Wildflower Forecast Not as Colorful as 2012

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

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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