AUSTIN- Texas State Parks are in full bloom with an impressive wildflower display of bright blues, deep reds and rich yellows.
Texas is blessed with more than 5,000 species of wildflowers, and this spring has seen a proliferation of wildflower populations. The state’s more than 90 Texas State Parks present some of the best and safest places to view and photograph nature’s bounty of wildflowers and blooming shrubs and trees.
“Spring wildflower displays have been glorious in East, Central, North and coastal Texas recently,” says Jason Singhurst, botanist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “As more rain is expected over the next few weeks, we should expect increasing splendor in West Texas and other parts of the Lone Star State.”
Currently, every region of the state is presenting different varieties of wildflowers, including:
Central Texas: Vernal Hill Country limestone-influenced thin soils once again have allowed a wildflower eruption into a landscape painted with bluebonnets, Indian blanket, greenthread, four-nerve daisy, wine cups, phlox, Missouri primrose, Drummond’s skullcap, foxglove and Lindheimer’s paintbrush.
Coastal Texas prairies and the South Texas ’Sand Sheet’: An array of wildflowers are on display including prairie clovers, Texas groundsel, woolly whites, wine cups, false dragonhead, coreopsis, queen’s delight, toadflax, sand Brazos-mint, phlox, bluebonnets and side-cluster milkweed.
East Texas: The Pineywoods’ ground flora has been extraordinary with a plethora of wildflowers including violets, trout lilies, trilliums, mayapple, bloodroot, Texas groundsel and Solomon seal.
North Texas: The landscape is bountiful with purple, Indian, and lemon paintbrushes, along with showy evening primrose, blue-eyed grass, buttercups, wild indigo and extraordinary numbers of antelope horn and green milkweeds.
Southwest Texas: Due to record-breaking heat, wildflower displays have been scarce.
West Texas: Drought continues due to little winter rain, which is limiting wildflowers.
“When taking annual family portraits with spring wildflowers, please refrain from sitting in or trampling wildflowers,” says Singhurst. “Sitting or stepping on wildflowers to get photos damages them and reduces or eliminates their ability to reseed themselves for next year. Photos can be framed so the wildflowers enhance the photo, but are not harmed during the process.”
Entering wildflower patches carries the risk of disturbing wildlife resting or hiding in that location, such as nesting birds, or undesirable encounters with venomous snakes and fire ants, so always exercise caution.
Texas State Parks offer great picturesque settings for family wildflower photos away from busy roadways and now is a prime time for unique and diverse wildflower displays.
The TPWD Pinterest page is regularly updated with wildflower sightings from parks across the state, including Guadalupe River State Park, Caddo Lake State Park and Fort Boggy State Park.
Park visitors can share their wildflower pictures-and see what’s blooming around the state-on TPWD Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. In addition, check out the TPWD Pinterest board for more pictures of wildflowers.
Recent sightings reported by TPWD staff in Texas State Parks include:
Caddo Lake State Park- Flowering dogwood tree, pawpaws and Langlois’ violets
Devils River State Natural Area- Cactus bloom, mountain laurel
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area- Bluebonnet
Fort Boggy State Park- Bluebonnet, partridge pea
Fort Parker State Park- Standing cypress
Goliad State Park and Historic Site- Texas baby blue eyes
Guadalupe River State Park- Prairie verbena, blackfoot daisies, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, windflowers and agarita
Huntsville State Park- Dogwood blossoms
Lake Bob Sandlin State Park- Spring beauty blossoms
Lockhart State Park- A pink bluebonnet
McKinney Falls State Park- Bluebonnets
Palmetto State Park- Spiderwort, anacua
Tyler State Park- Redbud tree