Every Spring, Texans look forward to stepping outside and seeing the beautiful state flower bloom. Families flock to parks and fields, trying to snap the best photos of their babies playing in the flowers. Houston bluebonnets fields can vary year to year, but thankfully, there are certain prime spots that seem to always flourish this time of year.
What are Bluebonnets?
According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, “Bluebonnet is the common name for a few species of lupines including the Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis), sandyland bluebonnet (Lupinus subcarnosus — also called the Texas bluebonnet) and the Big Bend bluebonnet (Lupinus havardii). These three, plus the rarer Lupinus concinnus and Lupinus plattensis, are lumped together as the state flower of Texas.”
When do Texas bluebonnets bloom?
In 2021 a lot of people were concerned that the winter storm Uri would have a negative impact on the bluebonnets. But luckily for everyone that did not happen and we had a normal bluebonnet season.
In 2022, bluebonnets are expected around the end of March and beginning of April for most of Texas with the bluebonnet season expecting to last until the end of April and into early May.
Things to know before you head out to see Bluebonnets in Houston
- Respect nature–The bluebonnets in Houston are beautiful, and we want to keep them that way. When you go to visit a bluebonnet field, be very careful walking around. A lot of people ask “Is it illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas?” Answer is No. However, it is important to be courteous and let other Texans enjoy them as well. Don’t trample the flowers, do not pick them. And if you see a bluebonnet patch in someone’s yard or private property, do not enter.
- Stay safe–In your excitement to enjoy the bluebonnets and to take your photos, don’t be careless and disregard safety. Some Houston bluebonnet patches may be near busy roads, so make sure your kids don’t run out into traffic. Also, be on the lookout for ant beds, mosquitoes, and even snakes in some cases.
- Don’t hog the spotlight–There’s a good chance you won’t be the only one visiting the bluebonnet patch. If others are around, make sure you’re sharing the space and everyone gets a chance for their photo op.
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Where to Find Bluebonnets in the Houston, Texas area
Please keep in mind that by no means does this list detail every single Houston bluebonnet patch. Additionally, things can change quickly due to nature and other outside forces.
With that in mind, here are some proven fields that typically offer great bluebonnet sightings around the Houston area
The Buffalo Bayou is huge and bluebonnet patches can be found all over the park. However, the best places to check out are near The Dunlavy, Jackson Hill Bridge, and the South bank of Buffalo Bayou. Patches are small but are good for photos.
On the other side of Memorial Dr. off Waugh Dr., you can usually find some large patches every year. The best patches are said to be found on the southeast side of the park.
You can typically find bluebonnets and other wildflowers popping up in various spots along the running trail.
Along T.C. Jester from W. 34th St. to Ella Boulevard (near 18th St.) has plenty of patches for pictures. Also, check out Stude Park at Studemont and White Oak (near 1-10).
Bluebonnets are typically found in Bayou Parkland, a small part of Hermann Park. You can find them along Brays Bayou behind Hermann Park at Almeda and South MacGregor.
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Where to Find Bluebonnets in the Houston, Texas area – Continued
Bluebonnets can be spotted from Dairy Ashford St. The park itself is also good for playgrounds, fishing, and hiking trails.
Good for those out near Katy and Sugarland, Blessington Farms has a small hill with bluebonnets and wildflowers. You can also participate in strawberry picking and other fun farm activities.
Up in Spring, the Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Garden typically has a small patch of bluebonnets in their native wildflower/flower section. It could also be an educational experience for the kids as they can learn about different endangered plants that are protected there.
This large park in The Woodlands has some bluebonnet patches. It’s a great place for families as you can play and even have a picnic while you’re there.
Bluebonnets are usually sighted in Sugar Land in the Telfair community along the river.
291 acre greenway in Southwest Houston is a combination of recreational greenspace and a series of wet-bottom detention lakes. Bluebonnets are expected to be in their prime in April.
How did bluebonnets get their name?
Bluebonnets got their name from the shape of the flower petals, which resemble bonnets (a type of cap) worn by Texas pioneer women to shield them from the blazing sun. They’re also known as wolf flower, buffalo clover, Azulego, meaning cornflower or indigo bunting, and El Conejo, meaning rabbit in Spanish because of the resemblance of a white spot on the flower to the rabbit’s white tail.
When did bluebonnets become the State Flower of Texas?
Bluebonnets, which are native to Texas , became the State Flower In 1901, when the Texas Legislature chose it over cotton bolls and cactus pears. In 1971, the Legislature added five other bluebonnet species to the State Flower designation, so now six species of the bluebonnet are all considered the State Flower.
Are bluebonnets only blue?
Most bluebonnets are blue and white, but in Texas the blooms come in varying shades of pink, purple, lavender, and white.
Do bluebonnets have a smell?
Some people say that bluebonnet blossoms have no scent; other say the scent is “sickly sweet.” What do you think?
Are bluebonnets toxic?
All parts of the plants, in particular the pods and seeds, are toxic to humans and dogs. The toxic component, alkaloids, acts as a natural pesticide. The flowers may also absorb herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the environment. Sheep, goats, and a few insects eat them without problem; deer eat them when desperate; but cattle and horses know to stay away from them.
Are bluebonnets edible?
Bluebonnets (seeds) are not edible even though they are part of the legume family, which includes soybeans, chick peas, beans, and peanuts. And remember Blue Bonnet margarine, introduced in 1942? It has a great name, but its oil comes from soybeans, not bluebonnets.
What is the best way to take bluebonnet pictures with the family?
You don’t have to be a trained photographer to take memorable snaps. Whether you’re photographing your kids, pets, or your family or friends, check out our Simple Tips for Bluebonnets Photography in Texas for taking amazing photos. Things such as what time of the day is best, what to wear for bluebonnet pictures and so on!
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