Tips on touring Texas during wildflower
In East Texas' humid marshlands, carnivorous pitcher
plants trap unwary insects. Far across the state, rare, red Mexican
silenes seek the seclusion of cool canyons. On sun-swept Padre
Island, ropy beach morning glories ramble across lonely dunes.
Such is the story of Texas' 5,000 wild flower species -- products
of the state's diverse environment. More gregarious types such
as bluebonnets, buttercups and Indian paint brushes roam statewide,
draping festive serapes over meadows and highway shoulders each
Texas Bluebonnets roam statewide over
meadows and highway shoulders each spring
Other seasons offer their own specialties. The sun-drenched
western desert can blithely ignore the calendar. In almost any
month, "spring" follows each rate welcome rain; thirst
quenched, the yuccas, ocotillos and cacti erupt in a brief frenzy
Throughout the year in the lower Rio Grande Valley,
towering palms accent bougainvillea-draped boulevards. In winter,
giant poinsettias decorate homes to the eaves for the holiday season.
HOW MANY WILDFLOWERS GROW IN
The eight major vegetation zones in Texas provide
distinctly contrasting growing environments for plants and give
rise to 5,000 different flowering plants. Not all of them are wildflowers.
Most trees, shrubs, cacti and woody vines put forth flowers in
spring but hardly qualify as wildflowers.
Yucca plant in Big Bend National Park
Photo Rights: Kay Griffith
We think of wildflowers as those hardy little ground-hugging
plants that put their energy into producing large, showy blossoms
to attract insect pollinators. Of these kinds of plants, there
are 370 species or so blessing our prairies, fields and hills each
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