Climb to the top of the Observation Tower to get a bird’s-eye view of the Wildflower Center. A spiral stairway leads to a perch high above the Central Complex, offering views of the Center and surrounding countryside.
This memorable feature — topped with a spineless prickly pear (Opuntia ellisiana) and a fountainous Texas beargrass (Nolina texana) spilling over its rocky edge — is also a 10,000-gallon cistern and was used as a vertical landfill for debris generated during the Center’s construction.
Much like the Center champions the conservation and application of native plants, its buildings reflect the materials and historical styles of the area. The Observation Tower’s brown sandstone, for instance, is from nearby Lampasas, and its architectural style is representative of watch towers of the Spanish missions.
In adorable Observation Tower-related news, check out this video of a family of black-bellied whistling ducks who briefly nested at the Tower’s top and were escorted by a team of Center staff to the safer, lower-elevation Wetland Pond.