Spring sees Hill Country awash in wildflowers

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By Robert and Sheryl Yantis

Special to the Burnet Bulletin

Every spring the Texas Hill Country becomes awash with color from the most beautiful wildflowers seen anywhere in Texas.  

Learn how to plant and how to increase the number of wildflowers on your property. You can also learn how to identify wildflowers that you will see in the Highland Lakes.  

In Central Texas every spring, a changing variety of colors signal the beginning of a spectacular wildflower show that lasts until the first frost in the fall.

Although the majority of wildflowers bloom in spring, if you look closely you will find colorful flowers throughout the growing season.

Master Gardener Sheryl Yantis will present a beautiful and informative free program “Hill Country Wildflowers and More” at the Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show at the Burnet Community Center on Saturday March 30th at 11 AM.  

This program features beautiful wildflowers that are familiar to everyone and a few that appear only occasionally.  Most of the pictures were taken in the Hill Country by Robert & Sheryl Yantis over the last several years.

Warm weather and frequent rain throughout the fall and winter determine when and in what order wildflowers will bloom during the spring.  

Most of the wildflowers that bloom in the spring are dependent on fall precipitation followed by sustaining winter rains. Such iconic spring-bloomers include the beloved Texas bluebonnet, Indian paintbrush, phlox, verbena and a rainbow of other colorful flowers.

Every year is different, and the combinations of flowers are always spectacular. Higher temperatures in January and February have pushed some plants to bloom early this year. Texas Mountain laurel blossoms are triggered by the warm weather and started blooming in February. 

Besides weather, other factors including soil quality and land management practices such as burning, mowing and grazing, determine which flowers bloom and where they are concentrated.

Bluebonnets tend to thrive in disturbed sites, so mowing and grazing can promote their growth because the competition from perennial plants and grasses is reduced.

Robert and Sheryl Yantis are Texas Master Gardeners and Earth-Kind® Specialists through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

They are AgriLife Watershed Stewards and LCRA water monitors on the Llano River. They are members of the Native Plant Society, the Highland Lakes Birding and Wildflower Society and the Kingsland Garden Club.

Their website, yantislakesidegardens.com, provides information on gardening in the hill country and local gardening events. They have been Master Gardeners since 2005 and live on the Llano River arm of Lake LBJ in Kingsland.

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