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HomeHomeWildflower Seas...Wildflower Seas...TexasTexasSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: May-June WildflowersSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: May-June Wildflowers
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4/29/2018 4:03 PM
 

Spring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: May-June Wildflowers

Field of Lazy daisies with Engelmann's daisies in front.
Field of Lazy Daisies with some Engelmann's daisies in front, 4/27/2018,  FM 1333, Poteet, Texas

Date: 4/29/2018

Summary

Most of the folks who flock to my WildflowerHaven.com website and Texas Wildflower Report Facebook page in late March are looking to find those large fields covered with bluebonnets. And most of those folks are just looking to get their annual “in the bluebonnets” photo taken of themselves or with their loved ones – human or animal types.  Once the bluebonnets fade away after the last week of April, the traffic on my site and the Texas Wildflower Report Facebook page drops off dramatically.  Those who remain behind enjoy so much more color and variety beyond the bluebonnet fields. They enjoy the reds, yellows, whites and sometimes violet to lavender pinks colors that can cover roadsides and pastures during the months of May and June.

This year the combination of below normal rainfall in October, but closer to normal or above normal rainfall since December 1st has benefitted the perennial plants which were already in place more than the annual plants that needed the fall rainfall for germination.  This is even evident for the May-June wildflower show. Perennials like the mealy blue sage and the pink evening primrose are doing much better in areas where there was below normal rainfall in October.  Species that do well in dry conditions are also doing much better. 

Here is a map where I have overlaid the Water Year (since October 1, 2017) Observed Precipitation with stars to indicate the general locations of the positive reports and negative reports. The top wildflowers covering large areas are the mealy blue sage, pink evening primrose, Engelmann’s daisy, lazy daisy, coneflowers, coreopsis and verbena. I know of one location with a large field of prairie sunflowers. Areas with green or yellow in this map received on average around two or more inches per month. This does not mean the rainfall was evenly spread out across all 7 months since October 1st.  The map only shows what areas on average since October 1, 2017, received more rainfall than others. East of I-35 and northeast of a line from Abilene to Houston received closer to normal rainfall. I think those locations will have a better chance of larger and more diverse displays of May and June wildflowers. However, there will always be exceptions and some locales like the southern part of McCulloch County might have been an anomaly and received more than the rest of that county.  The locations on the map that are NW of San Antonio are locations for the two main reports of fields of mealy blue sage which tends to like drier conditions. When I asked, both of those individuals said they did not see as much of other wildflowers, except perhaps Engelmann’s daisy which is another perennial.  Also had reports of mealy blue sage fields near Salado and Lampasas. So far, there have not been any of the usual reports of large fields of firewheels/Indian blankets in the core Hill Country counties like Mason, Llano or San Saba.  

May-June Wildflower Map

Is there any hope for large displays or even roadside displays of annual wildflowers in May-June? Yes, where there was sufficient rainfall in late September and October or even early November for seed germination there is hope for some nice displays of annual May-June wildflowers. Take a look at this next rainfall map. This is the overall observed rainfall for October, 2017. Where you see the darker greens or yellows that is where at least 1.5 to 2 inches of rain fell. Just based on years of observation, I think the minimum amount of rain that needs to fall during September, October and early November is 6 to 8 inches or about 2 inches each of those months. September rainfall was close to or above normal for most of Texas, but October and November rainfall was below normal for most of Texas. The question is where did enough rain fall in October (the more critical month than November) for seed germination which is when the majority of our annual spring wildflowers will germinate? Perennial plants would probably already be in place, so they just needed enough rainfall to sustain them and then later enough rainfall for healthy plant growth. NOTE: Other factors like invasive grass that is spreading through South Texas, early mowing and herbicide spraying might limited displays despite areas getting sufficient rainfall at the correct times.
 
October 2017 Observed Rainfall

List of May – June Wildflowers

Here is a very abbreviated list of some of the more commonly found wildflowers that will bloom (or are already blooming) during the May-June time period. Some might have started in April and will bloom into May. Some like the common sunflower will begin in late May and bloom into July.  And some like the bluebell gentian will begin to bloom in mid-June and bloom into mid-July.  This is just a short list and certainly does not include all wildflowers that could be in bloom during the May and June months. And any wildflower could bloom for an earlier, later or longer time period – much of that depends on the current climate conditions for the season.

Annual
Basket flower - Centaurea americana http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CEAM2
Blue curls (Phacelia congesta) Jun-July - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PHCO2
Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=HEAN3
Firewheels, Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=GAPU
Lemon mint - Purple Horsemint (Monarda citriodora) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=MOCI
Plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=COTI3
Bluebell gentian (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=EUEXR

Biennial
Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CITE2
Bluebell gentian (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=EUEXR

Perennial
Baby’s breath, bluet (Stenaria nigricans var. nigricans) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=stnin
Blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=MELE2
Bluebell gentian (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=EUEXR
Common coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=COGR5
Cut-leaf Penstemon (Penstemon baccharifolius) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PEBA
Dayflower (Commelina erecta) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=COER
Engelmann's daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ENPE4
Foxglove - Penstemon (Penstemon cobaea) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PECO4
Granite spiderwort (Tradescantia pedicellata) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=TRPE9
Lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=cola5
Mealy blue sage (Salvia farinacea) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SAFA2
Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=RACO3
Prairie larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=DECA3
Prairie Verbena Glandularia bipinnatifida - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=GLBI2
Silver-leaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SOEL
Texas Coneflower (Rudbeckia texana) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=RUTE4
Texas prickly pear (Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=openl
Texas spiderwort (Tradescantia humilis) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=TRHU
Wild hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CASC5
Wild petunia (Ruellia nudiflora) - https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=RUNU

Recent Reports

Here is a recap and not a complete listing of all of the reports that I have seen.  NOTE: The majority of these reports are from our Texas Wildflower Report Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflowerReport), but a few have been gleaned from the Texas Wildflowers Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/92643952383 ).  If you are not a member of the Texas Wildflowers Group you should be. It is an easy to join group with wildflower enthusiasts/photographers and a few wildflower experts to help ID that wildflower you photographed. While you are at it, please come and like https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflowerReport

Ennis Area:
4/26/2018, Carol Short - https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflo...157604838564062
4/22-25/2018, Mark Bergman - https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflo...157614270264062
4/20/2018, Phil Brown - https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflo...157597119704062

Fort Worth - Tandy Hill Nature Area:
4/26/2018, KC Hulsman - https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflo...157610387079062

Hallettsville, Schulenburg, La Grange Area:
4/28/2018, J. N. Coleman (Texas Wildflowers Group) – Blankets of coneflowers and Indian blanket (firewheel) wildflowers. Other mixed wildflowers were observed.

Hondo and Lytle Areas:
4/22/2018, RichO - http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/Commun...429/scope/posts

Kerrville and Comfort Area:
4/20/2018, Mike Jones - https://www.facebook.com/groups/World...94027237339957/

Lockhart and Kyle Areas:
4/15/2018, RichO - http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/Commun...428/scope/posts

Lytle, Poteet, Sequin Areas:
4/27/2018, Richo - http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/Commun...430/scope/posts

Seguin Area:
4/24/2018, Mary Shahan - https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflo...157604865469062

Other resources

Typical Bloom Times for Texas Spring Wildflowers: http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/Commun...269/scope/posts
Wildflower Travel eBooks:  eBooks with maps and routes with descriptions. These eBooks contain notes from my 20 years of traveling Texas to find and photograph wildflowers.  - http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/eBooks
Texas Wildflower Report on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflowerReport
Texas Wildflowers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/92643952383/

 

 
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HomeHomeWildflower Seas...Wildflower Seas...TexasTexasSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: May-June WildflowersSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: May-June Wildflowers