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11 Types of Wildflowers in Texas (Pictures)

The saying “everything is bigger in Texas” can refer to many things in the state, including its wildflowers. The climate is ideal for wildflowers in Texas, thanks to its rainy spring and long summer filled with warm temps and clear skies. Texas is home to over 2,700 different species of wildflowers, including evening primrose and bluebonnet. Keep reading to learn about the most common wildflowers you can see in the state. 

11 Wildflowers in Texas

State wildflowers of Texas

The state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet, a stunningly beautiful flower that blooms in the early spring. These vibrant blue flowers are a sight to behold, covering vast stretches of land in a sea of blue. The bluebonnet is a symbol of Texas pride and has been the state flower since 1901.

Today, the bluebonnet is a beloved symbol of Texas and is celebrated every year in the Bluebonnet Festival, where visitors can see fields of bluebonnets in full bloom and learn about the history and culture of Texas.

Did you know that Texas has about 19 different species of wild sunflowers? This is only one of the many types of wildflowers in Texas that you can see. 

1. Texas Bluebonnet

Texas bluebonnet
Texas bluebonnet | image by Surely Shirly via Flickr

Scientific Name: Lupinus texensis

The Texas Bluebonnet is an annual herb that features blue or white blooms that appear from March to May. In the state of Texas, this plant is most commonly found on the Edward’s Plateau and Blackland Prairie.

Its ideal habitats are roadsides, open fields, and prairies. Not only is the Texas Bluebonnet a source of food for bees, but it is also the state’s flower.

2. Firewheel

Firewheel flowers
Firewheel flowers | image by Under the same moon… via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Gaillardia pulchella

The Firewheel is an annual herb that typically grows no taller than 2 feet. It produces brightly colored flowers that have a yellow outer band and red center.

The middle of the flowers are reddish brown. These plants can bloom all throughout the year if there is enough rain. If not, then expect the blooms to appear from May to August.

3. Pink Evening Primrose

Pink evening primrose
Pink evening primrose | image by houroumono via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Oenothera speciosa

The Texas Primrose has pink or white colored flowers and will bloom from February all the way to October. In the southern parts of the state, the Texas Primrose blooms will open in the morning hours, while the northern portion of the state has night-blooming flowers.

4. Texas Indian Paintbrush

Texas Indian Paintbrush
Texas Indian Paintbrush | image by sonnia hill via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Castilleja indivisa

The Texas Indian Paintbrush is a biennial or annual wildflower that can grow between 6 and 18 inches tall. It produces unbranched stems with bright red spikes that resemble a paintbrush.

These flowers can appear throughout the entire year, although their main flowering season is in the spring and summer months. This wildflower thrives in various habitats, including along roadsides, in pastures, plains, prairies, and meadows, and along the edge of wooded areas.

5. Winecup

Winecup | image by peganum via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Callirhoe involucrata

The Winecups have a sprawling nature thanks to their stems that stay close to the ground. These stems can form a thick mat and develop hairy leaves that are round and deeply cleft or lobed.

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Winecups have chalice-shaped, wine-colored blooms that have a white spot at their center. These flowers can appear throughout the entire year. Winecups are usually found in thickets and open wooded areas, as well as on rocky hills.

6. Horsemint

Lemon beebalm
Lemon beebalm | image by Katja Schulz via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Monarda citriodora

Horsemint is known by many names, including lemon beeblam. It is a winter annual that produces aromatic tuft-like flower heads that are pink to lavender in color. These blooms appear on elongated stems that also have leaf bracts.

When you crush or rub the leaves, it will release a lemon or citrus scent. This wildflower attracts bees and butterflies and thrives in meadows, pastures, hillsides, prairies, and even on slopes.

7. Mexican Hat

Mexican hat
Mexican hat | image by Tiger Lily via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Ratibida columnifera

The Mexican Hat is a perennial herb that produces leafless stalks that are topped with 3 to 7 flower heads. These flowers are yellow and reddish brown and have a sombrero-shape. The plant can grow up to 3 feet tall and blooms from May to October. It is found in pastures, plains, meadows, and prairies, as well as along roadsides.

8. Drummond Phlox

Drummond phlox
Drummond phlox | image by Malcolm Manners via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Phlox drummondii

The Drummond Phlox is a bit taller than other phlox species, and can reach 20 inches tall. It has pink, red, peach, lavender, or white-colored blooms with a pale center. These flowers have a trumpet-shape, appear in clusters, and typically bloom from March to June. Drummond Phlox is native to Texas and thrives in open wooded areas and grasslands.

9. Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed susan flower
Black-eyed susan flower | image by Seney Natural History Association via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta

While the Black-Eyed Susan isn’t native to Texas, it has been widely naturalized all over the United States and Canada. It produces a sunflower or daisy-like bloom with deep yellow petals and a dark brown center. The native habitat of the Black-Eyed Susan includes meadows, savannas, pastures, plains, prairies, and along roadsides.

10. Blackfoot Daisy

Blackfoot daisy
Blackfoot daisy | image by Desert Rivers Audubon via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Melampodium leucanthum

The Blackfoot Daisy is a busy perennial wildflower with narrow leaves with white blooms that have a yellow center. These blooms have a scent similar to honey and can appear from March to November. Blackfoot daisies are native to Texas and can be found in pastures, meadows, prairies, plains, and savannas.

11. Prairie Verbena

Prairie verbena flowers
Prairie verbena flowers | image by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southwest Region via Flickr

Scientific Name: Glandularia bipinnatifida

The Prairie Verbenas produce rounded clusters of lavender, purple, or pink blooms that sit on top of stems that are covered with divided leaves. It is native to Texas and can bloom from March to October. Prairie Verbenas are most commonly seen in open grassy areas. They thrive in various types of soil as long as it is well-drained.

Places to Find Wildflowers in Texas

Thanks to the Texas Department of Transportation, you can view a slew of wildflowers just by driving along the roads in the state. The TxDOT’s Wildflower Program, which began in 1932, even offers an interactive wildflower website to help you find native wildflowers. 

If bluebonnets are what you want to see, then there is no better location than the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail, which is located in Ennis. This grassy plain is covered with bluebonnets that bloom every spring. Additionally, if you are in the area in April, you can partake in the Bluebonnet Trails Festival, which includes over 40 miles of scenic wildflower routes.

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The Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site is another option for viewing various wildflowers in Texas. This site is home to over 400 wildflower species, including scarlet sage, primrose, and bluebonnets. Or visit the Franklin Mountains State Park to view the Southwestern barrel cactus, Chihuahuan fishhook cactus, and yucca.