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HomeHomeWildflower Seas...Wildflower Seas...TexasTexasSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: Update 3/21/2018Spring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: Update 3/21/2018
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3/21/2018 1:58 PM
 

Spring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: Update 3/21/2018

Summary:

The Anomalous Season continues with periods of above normal temperatures followed by below normal temperatures. Rainfall since January 1st has been below average in many parts with some parts at normal or slightly above normal. My recent trip from Rosenberg to Poteet did not uncover any large displays of wildflowers, but recent reports coming out of Bastrop, Brenham and Ennis give some hope that some areas could experience an average season with some spots with above average displays. The main negative data points are that rainfall in October and November was below normal for most of the key bluebonnet regions in Texas.

Rainfall for October/November 2017: Why is this important? Well, because most of our annual wildflowers germinate in the fall including most of the species of bluebonnets (lupinus) officially designated as the Texas state flower. Without an abundance of plants, you cannot expect large displays of wildflowers.
October 2017 Departure from Normal Rainfall
October 2017 Departure from Normal Rainfall.  Yellow areas are below normal rainfall, gray or green are at or above normal rainfall.


November 2017 Departure from Normal Rainfall
November 2017 Departure from Normal Rainfall.  Yellow areas are below normal rainfall, gray or green are at or above normal rainfall.

Rainfall since January and in the past 60 days was at or below normal for most areas, with a few spots here and there with above normal rainfall.  Areas where the rainfall was close to normal or above normal from January through 3/21/2018 have the best chance for large displays of wildflowers.  Why is this important? Well, because cooler weather with normal rainfall will encourage plants to spend energy on developing deeper and healthy roots systems and larger plants. Larger plants will mean more blooms and larger displays. So where there are plants and those plants received at or above normal rainfall and normal to below normal temperatures, you should expect to see displays. The size of the areas will depend on coverage of plants and that depends on fall rainfall along with some other factors like competing vegetation, soil, topography and mowing.

Year to Date Departure From Normal Rainfall
Year to Date Departure from Normal Rainfall as of 3/21/2018. Yellow areas are below normal rainfall, gray or green are at or above normal rainfall.

60 Day Departure from Normal Rainfall as of 3/21/2018
60 Day Departure from Normal Rainfall as of 3/21/2018. Yellow areas are below normal rainfall, gray or green are at or above normal rainfall.

My current thinking based on rainfall/temperature data combined with some field reports is that Brenham and the Texas 71/US 290 corridor from Austin to Brenham should be watched closely. Other potential areas include SW of San Antonio, parts of San Saba County and Mason County, and the Ennis area.  Based on my recent trip, I do not have much hope for large displays south of San Antonio and east of Texas 16. I did not get down as far as Cuero, so I am not sure about that area.

Recent Reports

(These are public reports seen by me or given to me personally):

  • Austin Loop 360 and US 183/Research Blvd: Bluebonnets – looks like a large stretch along roadside.
  • Bastrop Texas 71 and Texas 95: Large field of bluebonnets in full bloom. There is no safe access to this field and those visiting should do so at their own risk. It is not clear if this field is on private property or the public right-of-way. If this is private property and you trespass you could be issued a ticket resulting in a fine/jail time.
  • Brenham: See the March 19th update from the Brenham wildflower watch ( http://www.visitbrenhamtexas.com/bluebonnets-march-19/  ). The last week of March is usually the peak time for Brenham, so perhaps there will be nice Easter bluebonnet locations. The Brenham report has listings of bluebonnet locations with safe access including a church that has graciously provided a port-a-potty. Perhaps, a donation to that church is in order if you visit and take photos there?
  • Chappell Hill: Bluebonnets along US 290 and Indian Paintbrush RD.
  • Dilley along I-35: Mixed white and rose prickly poppies.
  • Ennis: Still way too early to expect anything but some early blooms from the Ennis area. Their recent report (https://www.facebook.com/ennisbluebon...124576701112735 ) is very encouraging, so it is worthwhile to keep watch on the Ennis area for some nice bluebonnet displays.
  • Rockdale: Some healthy-looking stands of bluebonnets along Texas 79 before Rockdale.
  • Rosenberg to Poteet: My trip report - http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/Commun...416/scope/posts

Other Resources:

 

 
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HomeHomeWildflower Seas...Wildflower Seas...TexasTexasSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: Update 3/21/2018Spring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: Update 3/21/2018