The annual wildflower photo is a Texas tradition. We all know the drill: Put on your fancy duds, pack a picnic, and cruise the backroads. That’s what the Caldwell family of Thornton did in April 1954, when Truman Caldwell snapped this lovely shot in a field of bluebonnets near Marlin. Minetta Caldwell Smith, who was 7 at the time and now lives in Richardson, shared this 65-year-old photo of herself and her mother, Loretta Caldwell, in matching dresses. Most folks know the bluebonnet is the state flower. But many don’t realize that when the Texas Legislature adopted it in 1901, there were other contenders, including the cotton boll and prickly pear. For a gallery of vintage wildflower photos, visit

Know of any fascinating vintage Texas photographs? Send copies or ideas to [email protected].

From the March 2020 issue

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