Nature

Wildflower Season Is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Let’s set the record straight, once and for all. If you believe that the December holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, you apparently haven’t been to the Texas Hill Country during wildflower season. Or you didn’t have a good guide while you were here.

And/or maybe you’ve been brainwashed by that classic Christmas song popularized by the late crooner and native Midwesterner Andy Williams, Okie-born country music star Garth Brooks and pop/jazz vocalist Harry Connick Jr. of New Orleans. (Not coincidentally, the Lone Star State’s own George Strait, aka “King George,” has not recorded the song, according to a Google search.)

2016 Wildflowers pink purple yellow

Photo: Susan Tull, April 2016

The Texas Hill Country’s wildflower season runs from early March through late April, give or take a few weeks on either end. Dozens of varieties of resplendent blooms – a mere subset of Texas’ 5,000-plus wildflower and native grass species – crop up everywhere in waves, creating breathtaking displays that change every few weeks as the season progresses.

The flowers come in shades of blue, purple, pink, red, orange and yellow and a mix of textures and heights. They cluster along quiet farm-to-market and county roads as well as busier streets and boulevards in cities and suburbs.

2016 Bluebonnet field
Photo: Susan Tull, April 2015

They also cover the sides and medians of our superhighways, thanks largely to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). As part of its vegetation management system, TxDOT buys and sows about 30,000 pounds of wildflower seed each year and refrains from mowing these areas, unless essential for safety, until the spring and early summer wildflower seasons are over.

And, of course, there are the iconic Hill Country fields and pastures blanketed with color as far as the eye can see. Whether in town or out in the country, it’s a mesmerizing, multi-act show, starring a rotating cast of stunning blossoms performing in perfect synergy.

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