Texas weather brings early blooming of bluebonnets

Anusha Lalani

Texans are putting on their cowboy boots and heading to the open fields on the sides of the roads to take pictures with Texas’ state flower ­­— the bluebonnet.

Bluebonnets can always be seen blooming in the spring, but this year, the flower bloomed a bit earlier than expected.

This early arrival of bluebonnets could be because of the Austin’s unusual spring weather this season, said Andrea DeLong-Amaya, director of horticulture at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

“Usually we have colder weather later in the season,” DeLong-Amaya said. “That kind of slows things down, but it was sunny and warm, and that kind of pushes things a little faster.”

Shelly Plante, nature tourism manager at Texas Parks & Wildlife, said although the bluebonnets are going to be disappearing soon, people should expect to see other flowers blooming.

“March is typically the time for bluebonnets, and April is when the other wildflowers kind of move in and take over,” Plante said. “Right now you’re starting to see the Indian paintbrush come in, so all of the red flowers you see mixing in with the bluebonnets. You’ll start getting things like Indian blanket, Mexican hat, kind of the more oranges and reds.”

Plante said people should take caution when they are taking photos with the flowers.

“If you’re going to take photos in the bluebonnets, be sure to look before you sit,” Plante said. “There are wild critters out there and fire ants and things like that, so you just want to be safe and pick a good spot to sit. If you’re getting off at a highway or side of the road, make sure you pull way off the road and are very aware of traffic patterns around you.”

Undergraduate studies sophomore Seemran Momin, who went this past weekend to take photos with the flowers, said people should start taking their photos quickly before it gets too hot. She recommends going before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. for the best lighting.

DeLong-Amaya said the bluebonnet’s life expectancy this season also depends on the weather Texas is experiencing.

“If it continues to rain, they’ll stay a little longer,” DeLong-Amaya said. “So far we’ve had pretty spaced rains enough to keep them going, so unless things dry up quickly, I expect them to keep going for a few weeks.”