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What Texas Weather Could Mean for Spring’s Bluebonnets

Featured, Lifestyle

Texas Bluebonnets | Image by Warren Price Photography

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As spring begins in North Texas, the state’s bluebonnet wildflowers have started to bloom. However, some experts have expressed worry that drier-than-usual conditions could have a negative impact on this year’s flowers.

The director of horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Andrea DeLong-Amaya, told NBC 5 News that recent droughts could affect wildflowers across Texas.

DeLong-Amaya said, “Most of the state has experienced extreme to severe drought, and that has had an impact on Texas Wildflowers, although the Eastern part of the state is looking a little better.”

The recent drought could prevent the wave of blooms that Texas usually sees, and it has already delayed bluebonnets and other wildflowers.

“Overall, the drought will affect the bluebonnets and other wildflowers,” DeLong-Amaya explained. “Bluebonnets have started blooming in Austin, and the DFW/North Texas area is usually a couple of weeks behind Austin when it comes to blooms. Due to drought, we may see small or stunted flowers, and they may not last as long.”

According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, most wildflowers native to Texas are adapted to survive droughts, but they still require at least some rainfall. The rain is vital to creating the super blooms found in the spring.

DeLong-Amaya said that bluebonnets, blanket flowers, wild onions, phlox, and spiderworts all start to bloom at the end of March.

According to Professor Mike Arnold from the Texas A&M Department of Horticulture Sciences, bluebonnets are behind their current blooming schedule.

Arnold told KBTX several Texas flowers are blooming later than usual due to the long winter.

“Overall, much of the state is running a little bit behind, and that makes sense because we had that extended cold period, and nothing grew a lot,” Arnold said.

In a recent news release, DeLong-Amaya stated that flowers impacted by last year’s winter storm are likely to make a comeback this spring.

“I’m excited for the mountain laurels,” DeLong-Amaya said. “They were completely fried by the winter storm last February.”

Due to the cold snap in Texas, some of these flowers did not blossom at all last year, but the Wildflower Center expects them to be in full bloom this spring.

“I’ve noticed a good crop of flower buds coming on, and I’m optimistic they’ll have a lot of pent-up energy and really get going in March. Maybe we’ll appreciate them more because we didn’t see them last year,” DeLong-Amaya said.

The annual bluebonnet festival in the town of Ennis will run from April 8 to April 10, NBC reported. The event has been a tradition for 70 years and features 40 miles of trails lined with bluebonnet wildflowers.

The trails are open from April 1 to April 30, according to the official Bluebonnet Trails website.

In an announcement posted on March 31, festival officials stated it was still too early to see bluebonnet blooms near Ennis.

Note that visitors are encouraged to take and share photos of the bluebonnets in a way that does not damage them. It is legal to pick a few flowers, but the Texas Department of Transportation discourages causing any significant harm to the wildflowers.

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