Defensive Driving Blog

Texas Wildflowers season


This time of year it is a great pleasure to travel the roads of Texas and take in the many colors that are Texas wildflowers. These stunning displays used to be grouped together and talked about as a whole. But there are many varieties and the best known have their own folktales. Let’s travel down the road a bit and take in some color.

Always singled out of the group is the bluebonnet. It tends to be one of the earliest and most vibrant bloomers. Comanche lore tells of a bitter winter when the medicine men thought they would need to sacrifice their prized possessions to placate The Great Spirit and one of the young girls took her doll that was adorned with blue jay feathers and when all were asleep she burned it and scattered the ashes in the wind. The following morning the hillsides were covered in blue.

Texas Wildflowers

Although traditionally blue, horticulturists have been experimenting with the variants on color. So now it is not unusual to find white, pink or a lovely shade of red. The pink ones have a legend of their own. It is told that a grandmother near San Antonio, many, many years ago, told her grandchildren that the pink ones had been found along a river downstream from the Alamo. It had been white but so much blood had been shed that it turned it pink. She said to always remember that the pink ones are a symbol of the struggle to survive and those who died to set Texas free.

Similarly, the well-known Indian Blanket wildflower is said to have been all yellow but when Cortes invaded Mexico in 1519 the flowers were permanently stained by the blood of the Aztecs. This is only one of the many tales of Texas wildflowers but represents how tied these legends are to bloodshed.

The two wildflowers are well known but another also dominates the landscape. No spring bouquet would be complete without Indian Paintbrush. It often accompanies bluebonnets because it is a parasitic plant – meaning it relies on other plants to grow. It can also be called Painted Lady, Prairie Fire and Butterfly Weed. Native American folklore dictates that an artist asked The Great Spirit for guidance on where to find colors to paint a sunset. The Spirit told him where to find brushes with vibrant colors and as he painted on a hillside, he discarded the brushes on the ground.  The next morning, you guessed it, the hills were covered in Indian Paintbrush. At least this one is not dominated by bloodshed.

There are too many Texas wildflowers to list and discuss. For more information on this, you cannot beat Texas Highways magazine and an article by Jane Kellogg Murray.

As you drive the highways and byways of Texas try to stop and smell the…..wildflowers? Whatever your destination, stay safe and for all your driving safety needs log into

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