Living in Central Texas you are almost obligated to take cute family photos in lush fields of bluebonnets. Heck, most of the state’s spring visitors do it too. Whether it’s your yearly tradition or your first time, local horticulturists are saying 2019 should be a great year for bluebonnets.
The blooms are a bit early this year, with their peak normally coming in the “first couple of weeks in April,” said Julie Marcus, senior horticulturist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It should be a very good year for the bluebonnets in Texas, because of the rainy and unusually warm winter we’ve experienced. “They like sunshine, … it will make them pop, it will push them into bloom.”
We’ve had a couple cold fronts recently but that shouldn’t affect the flowers too much. As Marcus puts it; “they’re conditioned for the extremes of hot and cold” in Texas. “I’ve seen the bluebonnets with ice on them and it just melts and they pop back up.”
Michael Eason, head of the rare plant conservation department at the San Antonio Botanical Garden and author of Wildflowers of Texas, a Timber Press field guide, agrees. “The [bluebonnets] are pretty well adapted to the weird changes we have in our weather.” “If they were in full bloom, they may have been nipped but for the most part, they should survive it unscathed,” he said. “We’re going to have one of those banner years I believe just from all the rosettes.”
Many people may not know that there are multiple species of bluebonnets in Texas, though they are all collectively the state flower. The “Lupinus texensis” is the most common and recognizable to those around the Austin area, but the blooms this year are going to be historically large across all six species in the state according to both Marcus and Eason. Especially in Big Bend National Park, where the “Lupinus havardii” could have “the best bloom that’s occurred in 30 years,” Eason said.
So grab the camera and matching outfits, and go cruise some backroads to find the perfect spot! Though do take caution to check before jumping in as you may disturb some of our not so friendly area reptiles.