Spring in Texas is often associated with the beautiful wildflowers found along highways, waterways, and meadows across the state. Here are a few of our favorite Texas wildflowers, trees, and plants that you can expect to see this spring at Jones Park.
• Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) – Though this beautiful flower blooms year-round, early spring is when it shines best and is plentiful. Its bright red flower attracts natural pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds. Look for autumn sage around the Nature Center and near the trails at Jones Park.
• Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus) – This shrub fills nearly every area of the park. It’s commonly seen along the nature trails and flower beds surrounding the Nature Center. Hummingbirds are usually drawn to it when it blooms in late spring, from May to October.
• Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) – As the official state flower of Texas, this wildflower is a favorite of many who call Texas home. Its long stalk peppered with bright blue flowers is distinctly native to the state and can also be found in shades of purple or pink. Though not truly native to this region, bluebonnets grow at Jones Park in March, thanks to staff seeding the area.
• Upright Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida columnifera) – The coneflower is one of the more prolific wildflowers found at Jones Park. It won’t bloom until late May and into the summer, but its orange and yellow flowers serve as an attraction for bees and other pollinators.
• Texas Lantana (Lantana urticoides) – This common species is frequently spotted growing wild in southeast Texas. When it blooms in late April or early May, it attracts many pollinators on the hunt for nectar. Look for this flower in the dry soil or sandy areas in the park.
• Eastern Redbud Tree (Cercis canadensis) – This gorgeous tree is one of the first to bloom, heralding the beginning of spring in February and March. The flowers bloom a bright red to fuchsia and bring color to the area in which it grows. Those who visit Jones Park in the spring are sure to spot this showy tree along the way.
For more information on these wildflowers and other plants found at Jones Park, explore the JJP Plant Search database at www.hcp4.net/parks/jjp/plantsearch/.
Plant and wildflower contributions from assistant director Matthew Abernathy.