A Blue Bonnet’s On It…

The state flower of Texas is blue – bright blue – heavenly blue – piercing blue. In the shape of a pioneer lady’s bonnet with white face protruding, fading with age to a purple hue, the Bluebonnet reminds us of unending skies, pioneer persistence, and a bright, promising future. Few wildflowers are as simple or as complex, as plentiful or as rare, as inviting or as distant as the Texas Bluebonnet.

Sweet southern hostess ladies, primly clad
and buttoned-up, how dare they call you wild?
As faithfully you line our roads, you add
a glimpse of simple beauty undefiled.

There are dozens of varieties of Bluebonnet and Texans get them mixed up and confused as do I, but they could care less as a Bluebonnet of whatever variety represents Texas. The petals number five and the leaves stretch palmately in whorls of five, sometimes more, sometimes less. The blossom gives the Bluebonnet away as a member of the Legume family – as is a pea or a bean. They sit in groups reaching for the sky sometimes a foot above the ground and as high as four or five.

The Bluebonnet with its pioneer lady’s face, hat on top and fastened around chin as if bracing against a Texas wind.

The State of Texas broadcast Bluebonnets along its highways thanks to efforts by Lady Bird Johnson and in Spring and early Summer, the blue waves stretch to the horizon broken only by isolated interlopers of Indian Paintbrush or Coneflower.

Indian Paintbrush and Bluebonnet intertwine in Nature’s braid.
A red variant mixed with Allium in a gardener’s dream.

We must move on to Utah, our next alphabetical state where a rare native lily is the state wildflower but before we go, let’s look at one more vision of Bluebonnet from the state of Texas.

What was your first clue that we are in Texas?

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