Texas bluebonnet beauty


Azure carpets of Texas bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) on the roadsides are wowing central Texans this spring. I’ve never seen such a good show in my 16 years in Austin. In my own garden, a very small patch in a raised bed brings the show home and elevates them to sniffing range; they have a lovely if subtle scent. Soon these will be joined by sweet-smelling ‘Bath’s Pink’ dianthus, whose blue-green foliage is visible in the background.


After a brief rain shower a couple of days ago, I found the leaves even more entrancing than the blue flowers.


Glistening, perfect orbs of water hung on the furry leaves, ornamenting them like silver Christmas balls.


Defying gravity, water droplets spangle these bluebonnet leaves.


But of course the flowers themselves are delightful. They match my cobalt pots.


In the long view, you can see that my small patch of bluebonnets occupies hardly any real estate in the raised bed. But the diminutive bluebonnet occupies a Texas-sized place in our hearts, and for good reason.

All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

24 Responses

  1. Cyndy says:

    Oh how we envy your bluebonnets up North – love the dewy leaves!

  2. Les says:

    Perhaps your brush with a more severe winter has spurred them out of flower and seed producing complacency. I love the beads of water on the foliage.

  3. Curtis says:

    I just returned to Boston from a brief visit to Ft. Worth. Over the course of 3 day the number of roadside bluebonnets exploded from 1 or 2 to massive drifts, and I forgot my camera. Wildflower season in Texas is fantastic!

    Some years it is, Curtis, and I’m glad you got to see a good season. Last year was a dud. But this year is more than making up for it. —Pam

  4. Janet says:

    I love the blue carpet of blooms in the spring in Central Texas. Your bluebonnets really look great with the blue containers — great color echo.
    I have a photo similar to yours of the raindrops on my Edgeworthia, I love how the droplets bead up. Your photos are great.

  5. Eric says:

    I agree, there are SO many Bluebonnets all over Central Texas this year. I’ve been getting calls from all my previous clients with kids for the stereotypical “child in bluebonnet” picture that every texas family wants. I’ve found a great patch of private land not to far from my house with a whole field of them that I use, with permission, of course. I’m always so worried when I see families with small kids parked on the side of the freeway taking pictures.

  6. Tatyana says:

    Yes, they are perfect match for the blue pots! Nice pictures, Pam!

  7. kerri says:

    The color of those bluebonnets is so beautiful and yes, the perfect match for your lovely blue pots. I can see why you’d be entranced by the beaded water droplets on the leaves. Nature is full of wonders!
    Happy spring, Pam!

  8. Gail says:

    They are lovely Pam…and the little water droplets are jewels on the leaves. gail

  9. Shannon, another Austin gardener says:

    Pam, thanks for more great photos. There are bluebonnets in completely unexpected places this year. The show is rather amazing. Do they go dormant when it’s dry? Other than the ridiculous oak pollen this is a beautiful time of the year here in Central Texas.

    Bluebonnets die back in summer. Then little green rosettes of seedlings appear in winter. When it’s been dry all winter, the spring show is poor, as it was last year and the year before that. But bluebonnet seeds can lie dormant for a long time, awaiting rainfall and better conditions. So even though there weren’t a lot of bluebonnets last year to set seed for this year, older seeds must have been there, waiting for rain, to come up in such abundance. —Pam

  10. Diana says:

    Pam – love the glistening droplets and the flowers with the backdrop of the pots. It’s a great year for bluebonnets. Can’t wait to see the Wildflower Center on Friday @ the sale.

  11. Jenny says:

    The bluebonnets are spectacular this year. I think you are right just to have a few as too many is too much in the garden. Keep them out there in the fields and roadsides. As to smell- I have never noticed one but then someone yesterday said my Lady Banks has a fragrance and I have never smelt it. The yellow one is not supposed to. Dew on those leaves is lovely.

    I don’t recall a fragrance on the Lady Banks either, Jenny. But the bluebonnet does have one, though it’s subtle. —Pam

  12. Darla says:

    Love that blue! Your photos are outstanding here.

  13. Nancy Bond says:

    Your bluebonnets are so pretty, and I adore your blue pots! I still maintain that nothing makes bloom colour pop like a blue pot. :) Your raindropped foliage photos are wonderful.

  14. The pattern of the water droplets is entrancing. I hope the bluebonnet show helps to make up for the awful winter.

    It’s all but forgotten, MMD. —Pam

  15. You get such amazing photos. The water droplets, on the leaves are just beautiful.

    I planted seeds, last fall, in the meadow behind my neighbor’s. Four or five came up. One is beginning to bloom. More seeds will go down this fall.

  16. Wow, what a beautifully vivid blue lupine! Stunning color!

  17. I love your bluebonnets. Our lupines are light purple, not blue. I would love to see some blue ones here :-)

  18. sandy says:

    On Sunday my husband and I were walking around a large field of bluebonnets at Brushy Creek Park and the fragrance was very strong–probably due to the warm humid air.

  19. melanie says:

    What a pretty colour the Texas blue bonnet is. We have lupines here as well but they are a paler blue colour.

  20. RBell says:

    Really liked the “Defying gravity” shot.

  21. Very cool…. love those water shots and you have some fabuluos ones.

  22. That’s what I call blue! Wowza.

  23. Love the bluebonnets. Who wouldn’t? What a joy they are in our hearts too, those of us who came to Austin. Your photos of the water droplets are striking.~~Dee

  24. Pamie G. says:

    Pam — I just got my book in the mail yesterday. I spent last night and this morning just looking and reading it from cover to cover, so awesome! I have never been able to keep succulents primarily because I water too much. I have much to learn but having this book as a guide will sure give me a good start! Thanks for the great recommendation! Pamie G.

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