So-called for their resemblance to the bonnets worn by women in pioneer times, bluebonnets are the state flowers of Texas and one of the most beautiful natural sights the state has to offer. The term 'bluebonnet' doesn't actually describe one flower. Instead, it refers to five different species that are all found in the state of Texas and are all technically classed as the official state flower. Each and every year, the bluebonnets come out all around the state, adding a blast of color to the already beautiful Texas landscapes and inspiring people from all around the US and even further afield to visit the great state and see them for themselves.
The History of Bluebonnets in Texas
The beloved Texas bluebonnets have a wonderful history. Before European settlers even arrived on American soil, these pretty little flowers were admired by Native Americans, who even made folk stories about them. Early settlers from Spain rapidly fell in love with bluebonnets too, gathering up their seeds and planting them in other locations to admire them at their own homes, even giving them the nickname of 'El Conejo' which translates to 'rabbit' due to the little white tip of the flowers which looks like a little bunny's tail. Things to do in Texas
And as the years went by and the bluebonnets came out into bloom each spring, more and more people grew to associate their beauty and distinctive colors with the state of Texas, until the time when, in 1901, Texas Legislature designated bluebonnets as the official state flower without any opposition. At the time, it was believed that all bluebonnets in Texas were the same, but it was later discovered that the state was home to several different species, with at least five being identified in total. If any more bluebonnets are ever found in Texas, they'll be added to the official list of state flowers too.
Important Information about Bluebonnets in Texas
It's important to note, first of all, that in spite of their name, not all bluebonnets are actually blue. The vast majority of them are blue, but many can also be seen in white and shades of pink and purple as well, giving Texas bluebonnets a veritable spectrum of tones for all to admire.
The old adage of 'look but don't touch' is appropriate when talking about bluebonnets in Texas, as these flowers are a beautiful, natural part of the state's landscape and need to be preserved at all costs. With so many people visiting Texas to see these flowers, they are at risk of being picked and destroyed, so everyone is encouraged to be as respectful as possible.
Be sure to take some photos of the bluebonnets and admire their colors, but leave them be and be sure not to try tasting them as their leaves and seeds are poisonous to both humans and animals, so don’t forget to keep an eye on your family dog or any young children when admiring the Texas bluebonnets.
Best Places to See Bluebonnets in Texas
Bluebonnets start to bloom in March of each year and don't last too long, so if you want to see them, you'll have to act fast. They'll hold on through to April and May in most cases, but will struggle to withstand the warmer temperatures of summer. The dates of the bluebonnets blooming season can vary from year to year depending on the conditions, and the best places to see bluebonnets in Texas can vary too, but the following locations tend to serve up some stunning sights of the state's prettiest flowers.
- Ennis - With over 40 miles of bluebonnet trails to enjoy, the little city of Ennis is one of the best Texas locations for bluebonnets. The local Ennis Garden Club members are always analyzing conditions and checking up on the condition of the bluebonnets each year in order to inform visitors and locals alike about the best viewing spots.
- Kingsland - Located in the Hill Country of Texas, Kingsland has been a really great spot for Texas bluebonnets in recent years. Old disused railroads serve as a prime blooming spot for the state flower, with lots of nice walking trails for all the family to enjoy. If you want to take some unique photos of these gorgeous flowers, this is a great place to be.
- Burnet - Bluebonnets are so popular and beloved in the town of Burnet that they even have their own annual festival. With around 30,000 visitors each year, the Bluebonnet Festival is a big part of Burnet's calendar, featuring all sorts of fun activities and, of course, world class panoramic views of these famous flowers in full bloom.