News from around the state of Texas

Wildflower Forecast Not as Colorful as 2012

Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush predicted to be in smaller numbers in 2013

By Frank Heinz
|  Thursday, Feb 21, 2013  |  Updated 3:35 PM CDT
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Bluebonnets in Bloom - Gallery VIII

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It's nearly March, which means bluebonnet season in Texas is right around the corner.

Due to a relatively dry winter, botanists at the University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center said Texans shouldn't expect a bumper crop of the state flower this year.

Damon Waitt, the center's senior director, said it'll be a decent year for spring flowers, just not a banner year, in a news release issued Wednesday.

“Indian paintbrush, bluebonnets and other early spring bloomers won’t likely be as plentiful along state roadsides this year,” said Waitt. “Winter rains should help late-spring and early summer wildflowers to develop, though, such as horsemint and Indian blanket.”

While not as abundant, there should still be enough bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush to provide a colorful backdrop to the Texas annual springtime rite of roadside family photography.  You just may have to look a little harder to find the perfect shooting location.

Further good news is that last year's bumper crop produced more seeds that could result in more flowers in a year or two if fed with good rain in the fall.

More rain is, of course, always welcome in Texas and spring showers could improve the mid-to late-summer bloomers across the state as well.

To read the entire report from the Wildflower Center, visit: http://www.wildflower.org/press/index.php?link=press&id=264

A second season forecast from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will be online in early May.

As always, NBC 5 looks forward to sharing your bluebonnet photos on our website.  To share them, email the photos to iSee@nbcdfw.com.  And remember, though it may be frowned upon, picking bluebonnets is not illegal contrary to popular opinion.

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