If you live in Texas and, like us, wait with bated breath for those first few wildflowers to start popping up in the open fields, then this might be the best single piece of news you read today. The Texas Bluebonnet and Wildflower Report for the 2019 Spring Wildflower Season Outlook, released by Wildflower Haven, had good news all around. The report found that wildflowers and the famous bluebonnets of the Texas Hill Country could bloom earlier than usual this year because we saw above-average rainfall across the state in 2018's fall and winter.
October saw above-average rainfall especially, which according to the Texas Bluebonnet and Wildflower Report, is an excellent indicator of the bluebonnets' blooming season. The Texas Wildflower Report features a 10-second elevator pitch review, and it's very telling especially for the Texas Hill Country and Central Texas:
"Based on rainfall analysis, temperature analysis and scouting reports, the 2019 season is likely to see roadsides in bloom much earlier than normal and much earlier than fields. Based on some reports of early blooms, the 'bloom-line' could reach San Antonio by mid-March or earlier...
The 2019 Spring Wildflower season in some ways may resemble the 2010 once-in-a-lifetime season. There are some negative factors at play, so don't count on a season exactly like 2010."
What fantastic news! It's time to keep your eyes peeled for bluebonnet sightings so get your cameras ready for the influx of wildflower photos. The report focuses on five main regions: Big Bend (Brewster, Presidio Counties); Brenham Area (Austin, Fayette, Grimes, Waller, Washington Counties); North Central (Ennis/Ellis County and Cedar Hill area); Hill Country (Blanco, Burnet, Gillespie, Llano, Mason, San Saba Counties); and South Texas (Atascosa, De Witt, Gonzales, Guadalupe Counties).
The Wildflower Haven group scored the Big Bend region, including Big Bend National Park, as a 3 for the season. This notes that it will be average in some areas with the possibility of an early bloom. If you're heading the national park or state park, you should review the area-specific report here to learn more about the best time for wildflower blooms.
The Brenham Area scored a 3+, noting an average to above average season, possibly split with roadside wildflower sightings before field wildflower sightings.
Ennis - North Central
The region ranked a 3+ for an average season.
South Texas received a 3+ rating, signaling an average to above average season with early bloom along I-35 and I-37.
So there you have it! Don't forget to check out Wildflower Haven and the Texas Wildflower Report for their excellent resources on the wildflowers of Texas. If you're ready to start planning your wildflower routes this year, head on over to Texas Hill Country to see their list of the best wildflower day trips in Texas. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center also has an excellent list of day trips for those not lucky enough to live in the hill country (just kiddin', y'all).
Whether you live in West Texas or North Texas, you can put on your own wildflower show featuring the state flower of Texas anytime of year if you tend your garden well enough. We love these Texas Oklahoma wildflower seeds found on Amazon for less than $7, featuring a mix of White Yarrow, Bachelor Button, Texas Bluebonnet, Mountain Laurel, and more.
We're officially on wildflower watch so we can head out to our favorite Texas parks this Texas wildflower season. There's nothing like a majestic Lone Star sunset on the bluebonnet trails, surrounded by a field of Indian paintbrushes and Indian blankets. Just be mindful of private property, and enjoy the outdoors!
This post was originally published on February 21, 2019. It was updated to confirm that it is, indeed, the best wildflower season in 10 years.