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4/28/2018 6:32 PM

Texas Wildflower Trip Report –Lytle to Seguin

Trip Date: 4/27/2018

Communities visited: Lytle, Natalia, Poteet, Stockdale, Seguin

Routes: I-35, CR-770, Texas 173, FM 2504, Brown RD, Iuka RD, FM-1333, Texas 97, FM 1107, FM 1681, Neckenut RD, Seguin.

Total Miles traveled: 200+

Short Story

Friday, 4/27/2018, I took a sweeping trip through parts of the areas just south and east of San Antonio. I wanted to find anything in bloom, but I was hoping for at least a field of something. My end stop was to the field of prairie sunflowers along Neckenut RD southeast of Seguin, Texas previously reported on Texas Wildflower Report by Mary Shahan.  I was also hoping that at least one of my favorite back roads had some nice variety where, I could get out and walk the road taking some close-ups.  The wildflowers really like those close-up shots.  I did find some nice spots and a few fields to photograph, but the coverage once again was hit and miss, here and there.  And what really shocked and worried me is that like my previous one, I saw the invasive forms of grass have taken over entire sections of nearly every road I traveled. I even saw it out into adjacent fields. This is not a phenomenon that is limited to the main highways like I-35, this grass is literally everywhere. I saw it along even the more remote back roads.   In addition, to the invasive grass, many of the roads in Atascosa County are already mowed right up to the fence lines in most cases.  I do not understand this. This cannot be an issue with line of sight or even fire danger as the vegetation I saw was not that high nor dry. So, why is the county mowing the rights-of-way before June?  Between the invasive grass and the mowing, I saw more damage to wildflowers during my trip than I have ever seen due to the bastard cabbage. The invasive bluestem grasses are covering many times over the amount of land in South Texas than I had ever seen covered by bastard cabbage. If you think I am exaggerating, I invite you to travel the routes I traveled and see for yourself.


NOTE: All of the locations I visited were fenced private property with access from a public right-of-way. Do NOT enter the private property without permission from the property owner. You can easily take photos from the public right-of-way – DO NOT TRESPASS!

CR 770, Natalia:  Large field of lazy daisies. Lazy daisies are the dominant wildflower in the Natalia area east of I-35.  This was a really large field and not easy to capture all of it even in a panorama.  There were other fields along CR 770, but this was the best one I saw. There are a number of these county roads that are actually like city streets, but with large 5 acre or large tracts of land. This one county road is well traveled as it comes off the I-35 service road, so it is not really a back road. (See image above)

Texas 173: I saw patches and some short stretches of firewheels, lazy daisies and Engelmann’s daisy. The dominant plant is the invasive grass.

FM 2504: I only traveled part of this road until it came to Sand Branch RD. I saw some nice patches of firewheels and basket-flowers, but also lots of grass.
Brown RD: This is one of my favorite back roads where usually the wide right-of-way is covered with a dense variety of wildflowers. To my horror, 90% of the right-of-way had been mowed! Only a thin strip of wildflower close to the fence lines were spared. Luckily, I was able to get some close-ups of a few basket-flowers.

Basket-flowers - notice to the right how the right-of-way has been mowed.

Luka RD: This road is even more secluded than Brown RD and it too had been mowed. I did find one stretch of the road that did not have much level right-of-way, so the mower could not cut there.  The small adjacent fields along this secluded stretch of road were covered with lazy daisies, firewheels, and some cactus. While I was there, a huge tractor-trailer truck came barreling down the road. Not sure what it was carrying, but it makes me think that some type of large operation is now established in the area. Luka RD is not road conducive to large trucks and high-volume traffic.  So there goes one of the secluded back roads in that area.

Mixed wildflower scene along Iuka RD

FM 1333: This is major route that connects FM 2504 to Texas 173 and it too has some really wide rights-of-way. And you guessed it, the rights-of-way were mostly mowed or covered with invasive grass. The really strange thing is that were there was evidence of wildflowers the road was mowed, but I saw in between those sections long stretches covered with the grass and those stretches were not mowed!  Luckily, not far from the intersection with FM 2504, I found a nice stretch of mixed wildflowers running along side of a field of lazy daisies. Not sure how long this stretch will last, since I had passed the mower about a couple miles down the road.  Across the road there was a nice stretch of the prairie sunflowers covering that right-of-way.

Mixed wildflowers in front of field of lazy daisies.

US 97: Not much along this route, but just before Pleasanton I saw a field with clumps of lantana. That was the most I had seen in one location.

Texas 123 and US 87: Large field of Engelmann’s daisies on right side of Texas 123 heading north just south of US 87.

FM 1107: Some lazy daisies and clasping leaf coneflowers along with lantana and Engelmann’s daisies.

FM 1681: Not much along this route to make me want to stop. 

Neckenut RD: Large multi-acre field of prairie sunflowers. The road winds around this field so a sunset or sunrise shot would be possible. The shoulders along this road are very narrow. I found one spot where I could pull and park without damaging any wildflowers, and I just walked the road. 

Just one small section of the large field of prairie sunflowers


I had a fun time and found some really nice scenes to photograph, but I am seriously very worried about the future of wildflower in Atascosa and Wilson Counties. I didn’t stop to properly ID the grass I saw, but it looked exactly like the Kleberg bluestem grass along I-35 that I got identified after my 4/22/2018 trip. I cannot overstate how widespread this grass is. If it keeps spreading, it will not take it long to completely over take most of the roadsides I traveled. 

Next Trips: Not sure, but I would like to photograph some mealy blue sage fields mixed with cactus. Then I think I will take a break until the common sunflowers show up. 

Check here in the Texas Wildflower Reports 2018 section, in our seasonal updates section ( and on our Texas Wildflower Report Facebook Page ( for the latest reports.
For route maps with detailed notes do not forget our eBooks at:


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