Gary Regner Photography


>May 23, 2009 - East Texas Update

East Texas Piney Woods - Brown-eyed susans, purple coneflowers, colicroot, magnolias, mimosas and giant coneflowers are currently in bloom. Grass-pink orchids are also currently in bloom in the Big Thicket National Preserve.

Post Oak Savannah - Clasping-leaf coneflowers are blooming in large numbers in the area around Madisonville and Bryan/College Station.

>May 10, 2009 - Late Spring Wildflowers

Firewheels, coreopsis and Engelmann daisies are blooming en masse along Mopac and Hwy 290 in the Austin area. There are also large displays of firewheels, yellow primrose, Engelmann daisies and mealy sage along Hwy 290 from Austin to Fredericksburg. Between Fredericksburg and Harper along Hwy 290, there are many colonies of mealy sage, some rather large.

>May 3, 2009 - Spring's 2nd Wave

Late spring/early summer wildflowers have begun to bloom. Saturday, between Austin and Houston, including the Fayetteville area, I spotted firewheels, Mexican hats, coreopsis, phlox, crinum lilies, rain lilies, Engelmann daisies and prickly poppies in bloom. In some areas there is significant coverage.

Sunday, between Austin and Llano, firewheels are beginning to bloom in large numbers, and also spotted where Engelmann daisies, yellow primrose, greenthread, wild onion, prickly poppies, blue curls, and two leaved senna. It also appears that my earlier prediction of a significant bloom for late spring will come true due to all the recent rain. There are numerous large colonies of coreopsis plants all over the Hill Country, which should result in a massive bloom in about 2-3 weeks.

>April 21, 2009 - Waning Wildflower Bloom

A better than anticipated wildflower show this year in the Brazos Valley (Brenham area, Washington, Austin and Grimes counties) is coming to an end. Bluebonnets and paintbrush are largely well past peak, and are rapidly being overtaken by grasses which have undergone a growth spurt due to recent heavy rains. Plenty of bluebonnets can still be seen in these areas, but they pale in comparison to just a few weeks ago.

Recent rains in the Hill Country extending eastward to Louisiana could mean a significant early summer bloom by late May and early June. Only time will tell, but if so, it could mean there will be some nice displays of firewheels, coreopsis and horsemint.

>April 4, 2009 - Brazos Valley and East Texas

I travelled to East Texas to check out the spring bloom in the Big Thicket. On my way I spotted several good areas for wildflower viewing. Hwy 105 between Brenham and Navasota has some very nice fields of bluebonnets, paintbrush and evening primrose; including some fields of only paintbrush. Hwy 105 at FM 159 has a huge field of evening primrose (MAP). Hwy 105 at CR 204 has a huge field of bluebonnets and paintbrush (MAP).

The pitcher plants are in bloom along with assorted other wildflowers in the Big Thicket National Preserve along the Sundew Trail (MAP) and the Pitcher Plant Trail (MAP). Also spotted in bloom in the area were spider lilies, irises, and wild azaleas.

>March 29, 2009 - Official Beginning of Spring

Spring has officially arrived. If you're looking for the best wildflower displays this year you need to head to the Brazos Valley. Although bluebonnets in Washington and Austin counties are average at best, there are several areas with good displays. You will begin to see decent stands of bluebonnets beginning at the western Washington county line. Hwy 109 between Brenham and Industry has decent displays of bluebonnets including some pastures. FM 2502 just east and just west of Hwy 109 has several large fields of bluebonnets on the south side of the road. Cemetery Rd in Industry has several large fields of bluebonnets with coverage varying from 30-80%. The best displays of bluebonnets by far that I have seen are in Grimes county. FM 362 at County Road 304 has a massive pasture covered with bluebonnets and paintbrush. Please note this is private property, many inconsiderate people were trespassing and destroying the fence in the process. You can be arrested or shot for trespassing. FM 2, FM 2988, and County Road 320 in the same vicinity also have very nice displays of bluebonnets and paintbrush. Bluebonnets appeared to be at peak now, but should be good for another 1-2 weeks.

Reports from the Hill Country and Ellis county have been disappointing. The Willow City loop has been reported to have no bluebonnets this year. Ellis county has some bluebonnets, but well below an average season.

>March 15, 2009 - Rain, Finally!

Welcome rains finally arrive to a parched Texas. Austin and the Hill Country saw rain totals of 2 to 5 inches this past week. Although too late to create a larger spring display of wildflowers like bluebonnets, the rain may contribute to a better display of early summer wildflowers such as horsemint, sunflowers, firewheels and coreopsis. Continued rain over the next several months is crucial. Meanwhile, trees continue to bloom and put on new foliage. Annual wildflowers are beginning to bloom, albeit in small numbers. So far there have not been any reports of large wildflower displays this spring. The recent rain may help, stay tuned for further reports.

>March 8, 2009 - Spring is Here

The early signs of spring have begun to show in the Austin area. Redbuds and Mountain Laurels are in full bloom. Some annual wildflowers can be seen in medians and on roadsides where runoff provided more water during the scarce rain received since fall. The spring outlook for large displays of wildflowers is bleak. Since most of the state is in a prolonged drought, this season will be well below average.

>February 28, 2009 - Early Report and Season Outlook

A large portion of the state is under a continuing drought. The outlook for wildflowers is below average to very poor. West of Austin all the way to El Paso is extremely dry. The wildflower outlook for the Hill Country is very poor; I travelled through the Hill Country this week on the way to El Paso and although some redbud trees have begun to bloom, there were absolutely no signs of wildflower plants, especially bluebonnets. These extremely dry conditions extend all the way to El Paso and include the Big Bend. There were very few Big Bend bluebonnets in the National Park, and only along the roads. In addition, they were uncharacteristically stunted in growth. I believe that the only significant bluebonnets this year will be in the Brenham area west of Houston, but I expect these to be below average as well. Additional rainfall at this point forward will not contribute to additional bluebonnets, but could contribute to late spring/early summer wildflowers. This is unlikely, however, as the climate prediction center is forecasting the dry conditions to persist through May. The only reports of good wildflower conditions are coming from the Desert Southwest, including Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.


Wild About Texas Wildflowers - includes user-submitted wildflower reports
Wildflower Haven - wildflower reports, maps and other useful information
TxDOT Wildflower Hotline - wildflower reports and maps from the TX Dept of Transportation
Big Bend Report - wildflower conditions from DesertUSA website