Image Gallery: Regional Slide Shows

These Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center slide shows were made possible in part by a grant from the Garden Writers Foundation of the Garden Writers Association of America.

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Wildflowers of Central Texas - Central Texas, also known as the Hill Country, encompasses a marvelous diversity of wildflowers. Comprising portions of the Edwards Plateau and Blackland Prairie, this region contains flora representing north, south, east, and west sections of the state. The plant life corresponds directly to the variety of soil types. Shallow, well-drained limestone soils are typical of the rugged hills and canyons of the Edwards Plateau; while dark, calcareous clays and gray, sandy loams characterize prairie soils. The diverse topography and varying amounts of rainfall create many habitats for plants. The species in this program include some of the most common spring wildflowers in the area.

Wildflowers of the Eastern Woodlands - Deciduous forests cover much of the eastern United States, gradually giving way to coniferous forests farther north and grasslands to the west. Dominated by deciduous trees, eastern forests typically have several vertical layers of vegetation, including a dense, upper canopy of mature trees; a subcanopy of smaller or immature trees; and an understory of shrubs and low-growing herbaceous plants. Many woodland wildflowers, called spring ephemerals, bloom before the trees have leafed out; other species, which can tolerate partial or complete shade, flower later. The species in this program comprise some of the most common spring wildflowers in eastern deciduous forests.

Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest - One of the most diverse regions of the country, both in climate and vegetation, is the Pacific Northwest. From mountain ranges and valleys to seacoasts and deserts, the vegetation of this area exhibits a great diversity of ecological habitats in response to variations in latitude, proximity to the ocean, rainfall, and temperature from east to west and north to south. Forests west of the Cascades, for instance, are moist coastal rainforests dominated by conifers, while forests east of the Cascades are more like the Rocky Mountains, with a mixture of conifers and deciduous trees. Woodland wildflowers, many of which are unique to this region, abound in the shady forests, while desert and grassland species thrive in the warm, dry conditions of the interior valleys. Coastal areas offer a completely different palette of wildflowers. This program includes some of the most common wildflowers encountered in various habitats of the Pacific Northwest.

Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains - The distribution of vegetation in the Rocky Mountains correlates directly to elevational changes, which influence the temperature and availability of moisture. Different plant communities characterize each zone (such as foothill, montane, subalpine, and alpine) from the base of a mountain to the top, and each zone may contain several types of plant communities. More than 5,000 plant species occur in the Rocky Mountains. The wildflowers begin to bloom in early spring, as soon as the snow starts to melt. The peak bloom season is mid-summer. This program highlights some of the most common wildflowers found in the Rocky Mountains.

Wildflowers of the Southwestern Desert - Many desert wildflowers are annuals that bloom in response to adequate rainfall and optimal temperatures. Some years few species bloom, while other years offer a plethora of desert wildflowers. The species included in this program give a glimpse of some of the more prominent and abundant wildflowers of southwestern deserts.

Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie - This slide show profiles wildflowers of the tallgrass prairie. Stretching over 250 million acres, the tallgrass prairie was once the largest ecosystem in the United States. Its deep rich soils made excellent farmland. By 1860, most of the tallgrass prairies had fallen to the plow. Today, only about one million acres remain, making tallgrass prairie one of the most threatened natural communities. Native grasses form the prairie framework, comprising 50 to 95 percent of the vegetation. The four dominant species in the tallgrass prairie are little bluestem, big bluestem, Indiangrass, and switchgrass. Forbs (broadleaf herbs), an integral part of the prairie, provide most of the species diversity. Most prairie species are perennials that die back in the winter. The wildflowers included in this program are some of the most common tallgrass prairie species.

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