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Mr. Smarty Plants - Best place for picking wildflowers in Austin

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Friday - February 14, 2014

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Wildflowers
Title: Best place for picking wildflowers in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Where is the best place to find wildflowers for picking near or in Austin around the end of March?

ANSWER:

Okay, here's the thing; whether you know it or not, this is a two-part question that you have asked.

1. When will wildflowers be blooming in Austin? As cold as it has been, we are guessing the really good shows of wildflowers in Austin will be from mid-March to mid-summer. We have listed some of the Central Texas wildflowers below, with their projected bloom times.

2. Where is it okay to pick them? There will be wildflowers blooming in the Wildflower Center. There are big signs all over the Center saying NOT to pick them. And, believe me, here in Central Texas we take our wildflowers very seriously. The State Highway Department frowns on picking wildflowers on roadways, both so others can enjoy them and for safety.

Consider: If you take a wildflower bloom, you not only have denied other people the pleasure of seeing them in bloom, but you have cancelled out the seeds for that plant. Many wildflowers, including bluebonnets, are annuals. Pick enough blooms and there will be no wildflowers there next year. The property where it is may belong to someone who raises them to give everyone pleasure. If we publicized (or even knew of) a place where it was okay to pick the wildflowers, they would all be gone before you could get here to see them.

Please - take pictures. Plant wildflowers on your own property and share them with everyone if that is your choice. Please read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on removing plants from property you do not own.

So, if you are going into planting wildflowers on your own, we suggest you read all of the information on the webpages on wildflowers we are linking you to below. Also, read our How-To Articles How to Grow Bluebonnets and Large Scale Wildflower Planting.

Native wildflowers in Central Texas: (we only chose 12, because of limited picture space)

Amblyolepis setigera (Huisache daisy) - annual, blooms yellow, March to June

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed) - perennial, yellow, orange, May to September

Castilleja indivisa (Entireleaf indian paintbrush) - annual, red, orange, March to May

Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria (Golden tickseed) - annual, yellow, brown, February to November

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower) - perennial, pink, purple, April to  September

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel) - annual, red, yellow, brown May to August

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) - annual, white, blue,  March to May

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy), perennial, white, yellow,  March to November

Phlox drummondii (Annual phlox) - annual, red, pink, purple, March to June

Ratibida columnifera (Mexican hat) - perennial, orange, yellow, brown, May to October

Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa (Four-nerve daisy) - perennial, yelllow, January to December

Wedelia texana (Zexmenia) - perennial, May to November

 

From the Image Gallery


Huisache daisy
Amblyolepis setigera

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Entireleaf indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

Golden tickseed
Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Firewheel
Gaillardia pulchella

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii

Mexican hat
Ratibida columnifera

Four-nerve daisy
Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa

Zexmenia
Wedelia texana

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