We may be hard at work finishing up the summer edition of the Texas Highways Events Calendar, but our eyes are always on what's coming up next weekend. Now that spring is officially here, there are great annual events popping up all over the state, plus plenty of Easter activities happening this weekend.
With spring bringing us many blooms, it's a good time to brush up on your knowledge. Give it a shot. Place your cursor over the image for answers. Good luck!
While dogtooth violets aren’t rare in Texas, they’re not commonly seen or reported, either. “The delicate, lily-like blooms are hard to spot from the road,” explains botanist Michael Eason, who coordinates collecting for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s seed bank. “In addition,” he says, “the plants are small—only six to 12 inches tall—and typically flower in early spring and disappear within about two months of emergence.”
As our First Lady in the 1960s, Lady Bird Johnson worked tirelessly to call attention to our country’s natural beauty, and she deserves much credit for the abundance of glorious spring wildflowers that we enjoy today. She recognized the beauty and also the ecological advantages of native plants, and, in 1982, along with actress Helen Hayes, founded what has become the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Now affiliated with the University of Texas, the Austin center is a national leader in native-plant research and education. Any Texan who has ever snapped baby photos in the bluebonnets or marveled at a pasture awash in color can thank Mrs. Johnson, as well as the state agencies, counties, municipalities, and private landowners who follow her vision.
In celebrating our 30th anniversary, Texas Highways has chosen 30 of Texas’ most common wildflowers to identify and celebrate, along with our usual profusion of other beautiful blooms. Please note, I didn’t say these are our favorite flowers, just 30 of the state’s most common ones. Think of what follows, if you will, as the briefest of introductions to the splendor of a Lone Star spring (especially helpful, we hope, for newcomers). Botanists tell us we have more than 5,000 blooming plants in our lush state, so forgive us if we’ve omitted your particular favorite.