En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Grow bluebonnets in Virginia
September 04, 2007 - I want to ATTEMPT to grow some Texas Bluebonnets in VA because I am homesick and both our kids are back in Austin. That said, the site says " it may be necessary to inoculate the soil with a rhizobiu...
view the full question and answer

Bloom time for Opuntia engelmannii
February 18, 2007 - We are planing a trip to West Texas, El Paso area, in March and can't remember when the prickly pear cactus are in bloom. Can you help!
view the full question and answer

Germination of Passiflora incarnata seeds
May 28, 2006 - I wish to purchase the Passionflower incarnata plants. I have found seeds, but they say they are very hard to start. I lost my very large vine and wish to replace it.
view the full question and answer

Identification of Daucus pusillus, native alternative to Daucus carota
June 15, 2007 - What happened to "Queen Anne's Lace"? Growing up in Texas, I recall seeing "Queen Anne's Lace" growing wild. In my mind, the blooms were rather large. The plants I see growing profusely along th...
view the full question and answer

When Should Wildflower Seeds be Planted in Dallas, Texas
November 28, 2011 - Mr. Pants: I have received some seed packets of wildflower seeds from GO TEXAN. How late can I plant these in central Dallas (8 a/b)?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center