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Mr. Smarty Plants - Flowers found blooming in February in Austin

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Wednesday - November 17, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Flowers found blooming in February in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

For people visiting from other states, which flowers usually bloom in February in Austin?

ANSWER:

First of all, we can't tell you for sure what native plants will be blooming in February, but we can tell ones that COULD be blooming.  The severity of the winter and the amount of rainfall received will influence when and how prolifically they will bloom.  That said, the most spectacular native plant blossoms you might see in Austin in February will be on three shrubs/trees:

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)

All three usually begin blooming in late February.

Forestiera pubescens (Spring herald or elbow bush) is one of the earliest bloomers (thus, the name of Spring herald) but its blossoms are rather small and not particularly showy.

 Mahonia trifoliolata (Agarita) is another shrub that often begins blooming in February.  Again, its blossoms aren't large and showy, but they are pleasantly fragrant.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) has been known to bloom any month of the year a week to ten days after a substantial rainfall, so it could be blooming in February.

The vine, Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine), often blooms in February.

There are a number of smaller, native, herbaceous plants that we call wildflowers that may bloom in February—again, depending on the weather conditions.  Since they are small and don't bloom in large colonies, they don't make a big show—certainly not like the show the bluebonnets can put on in late March and early April.  Here are some of the wildflowers you may be able to see blooming in February:

Anemone berlandieri (Tenpetal thimbleweed)

Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria (Golden tickseed)

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel)

Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus (Texas dandelion)

Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa (Four-nerve daisy)

Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium (Stiff greenthread)

Tradescantia edwardsiana (Plateau spiderwort)

Viola missouriensis (Missouri violet)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena)

Nothoscordum bivalve (Crow poison)

Erodium texanum (Fillaree)

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of some of the plants above:


Cercis canadensis var. texensis


Prunus mexicana


Sophora secundiflora


Forestiera pubescens


Mahonia trifoliolata


Leucophyllum frutescens


Gelsemium sempervirens


Anemone berlandieri


Oenothera speciosa


Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium


Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus


Erodium texanum

 

 

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