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In this article, we are going to talk about the following points:
- What are the best places to visit in Texas ?
- What is the best Texas food ?
- What you should know about the bluebonnet
- Planting bluebonnets
- Bluebonnet symbolism
What are the Best Places to Visit in Texas?
Texas contains hundreds of wonderful places that every tourist should visit. For example, there are a multitude of national parks including Alibates Flint, Quarries National Monument, the Amistad Recreative National Zone, and Big Bend National Park. In many of these areas, you can see the state flower of Texas, which is the bluebonnet.
This flower was adopted by the state as the state flower in 1901, and since, it has been a favorite for people in the Lone Star State. Named for its color, blue, and shape, resembling the bonnet of a lady during the time of its inception as state flower, the bluebonnet is a beautiful bloom that Texans hold close to their hearts.
What is the Best Texas Food?
You can’t talk about Texas without mentioning some of the food that the state is known for. One of them is the pan de campo, which is the official bread. Pecan is the state’s official nut, and grapefruit is the favorite fruit. The sopaipilla is the special pastry and the jalapeño is the official chili. Chili con carne is the official dish, which melds a few of these together, and the sweet onion is the official vegetable. The tortillas and their “salsa” are the official snack of Texas, and finally, the chiltepin is the official Texan pepper. You should not miss many local specialties if you ever visit Texas.
What You Should Know About the Bluebonnet
There are a number of different varieties of the bluebonnet found in Texas, and these gorgeous blue blooms make a gorgeous floral blanket across the plains during the spring season. There are two main species, Lupinus texensis and Lupinus subcarnosis, which are found naturally only in the Lone Star State.
Missionaries throughout Texas used to head out into nature and father the seeds of wild bluebonnets, and then planted these seeds to bring beauty to their monasteries. There is also mention of the bluebonnet in Native American folklore, which pre-dated the time of these monasteries.
The bluebonnet typically begins to blossom in March, but they do not reach their full blooms until April. Throughout Texas, the bluebonnet is often found in fields and you can generally see them growing naturally along the side of the road. In fact, the state even plants bluebonnets along the side of the state’s highways, so as you drive through Texas, you are sure to see them.
Bluebonnets can be planted in Zone 3 through Zone 8, and they grow well in rocky, dry soil, such as you might find along the side of those Texas highways. In fact, they are often found alongside other plants that don’t require a lot of water including the prickly pear cactus, the Indian paintbrush, and the yucca plant.
When you add the bluebonnet to your home garden, you must be careful as to not overwater them. So, it is always a good idea to plant them near other plants that are low-water plants. You also might want to spread a fine gravel layer over the bed as a type of mulch, which helps to keep weeds under control and to preserve moisture.
The bluebonnet prefers full sun. In fact, it requires about 8 to 10 hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive. The soil must also drain well, so these plants won’t do well if planted in clay soil or soil that doesn’t drain efficiently. If you have clay soil in your area, you can still plant the bluebonnet…just make sure that you do it in a container or in a raised bed.
Technically an annual, though it can come back year over year thanks to seeding itself, it is very easy to grow and doesn’t require a lot of care. You can plant the bluebonnet from seeds, or you can buy established plants from nurseries. It is best to plant them early in the spring, and you should see beautiful blooms by April or early May, at the latest.
Each bluebonnet produces a lot of seeds, which can remain dormant for a long time until growing conditions are right. So, don’t be surprised if you just randomly start seeing bluebonnets growing where they have in the past.
The bluebonnet is an unusual flower, and because of this, it has a lot of symbolism and mythology around it. One of these, which is quite well known, is the story of a Native American girl. Called She-Who-Is-Alone, this young girl volunteered to sacrifice her beloved doll to try to save her tribe from drought. She was the only one in the tribe to offer something, even though the Chief begged and pleaded with his people. The Great Spirits appreciated She-Who-Is-Alone’s gift, and the rain quickly came. When it did, the fields became a sea of blue thanks to the bluebonnets which appeared.
The bluebonnet is a symbol of pride for the Lonestar State, too, and the blossoms are commonly used to celebrate various events in Texas. They are also commonly given as gifts, and people often ask for them to be added to bouquets for those who live in Texas.
The bluebonnet is the beautiful state flower of Texas, and it is one that fills Texans with pride. If you know someone in Texas and want to send them flowers, make sure your arrangement includes the bluebonnet.