Lone Star landscape as the weather warms—Indian paintbrush, Indian blanket, pink evening primrose, winecup, fleabane, verbena, lantana, sunflowers and countless other colorful natives.
Few are as familiar as the bluebonnet, however, and few have that big-as-Texas sense of scale and pageantry. The bluebonnet paints acres at a time in bright, brilliant shades of blue.
While bluebonnets seem to grow in every corner of the state from East Texas to the remote Big Bend Country, the Hill Country’s roadsides and fields are best known for the dazzling showmanship of the Lupinus species (interesting fact: all six types of bluebonnets found in Texas are considered our state flower).
Weather patterns and root growth in the fall determine a given year’s blooms, and the timing of the flowers’ spring appearance is always a best guess. Facebook pages, websites and blogs are dedicated to logging their progress, alerting would-be road-trippers and photographers to prime spots for pilgrimage.
But to plan in advance, as much as one may—mark your calendar for early April or roundabout, and wander the rural roadways near towns like Burnet, Austin, Fredericksburg, Ennis and Brenham, or set your sights on dedicated showplaces like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. You’ll be in good company, paying homage to a Texas trademark that has inspired generations of travelers before you.