On Sojourn’s Texas Hill Country bike tours, you may find that the Yellow Rose of Texas is actually a Bluebonnet or a Square-Bud Primrose. While the song ‘Yellow Rose of Texas’ has historic significance (the song is based on a Texas legend about a seduction that facilitated the 1836 Texan victory in the Battle of San Jacinto), the flower itself was first cultivated between 8th and 9th Avenues on 32nd Street, in New York City in the 1830’s.
Texas wildflowers, by contrast, are wilder and perhaps more fleeting. Wildflowers are a subtle part of the magic that is the Texas Hill Country. Wildflower Haven, an organization dedicated to hunting Texas wildflowers, assures us that there will be wildflowers blooming along Sojourn’s bike routes in Texas this year!
Like any other plant, wildflowers tend to thrive under optimal conditions. The perfect balance of rainfall, sunshine and temperature produces the perfect wildflower season, but the native wildflowers of Texas know how to survive through a variety of imperfect weather patterns.
The wildflowers you might encounter during Sojourn’s bike trips along the lightly traveled roads of Texas Hill Country include:
- Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis)
- Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa)
- Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
- Greenthread (Thelesperma filiform)
- Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata)
- Square-Bud Primrose (Calylophus drummondianus)
The following chart gives you a closer look at the flowering plant life you’ll find in the wilds of the Hill Country, but you don’t have to know the names of the flowers to enjoy their magic...
|Texas Bluebonnet – the most popular of Texas wildflowers, this member of the Pea Family usually starts blooming in late March and peaks during mid-April.||Texas Paintbrush – Also known as the Indian paintbrush or the Scarlet paintbrush, this Texas native shares the season with the Bluebonnet.||Indian Blanket – the Indian blanket starts blooming as the Bluebonnnets and Paintbrushes begin to fade.|
|Greenthread – One of the most prolific flowers in the Hill Country, these yellow blossoms are more prevalent later in the spring.||Winecup – A hardy, drought tolerant, sprawling perennial, this Texas flower blooms from April to June.||Square-Bud Primrose – Also called Sundrops, the Square-Bud Primrose has a thin grassy evergreen foliage.|
wildflower image credits: hill-country.net and wildflower.org