Texas bluebonnets

Each spring, blue blossoms blanket Texas fields. Some people drive hundreds of miles to see the state flower – the Texas bluebonnet – in bloom.

Amaya: “They’re one of the wildflowers that just really can take over acres and acres, and you know, it’s hard not to be enchanted by that.”

That’s Andrea Delong-Amaya, director of horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. She says last year, Texas bluebonnets bloomed early, after an unusually warm February.

Amaya: “I remember it was around spring break, which was mid-March, they were in full bloom at that point, which is not common.”

She says bluebonnets are sensitive to rain and rising temperatures. So as the climate warms, Texans may see early blooms more often.

The burst of color is exciting after a drab winter, but gardeners are wary of early springs.

Amaya: “We get a little nervous because if we start to have a span of warm weather, and the bluebonnets start to bolt – to elongate before they start to bloom – they’re really susceptible to a hard freeze then.”

It’s not just a concern for bluebonnets. Gardeners across the country have noticed many species flowering sooner than usual as the climate warms.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

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