San Marcos - Buda - Kyle Edition | March 2020

INSIDE INFORMATION

COMPILED BY NICHOLAS CICALE

CENTRAL TEXAS

Johnson Wildower Center, spring ower blooms typically last into May but can sustain through June. A colder winter can push back blooming, while spring rain can help extend the season into the summer. DeLong-Amaya said that most wildowers that pop up in the spring begin to grow in the fall. Some fall and winter rain, combined with days of good sunshine, can lead to a full spring display of owers. Those interested in spreading wildower seeds on their properties should seed in the early fall for a spring

Wildowers can also grow in areas that have been disturbed—impacted by wildre or prescribed burns, drought, over-grazing or excavation. “Wildowers will take advantage of disturbed sites,” DeLong-Amaya said. “If there is soil exposed, fast-growing plants like weeds and wildowers will come in.” Native owering trees, such as redbuds, Mexican plums and laurels, also show spring colors in Central Texas, she said.

bloom, she said. Other varieties also bloom in late summer and the fall, which could be seeded in the spring. “It’s always nice to promote native owers, because it helps promote habitat and food for native species, and they are still beautiful to look at,” DeLong-Amaya said. Wildowers benet native pollinators, such as bees, butteries, birds and beetles. They can also provide shelter for animals and insects and are a source of food for some native animals, she said.

Each year beginning in late February and early March in Central Texas, a variety of native wildowers begin to bloom with thousands of species active across the state. Wildowers can be found in open elds, along local roads and highways, and at local parks. While wildowers are present every spring, the amount of blooms and length that they stay vibrant can vary each year depending on weather. According to Andrea DeLong-Amaya, the director of horticulture at South Austin’s Lady Bird

GOLDENEYE PHLOX Visual: small purple or pink ower with ve petals and a hollow, white-to-yellow center Fun fact: phlox is pronounced “ocks” Time active INDIAN PAINTBRUSH Visual: fanned top with orange/ red leaves under small white owers Fun fact: varieties can vary in color including shades of yellow Time active HORSEMINT Visual: white, pink or purple owers in bunches atop the stem Fun fact: can stay in bloom through the summer if adequate rain is present Time active

TEXAS YELLOWSTAR Visual: a small, star-shaped ower with yellow, pointed petals Fun fact: ower stars can have ve, six or three petals Time active PLAINS COREOPSIS Visual: round ower head with yellow petals and a red ring at the center Fun fact: can be found across much of the United States Time active GOLDEN GROUNDSEL Visual: small owers with spread- out, yellow petals and an orange pollen disc at the center Fun fact: an evergreen plant that blooms each spring Time active

TEXAS BLUEBONNETS Visual: a group of purple/blue and white petals at the top of a thin stem Fun fact: the ocial state ower of Texas Time active

NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

ANTELOPE HORNS MILKWEED Visual: cluster of small green, white and purple owers atop a stem Fun fact: milkweed is the food source for monarch buttery

caterpillars Time active

COURTESY LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER

NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COMMON SUNFLOWER Visual: large, round yellow owers with a dark brown seeded center atop a tall stem Fun fact: seeds are edible and can be used to make oils Time active

NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FLOWERING TREES A number of native trees, including the Mexican plum and Texas redbud, bloom during the spring in Central Texas. Trees that go bare in the fall and winter produce owers in early spring, which are replaced by leaves later in the season. Flowers can attract pollinators, while nectar and fruits produced can be a food source for native animals.

MEXICAN PLUM Visual: a tree with clusters of white owers and oval-shaped leaves Fun fact: produces dark-purple fruit that ripen in the summer Time active

TEXAS REDBUD Visual: a 15- to 20-foot-tall tree with small pink owers Fun fact: rounder, more glossy leaves than other redbud species Time active

COURTESY LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER

COURTESY LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER

SOURCES: LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER, TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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SAN MARCOS  BUDA  KYLE EDITION • MARCH 2020

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