If you are visiting Texas in the spring, you may be treated to beautiful blankets of wildflowers, most notably the famous state flower, the Bluebonnet. This guide to Texas Bluebonnets will provide answers to common questions plus tips on how to find the best Bluebonnets and other wildflowers.
Your Guide to Texas Bluebonnets
Here’s what you need to know to get those perfect pictures among Texas’ most famous wildflower.
Bluebonnet season is usually late March through early April but that’s dependent on the previous winter’s weather. A warm winter means early blooms and late freezes typically bring late (or even skimpy) blooms. Keep in mind, Bluebonnets are wildflowers so they’ll bloom when they’re ready.
Where to find Bluebonnets
Ennis, Brenham, and the Texas Hill Country are some of the most popular places in the state to see fields of Bluebonnets, but they’ll be everywhere across the state and in places you might not expect.
Always asking a local for recommendations best spots or contact the city’s visitor’s center. It’s really fun to drive down those rural roads to check out wildflowers but there are bluebonnets in urban areas, too.
You’ll likely see beautiful banks of Bluebonnets lining major highways. Stopping on the shoulder of a highway and getting the kids out of the car to pose for a picture shouldn’t pass any sanity or safety checks.
When you find your picture spot, check for snakes, insects, and dangerous plant life, especially if you plan to sit down in the Bluebonnets.
I usually put a broom handle in my car when we’re going to take bluebonnet pictures and give the area a gentle swipe to shoo away anything that slithers. After that, I’ll visually survey the area for fire ants and any other vegetation that looks dangerous or uncomfortable.
Also, inject a measure of practicality into deciding on your outfits for Bluebonnet pictures. Since you’re wading through fields where the vegetation has been running wild, I recommend long pants and sturdy, close-toed shoes. Save the cute sandals for another time.
The state flower grows on private property, too
You’ll see lots of properties in rural areas with Bluebonnets in the yard or a tempting blanket of blooms just beyond that posted “Keep Out” sign. Resist the urge. Texans have a reputation for being friendly but going uninvited onto someone else’s property is rude, not to mention illegal.
The golden hour
Also known as the “magic hour” the golden hour is the hour the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. The light is softer and excellent for portrait photography.
The high noon lighting is harsh and if it’s a bright, sunny day, everyone will be squinting in your pictures. And, even though you might not think overcast skies make great photo backdrops, sometimes your finished product is surprisingly good so don’t let a gray day stop you.
Don’t wait to take your Bluebonnet pictures
If you’re driving through Ennis, Brenham, the Texas Hill Country, or any other place in Texas seeking the best spot for a Bluebonnet picture, don’t wait to take the picture, assuming the location is safe.
It might be tempting to pass a patch in the hopes of finding something more perfect but the field you just drove past might be the pick of the day and it may be hard to backtrack. Finding a more perfect spot after you’ve already taken pictures is a great problem to have.
Is it illegal to pick a Bluebonnet?
I grew up thinking it was illegal to pick a Bluebonnet – thanks, Mom. Picking the state flower of Texas is not actually against the law but leaving the blooms for the next person to enjoy and photograph is a nice thing to do. Since the seeds from this year’s Bluebonnets germinate and become next year’s Bluebonnets, resist the urge to pick them.
You can purchase seeds and grow them at home, then you can pick Bluebonnets to your heart’s content.
Other Texas wildflowers
If you miss Bluebonnet season, all is not lost. Other lovely wildflowers bloom with and after Bluebonnets. Indian Paintbrushes, Mexican Hats and Drummond phlox are also gorgeous and photo-worthy.
We hope this guide to Texas Bluebonnets is exactly what you need to get safely get those perfect, springtime pictures.