With all of the beautiful blue flowers springing up around the Austin property lately, many Travaasa guests have been sharing photos and asking to hear more about this vibrant native plant. As the iconic flower of the Great State of Texas, this blue beauty holds a special place in the hearts of the community and never ceases to capture area visitors with its unique charm each spring.

Blooming from late March through early April, the Texas Bluebonnet, a species of lupine endemic to Texas, can be found growing wild throughout the countryside and in uncultivated pastures throughout the state. The “State Flower of Texas” since 1901 and named for their color and shape, Texas Bluebonnets are recognized for their vivid royal blue blossoms with white florets at the top of the flower clusters and usually grow to be about one to two feet tall. The winter annual prefers to grow in direct sunlight in a sloped area with well-drained soil and is relatively easy to cultivate as long as there is not excessive rainfall throughout the cooler winter season. Because the spring-blooming wildflower is a winter annual, the seeds require planting in the fall to allow its massive root system to develop throughout the winter.

As historian Jack Maguire wrote, “The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.” In an effort to maintain our natural North American ecosystems and allow our beloved state flower to thrive for years to come, please refrain from picking the flowers or digging around the plants. On the other hand, Texas Bluebonnets aren’t camera shy in the least and are always ready for a their close-up!