Texas Wildflower Season Is Beautiful, Bountiful, And More Than Just Bluebonnets | KERA News

Texas Wildflower Season Is Beautiful, Bountiful, And More Than Just Bluebonnets

Apr 16, 2019

It's wildflower season in North Texas. And Tiana Rehman says the season is more than just beautiful flowers like bluebonnets or wine cups along highways.

"Have a look at some of the parks in your area, see what's available and be prepared to see wildflower season in a slightly different way than 60 miles an hour down the highway," said Rehman, a curator with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth

Interview Highlights:

On how "wildflower season" started in Texas: Most people, when they think about wildflower season, they're thinking about the plants that are growing down the side of the highway. It's sad to me to think that it's so beautiful down the side of the highway, but you've got such a minimal glimpse into the biodiversity of our region. You're seeing the plants that were seeded by [the Texas Department of Transportation], which is wonderful.

You're seeing some other plants that have come in that are invasive or you're seeing bluebonnets or perhaps you're seeing paint brushes and all interesting things. But, really, when you get off the beaten path and you go into some of those wonderful wild spaces, parks and other such places that we have, is when you really get to see a glimpse into what wildflower season really is. 

How the wildflower season looks so far: I'm seeing this change in temperatures, this change in moisture regime and it's causing these different plants to flower and burst in different areas.

I'm seeing certain plants that I haven't seen in such profusion right now. I'm seeing quite a few of blue-eyed grasses, which are some of my favorites but they're in distinct areas. You've certainly got the bluebonnets, as I'm sure all those people out there are trying to take pictures with their children and their families.

You've got the giant mustard out. You've even got some wild carrot, Queen Anne's lace that's out right now.

I would say it's an interesting season and it's even more interesting when you look at it in the historical context of what these flowers have been doing over time, which is something that botanists will do. 

Where to see the wildflowers: There are certainly a lot of different places to go and if you just look across Dallas and Fort Worth area, you're looking at different habitats.

One of my favorite places to go at this time of year is Tandy Hills Park in Fort Worth, which is just east of downtown. It's a prairie remnant and has a really amazing showing, a lot of other native flowers, not what you'd see on the highway but a real profusion of other native species in there and a prairie remnant that's actually being preserved.

I would go have a look at some of the parks in your area, see what's available and be prepared to see wildflower season in a slightly different way than 60 miles an hour down the highway.  

Tiana Rehman is with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth.

These interview highlights were edited lightly for clarity.