Texas Wildflowers April 2019


We took a trip to the Texas Hill Country in mid April to find wildflowers and a small bit of hiking. We stayed in Fredericksburg, hiked in the nearby Enchanted Rock area and hiked for the first time in Milton Reimer’s Ranch County Park on the way home. This year the flowers in the Fredericksburg area were really spectacular based on the increased rain they received (last year there were minimal flowers in this area). It was very windy (10-20mph) so it was tough to get sharp photo images in the wide open areas.

Found this Texas Yellow Star (Lindheimera texana), sunflower family, in Washington County on the way to Fredericksburg. We did not see that many flowers in Washington County as in the past.

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Large Buttercup (Ranunculus macranthus) in Echo Canyon of Enchanted Rock. A small weather front had passed through giving blue skies and leaving rainwater in the canyon.

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We found these small Yellow Flax (Linum rigidum) or Stiff-Stem Fax along the loop trail at Enchanted Rock. The flowers were about 5/8 inch in diameter.

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Wine Cups (Callirhoe involucrata) of the Mallow family found along the Enchanted Rock loop trail. These trailing flowers were more plentiful this year than before. Later while we were on the Willow City Loop, a biker from the Pacific Northwest stopped to ask Karin the name of these and remarked that they were appropriately named.

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Looking at Freshman Mountain with Large Buttercups in the foreground with Enchanted Rock to our back. We were on the Turkey Pass trail.

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Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) on the Willow City Loop. There were more flowers this year than I have ever seen in this area. The Willow City Loop is a road starting at FM16 about 15 miles north of Fredericksburg that loops around and passes through several micro-climates and is known for wildflowers. The road provides access to ranches in the area.

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Texas Bluebonnets with White Prickly Poppies (Argemone albifora subsp. texana) – Willow City Loop

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Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) and Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) on the Willow City Loop. I prefer the alternate name “Firewheel” for the Indian Blankets. This specimen has almost no yellow on the outside perimeter.

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Karin in a field of Bluebonnets on the Willow City Loop.

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A dirt road cuts though the Texas Bluebonnets off of the Willow City Loop.

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A field of White Prickly Poppies (Argemone albifora subsp. texana) on the Willow City Loop.

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A ranch road off the Willow City Loop cuts through the flowers.

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Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) along the road near Fredericksburg

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Close up of Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa). The red portion of this plant are bracts – a modified leaf. The actual flower are the small green “cylinders” near the top. One other fun fact: the roots of the Paintbrush grow until they touch and penetrate the roots of other plants and obtain a portion of their nutrients – they are semiparasitic.

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Collection of flowers east of Fredericksburg. The yellow on the right are Englemann Daisy (Engelmannia pinnatifida), Texas Paintbrush are the red in the middle , Texas Bluebonnet are the blue on the left, and one Coreopsis (Coreopsis basalis) left of middle (the yellow flower with the brown center). The Englemann Daisies were prolific along the roadside this year.

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This Spice Swallowtail butterfly on a Paintbrush was battling a 15 mph headwind but getting the job done.

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The Lower River Trail of Milton Riemer’s Ranch Park cuts through Huisache Daisies (Amblyolepis setigera). This was our first visit to this county park on the Pedernales River near Hamilton Pool. This was a short walk down to and along the river with tons of wildflowers along the way.

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Found this “new to us” flower in Milton Riemer’s Ranch park. This is Meadow Pink (Sabatia campestris) – the flowers are about 3/4″ in diameter and are on stems that are about 1.5 – 2 feet high.

Categories: Flowers, Hikes

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