Decent Wildflowers Expected This Spring in N. Texas

Fall, winter rains credited for improved wildflower forecast

Lindsay McAllister

Even after a dry summer and a drought Texas wildflower experts still expect beautiful spring flowers due to timely rains in the fall and winter.

Decent viewings of Texas bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, winecup and Indian blankets are expected in the early spring for parts of North, Central and East Texas, according to a University of Texas botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. Sadly they didn't expect the Panhandle, South or West Texas to fare as well, though some drought-tolerant blooming wildflowers may still appear.

"The seeds left behind by annual wildflowers such as bluebonnets don't care if it's the worst drought in recorded history, as long as they get bouts of rain at the right time for germination and growth," said Damon Waitt, senior director for the wildflower center, in a news release Thursday.

"Among the early sightings of wildflowers this year are: Carolina jessamine blooming in North Houston along FM 1960, and along Woodlands Parkway between Interstate 45 and Kuykendahl Road; hundreds of trout lilies blooming in Dogwood Canyon and elsewhere around Dallas; Texas mountain laurel trees blooming in Dripping Springs and Austin; and patches of stiff greenthread spotted in north San Antonio, such as along U.S. 281 above North Loop 1604," the wildflower center reported.

"Trees had such a tough year in 2011. They may not have the energy resources to put on a significant flowering display this year," Waitt said, adding that perennial wildflowers may share that predicament.

For public sightings, visit the Wild About Texas Wildflowers website, contact the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) at 1-800-452-9292, or view TxDOT's online flora map.  Additionally, more info can be found on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's website.

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