Texas Wildflower Center Forecast: Hold onto Your Hats!

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

Experts at the University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center say you should hold onto your hats -- this year's show may come earlier than normal in Central Texas and may last for several months after abundant showers in the fall and winter.

North Texas also enjoyed ample rainfall in the fall and winter and currently sits about 2.4 inches over normal for this time of the year.

In a statement released Tuesday, the wildflower center said "most of the wildflowers that bloom in the spring are dependent on fall precipitation followed by sustaining winter rains. Such iconic spring-bloomers include the beloved Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis), Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa), phlox, verbena and a rainbow of other colorful flowers."

A warm winter pushed some plants to bloom early -- the wildflower center noting that in Austin some bluebonnet and Texas mountain laurel plants are already showing spring blooms.

While wildflower season fluctuates each year, bluebonnets generally peak in North Texas in mid-April. Terrain, precipitation and other factors can all influence the wildflower season in North Texas.

Read the statewide wildflower forecast from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center here -- and find out what a late freeze in February or March may do to springtime blooms.

As always, NBC 5 looks forward to sharing your bluebonnet photos on our website. Email your photos to iSee@nbcdfw.com. And remember, though it may be frowned upon, picking bluebonnets is not illegal.

More: 2017 Wildflower Forecast from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin

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