Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Texas Wildflowers

Our weather has been warm and wet and lovely.  The earliest Texas wildflowers are continuing to emerge in unmown fields and uncultivated meadows.  The queen, Lupinus texensis, the Texas Bluebonnet is now a dense blanket of blue along I45.

Texas has five official state flowers and all of them are Bluebonnets!
Bluebonnets prefer well-drained soil which is why they are particularly happy on gently rolling hillsides in full sun. They are easy to grow if the seeds are planted in the fall (September / October), allowing them to germinate while the weather is still warm.  They will be barely visible, but their massive root structures will develop during the cold winter months, ready to support their sudden and robust growth in the spring.

The bright whirligig blossoms of Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) is another Texas native that prefers well-drained soil and lots of sun.  This member of the figwort family is more difficult to cultivate than Bluebonnets - 40% success rate compared to 60%, but worth the effort for anyone who loves Texas native plants.

This collection of wildflowers filled a field just outside of Corsicana.  Along with the Texas Bluebonnets and Texas Paintbrush, I found yellow Tickseed (Coreopsis gigantea) and curling tendrils of Bush Vetchling (Lathyrus eucosmus), a member of the pea family.

It was windy out at the lake on Saturday, kicking up sprays of water along the seawall.  The lake is way up.  A full pool is 315.00 feet, and the level today is 314.21 feet. 

Out at the building site the doors we found last fall have been installed.  My next job is to find appropriate hardware for them.

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