Beautiful wildflowers are popping up across the state from March through May. And while we all love our bluebonnets, other types of wildflowers keep the landscapes colorful as well, including Indian paintbrushes, Mexican hats, pink evening primrose, horsemint, and firewheels (also known as Indian blankets).
Throughout the spring, communities across Texas celebrate wildflower season with festivals, walking trails, workshops, and tours. Here, we’ve put together a list of events where you can see and celebrate wildflower blooming season.
For the entire month of April, the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail shines with more than 40 miles of mapped bluebonnet drives. In 1997, Ennis, situated between Waco and Dallas-Fort Worth, was designated by the state legislature as the home of the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail and the Official Bluebonnet City of Texas, and thousands of visitors trek these trails—the oldest known in the state—each year to see bluebonnets.
From April 14-16, the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival takes place with wildflower walks, live music, arts and crafts vendors, delicious food, wine tastings, and fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights.
Known as the official Botanic Garden of Texas, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center sits on almost 300 acres in far South Austin and features about 900 species of Texas native plants, 9 acres of cultivated gardens, and more than 1,800 insect species, 15 mammal species, and 149 bird species. From March 21 through May 9, the center hosts Tuesday Twilights, where extended hours are celebrated with live music, food trucks, happy hours, artists, and wildflower viewing. The center also hosts the Spring Native Plant Sale from March 24 through May 7, where you can purchase perennial and annual flowers, Texas natives, shrubs and trees, grasses, and vines. (While there, check out Bruce Munro’s Field of Light art installation, which includes 28,000 stemmed orbs lighting up 16 acres to create a glowing, Alice in Wonderland-esque experience.)
A working wildflower farm about 8 miles from the heart of Fredericksburg by way of US 290, Wildseed Farms features 200 acres, a vineyard, a walking trail, and gardens. From April 2-17, the farm’s Wildflower Celebration gives a nod to the butterfly gardens, hummingbird feeders, and shopping opportunities. Grab a drink and some food at the Brewbonnet, or enjoy a glass of wine in the on-site tasting room. The nursery here is one of the largest in the Hill Country, so you’re sure to find a plant or two for your own backyard oasis.
Brenham in East-Central Texas has some of the best wildflower sightings in Texas, and their annual Wildflower Watch program includes an updated map with places to see the best blooms across the county. Make your way from downtown Brenham to Chappell Hill, Independence, Washington-on-the-Brazos, and Burton. From April 15-16, the Official State of Texas Bluebonnet Festival in Chappell Hill brings in thousands from across Texas for live music, hundreds of handpicked arts and crafts vendors, and family-friendly activities.
As the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas,” you’d expect to find these blooms all over this Hill Country haven. And on April 7-9, the town welcomes visitors to its 40th annual Bluebonnet Festival. Deemed “The Most Exciting Small-Town Festival in Texas,” this event lives up to it with a carnival, all-you-can-eat pancakes breakfast, the Highland Lakes Birding and Wildflower Show, live music, a grand parade and a pet parade, and several other festivities. Oh, there’s also the fields of bluebonnets you don’t want to miss.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is a self-described “living museum” of native and imported plants, including 35 endangered and rare plant species. Here, visitors love strolling the Texas Native Trail, where three ecological regions (Hill Country, Piney Woods, and South Texas Plains) are represented, plus there is birdwatching and exploring the numerous gardens. On April 15, the Wild About Wildflowers Family Workshop allows adults and kids to make wildflower seed balls, identify flowers, and hike through the trails to spot Texas native plants.
Also in San Antonio at Government Canyon State Natural Area, the Wildflower Walk on April 16 lets you hunt for Texas wildflowers and other native plants. The hike is moderately intense, and reservations are required.
From April 28-30, the Red Poppy Festival takes over this suburb of Austin, which became known for its poppy fields after World War I, when Henry Purl Compton, who served in the American Expeditionary Forces, sent seeds from Europe to his mother, who planted them at her home, now on East Seventh Street. From there, the seeds were spread by birds, bees, and humans down the river and throughout Old Town Georgetown. In 1990, Georgetown was officially designated the “Red Poppy Capital of Texas,” and the Red Poppy Festival celebrates with live music, a parade and pet parade, artisan market, car show, and the Red Poppy Tour through town.
Various Hill Country Locations
Scattered from town to town across the Hill Country, you’ll find numerous wineries that are a part of the Texas Wine Trail. From March 27-April 21, the Wine and Wildflower Journey is a self-guided tour that allows event passport holders to sip their way through more than 40 Hill Country wineries. There is a limit to four winery tastings per day, to promote responsible drinking. It also provides an opportunity to view wildflowers along scenic roads and highways, including US 290, US 281, and State Highway 16.
Avinger, Hughes Springs, Linden
In the East Texas towns of Avinger, Hughes Springs, and Linden, wildflowers take center stage during the Wildflower Trails of Texas Festival from April 28-29. The trail forms a triangle from state highways 49, 155, and 11 between the three towns, and you can spot beautiful blooms in the area for much of the spring season. During festival weekend, each town has its own celebrations that offer art and photography shows, fishing, animal education, a children’s wildflower mural, wildflower seed ball making, food trucks, and raffle prizes. On April 29 in Linden, there’s also the Wildflower Trails 5K along with other festivities.