|Even at 75 mph you can appreciate Texas Bluebonnets|
One thing about seeing wildflowers in Texas is that they come in big patches. Much of this is due to the efforts of Lady Bird Johnson with the Texas Highway Department to create and preserve wildflower habitats along the highways.
|View of Courtyard at the Wildflower Center in Austin, TX|
When we got back down to Austin we paid a visit to the Wildflower Center. Here we saw many of the wildflowers we saw along the highways, but this time with handy name tags.
|Texas Bluebonnets at low speed.|
|There are about 50 species and subspecies of|
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja). I don't know
them well enough to tell them apart.
|I've been looking for seeds for Groundsel. This looks like it would be a nice addition |
to a low-growing meadow/lawn alternative. It has bright yellow flowers in spring
emanating from a basal rosette of leaves.
|This Blackfoot Daisy is found on dry well drained soils. |
I was interested in growing this plant, but the Northeast
does not provide the best conditions.
|This little Prairie Verbena was all by itself, but it is known to |
grow in large swaths, turning the ground purple.
|The narrow bronzy-green leaves of this Spring Beauty |
blend into the leaf litter.
On our return to Maryland, the landscape was just beginning to turn from brown to spring green. However, there were no massive swaths of color as we had witnessed the day before. Inspired by all those Texas flowers I took a walk through the woods and found a few subtle surprises. There were little pinkish white flowers along the edge of the woods. These turned out to be Spring Beauties, Claytonia virginica. This ephemeral perennial blooms in early spring, then essentially disappears after setting seed.
Further into the woods I found the masses of Toothwort continuing to expand. The buds still have not opened, but they are nearly ready.
|It's early April and these Toothwort are nearly ready to bloom.|
|When the flowers of Dutchman's Breeches are fully developed |
they look somewhat like upside down pantaloons.