Texas Wildflowers

Spring is the season for wildflowers blooming along the roadsides, in our backyards, and across the landscapes of North America. Winter's icy weather and seasonal rains are contributing to a spectacular year for Texas wildflowers. Yes, we will most definitely see fields filled with the mighty bluebonnet, but I look forward to the blossoms that carpet the desert floor and dance across the prairies. No offense to the state flower but I'll be waiting for the gaillardia, poppies, paintbrush, asters, and verbena.

 All across the West Texas desert as far as the eye can see.

Texas Wildflowers

Texas Wildflowers, TheBotanicalJourney

Prickly Poppy, Wildflower, The Botanical Journey

Prickly Poppy, Agremone platyceras, poisonous not even cattle eat it

Prairie Verbena, The Botanical Journey

Prairie Verbena, Verbena bipinnatifida, drought tolerant & high in a sweet nectar loved by bees and children

Gaillardia, Texas Wildflower, The Botanical Journey

Gaillardia pulchella, or Indian blanket, there are many legends about the bright flower. My favorite is an Aztec tale. The children loved playing among the golden flowers and when Cortez came to conquer Mexico, the blood from slaughtering the natives stained the beloved flowers. Even today, it is a popular belief that butterflies feeding on the flower's nectar are the spirits of Aztec ancestors.

There are over 5000 species of Texas wildflowers. There are often times several common names for each flower and many flowers have the same common name. Thus, the botanical name is important to correctly identify the various species. Interestingly, in the eighteenth century the Swedish naturalist, Carolus Linnaeus, established a binomial system of nomenclature by which every living thing was distinguished by two descriptive Latin terms. For example, Lupinus texensis denotes a lupine found in Texas which is the beloved state flower, the bluebonnet. Although Latin names are not common except among plant people, the benefit is a communication across language and culture. Wherever you go in the world the botanical name is the same. Pretty Cool.

Each year the Texas Department of Transportation scatters thousands of bluebonnets and paintbrush seeds along the highways for all to enjoy.

Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrushes, Texas Wildflowers, Roadside wildflowers, The Botanical Journey

     Texas Paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa and Lupinus texensis, Bluebonnet.

Let us not forget about the cheerful bloom of Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale 

Dandelion, The Botanical Journey, Wildflower

Many consider the flower a weed but it is packed full of nutrition and it's always fun to blow the puffballs. Ray Bradbury's book, Dandelion Wine will make you love the flower.

Aster, Wildflower, The Botanical Journey

Meadow Aster, Aster pratensis- meaning 'star of the meadow. In Greek myth, Astraea was a goddess of innocence and purity who lived on Earth but when the people became cruel and violent, she was one of the last gods to leave. In her compassion for humanity, she wept. Her tears fell from the heavens to become star flowers.

Red Poppy, wildflower, The Botanical Journey

The Red Poppy or Corn Poppy, Papaver rhoeas is native to Asia, North Africa, and Europe but are now seen growing all over the United States. The red poppy is a symbol for those who died in WWI as it grew in the fields and trenches where many soldiers died. I have also heard it called the American Legion Poppy. The poppy symbolizes remembrance.

This spring, wildflowers are growing everywhere along the roadside, parking lots, abandoned fields, and in our gardens. There is much history to learn from a single flower. Medicines, foods, spices, and dyes were the trade of our ancestors. Take time to learn from nature. Take a drive or a walk and enjoy the season's bounty.




Very nice! Thanks! I enjoyed it very much and can’t wait to see and read all the posts. Thank you neighbor!


Thank you, we really enjoyed the trip west.

Christopher Trandell

This post was very nicely done! I learned and enjoyed!


Thank you, there is much more to come. Stay tuned.

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