Bluebonnets: The Texas State Flower

Marble Falls, Texas
Marble Falls, Texas
Marble Falls, Texas
Marble Falls, Texas

The bluebonnet is one of the biggest springtime attractions in Central Texas. Our State Flower is as familiar a symbol of Texas as the Lone Star, Longhorn cattle, cowboy boots, or oil wells. Jack Maguire, historian says, the "bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland."


Bluebonnet Season: 

This magnificent flower first starts blooming along roadways and in meadows throughout the hill country in March, reaching their peak in mid April. There are several varieties of bluebonnet in the state but the Lupinus texensis, found all over Central Texas, is the showiest and most attractive species.

From late March through April and into May bluebonnets can be seen along highways and country roads and in parks throughout the area. Texas was the first state in America to plant its roadways with flowers and now everyone can enjoy bluebonnets found along thousands of miles of Texas highways.


Bluebonnet Sightings: 

Austin - Enjoy native trees, plants, grasses and meadows of wildflowers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Burnet  - Each spring the Burnet Bluebonnet Festival features a pageant, carnival, car show, arts & crafts, fun run, parade, music, and more in the bluebonnet capital of Texas.

Fredericksburg  = Visit Wildseed Farms, the country's largest wildflower seed farm. Take a self-guided walk along trails packed with wildflowers. No admission fee, they're open 7 days a week.

For more wildflower watching and scenic bluebonnet trails through Fredericksburg, Kerrville, Burnet, Wimberley, and other Hill Country communities click here for a map .

Call the Wildflower Center at 512-832-4037 or the Texas Department of Transportation Hotline (March-May) at 800-452-9292 to get information about the best sites around the state for seeing bluebonnet and other wildflower displays.

Bluebonnet Photo Ops:

 It is not uncommon to see motorists stopped along Texas highways to photograph bluebonnets, including sitting among the wildflowers. Please, exercise extreme caution, especially when parking, exiting or entering your vehicle, or walking along the highway. And always get permission before venturing onto private property.

Ideally, sit or stand in a bare spot among or in front of the bluebonnets to avoid damaging the blooms. Help keep them looking nice for everyone. At the Wildflower Center there are specific spots designed for photo ops. If you do plop yourself down in the middle of a gorgeous field of blooms, keep in mind that there's more there than flowers. Protect yourself from insects, ants, sticks, and other plants, as well as hidden manmade hazards such as glass or cans.


Picking Bluebonnets: 

It is illegal to damage or remove property from State lands - which can be interpreted to mean picking bluebonnets along state highways and other state property. Protect our state flower. Admire them. Photograph them. But don't pick the bluebonnets.



Flower Facts: 

·  In 1901, the Texas Legislature named Lupinus subcarnosus as the state flower starting a 70 year debate over which bluebonnet species should really be the state flower with many favoring the bolder Lupinus texensis.


·  In 1971, the Legislature pacified all sides by naming both species of bluebonnet and any other known or unknown at that time as the state flower.

·  The two main species of Texas bluebonnets are found growing naturally only in Texas and no where else in the world.


·  Other names for the bluebonnet include buffalo clover, wolf flower, and el conejo (the rabbit - perhaps because of the flowering white "bunny's tail" at the tip of the stalk).


·  Gardeners wishing to blanket their own yards or meadows with bluebonnets will need to plant the seeds between August and November (September and October is prime seed sowing season).


·  In addition to the familiar blues, both nature and breeding bring us bluebonnets in white, pink, lavendar, and maroon.


·  April 24 is Texas State Wildflower Day.


·  The official tartan of Texas is the "Texas Bluebonnet."