Every spring in April the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has a plant sale. Friday is members day. We shop then because the crowd is somewhat smaller and the supplies are plentiful.
The eager shoppers line up at least an hour before opening. Most bring their own wagons to carry home their treasures. The center has a few carts but recommend that people bring their own. As they wait, people get acquainted and swap plant advice.
The line continues even further past the archway. The prices of the plants are okay but not fantastic. The real draw is that only natives are sold. Believe it or not, it’s difficult to find natives in nurseries. Local nurseries have some but much less than here.
While my husband holds our spot in the line, I wander around enjoying the plants. The above Columbine is the only native one to Texas. A solid yellow one had adapted and grows very well here.
The shape of Wild Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) flowers are unique among Texas natives and is basically a woodland plant.
The Cross Vine (Bignonia capreolata) is in full bloom. I’m told that it’s a very dependable showstopper. Just love it.
I really appreciate public parks and gardens that label the trees, shrubs, and other plants. This one also provides other useful information.
Although I didn’t find a label for this one, I’m pretty sure that it’s California Poppy, also known as the Golden Poppy.
More Cross Vine. I’m got to get me one of these. Just need something for it to grow on. And it needs to be big, because they grow and grow up to 50 ft. long.
It blooms from March through May in full sun or part shade and has low water needs. A friend told me that they are evergreen. Of course, butterflies and hummingbirds love the tubular flowers.
Others also enjoy this area of sunny plants in raised beds.
This Eve’s Necklace (Styphnolobium affine) is larger than any that I’ve seen. Mine was planted two years ago and is now two feet tall . But they can grow as large as 15 to 30 feet tall and can live on limestone slopes.
The seeds look just like they’ve been strung on a cord. I can hear Glenn Miller’s “String of Pearls” in my head. But the seeds are said to be poisonous.
Noontime is not the best time to take pictures. Even in this partly shaded area, the strong sun is washing out the pictures.
Red buckeye (Aesculus pavis var. pavia) blooms from March through May along streams and creeks or in moist woodlands.
This is not what I had pictured as Bunch Grass (Nolina texana) from the Lily Family. But I’m sure the botanists here know. It grows in rocky soil from Central Texas into Northern Mexico.
The sign says it all.
A Maidenhair Fern in a natural type setting.
Even a fire hydrant is dressed up with Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis).
It’s impossible to live in Texas and not love the native flowers. They define spring here. Sure, most are short lived, but boy, do they fill the land with gorgeous beauty.
Thankfully, there are also some summer wildflowers that can endure the heat.
The light is diffusing the blossoms on this tree.
The Crab Apple (Malus angustifolia) flowers show up a little better here. Fruit follows the flowers on this Texas native. The wildlife enjoy the fruit, but it’s messy in a yard.
A semi-shady nook as a calm retreat.
As we walk out the center, the areas around the parking lots are filled with more wildflowers.
It’s easy to see why Lady Bird loved Central Texas and the wildflowers.
The name Indian Paintbrushes always confuses me. I guess they look like brushes dipped in paint, but so do other flowers. Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) is native to Texas and Oklahoma.
It also is a spring bloomer and grows among grasses and other plants. Their roots invade the roots of other plants to obtain a portion of their needed nutrients.
This time of the year brings special joy to all who enjoy native plants and especially, flowers.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson