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The History Of Texas Bluebonnets

Plus where to find them around North Texas

It's March and the season to see Texas bluebonnets is almost upon us! Here’s your guide to enjoying Texas’s state flower in bloom.

Generally, depending on the weather, bluebonnets begin to bloom around mid-to-late March and April. So as the weather warms up and spring nears, we're planning our bluebonnet outings now.

What’s the hype over Texas bluebonnets?

Bluebonnets have always played an important role in the land we now call Texas. The Comanche nations refer to the bluebonnet as a gift from the Great Spirit, a symbol of forgiveness and a sign of a fruitful harvest.

Then in 1901, the 27th Texas State Legislature adopted the bluebonnet as the state flower. Bluebonnets became especially prevalent in the 1930s when the Texas Highway Department started a beautification program and sowed bluebonnet seeds along the roads we still drive by today.

Of the five species of Texas bluebonnets, two are native to the state: L. texensis and L. subcarnosus. The first is more commonly known as the Texas Bluebonnet and is most prevalent across central and north Texas. These are the ones you probably see in Collin County!

The flowers, which are known for their unique conical shape and striking periwinkle petals, blossom across Texas fields in late March and throughout April, providing families with ample opportunities for outdoor photoshoots or picturesque nature hikes.

5 spots to enjoy bluebonnets in and around Collin County

Ennis, TX

Ennis  a city about an hour away from Collin County, was designated the Official Bluebonnet City of Texas and the home of the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail by the Texas State Legislature. Every year in April, visitors can drive through over 40 miles of mapped bluebonnet trails. The trails are open to the public throughout the month, but visitors can check back on the City of Ennis website at the end of March for updated information on when the bluebonnets will be most beautiful.

Every year, the city hosts the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival. This year, the festival is from April 8-12. Enjoy live music, food and wine from local vendors and special activities for the kids.

Plano Bluebonnet Trail

Did you know there’s a stunning bluebonnet trail right in Plano? It runs from Central Expressway to Midway Road then continues along Spring Creek Parkway and Chase Oaks Boulevard. Here is a map of the trail, courtesy of the city of Plano website.

Warren Park’s Freedom Meadow

7599 Eldorado Pkwy. Frisco, Texas 75034

Freedom Meadow is a tribute to those who lost their lives of Sept. 11, 2001. The Frisco Fire Department keeps the meadow well watered, which means there will definitely be bluebonnets in bloom come April. In 2019, the city of Frisco incited a controlled burn to kill invasive grasses and promote the growth of bluebonnets and other native wildflowers in the area. 

Because of how lush this location is, there are also plenty of bumblebees and butterflies. More friends to join in the photos!

The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary

1 Nature Pl, McKinney, TX 75069

Located at 1 Nature PI in McKinney, the Heard Museum doesn’t only have everything you would ever want to know about wildlife and natural sciences — it also has bluebonnets. A spokesperson for the Heard Museum said they have a patch of bluebonnets at the front by the main building. However, she noted that, this far north in Texas, it’s harder for bluebonnets to flourish. Because of that, she also recommends checking medians on the highways. To get into the museum, you need to make sure you buy tickets first by clicking here.

Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center

3310 Collins Rd, Denton, TX 76208

This one’s worth a day trip, or at least a few hours. The Heritage Center is home to 2900 acres of hardwood forests and prairies. Which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy not just the bluebonnets, but other native Texas wildflowers as well.

Hike the Wetlands Trail and enjoy the company of waterfowl, herons and beavers. The outer loop of the trails are over 3 miles long – perfect for runners. Dogs are allowed on leash, and the site has restrooms and water fountains. Perfect for a day of family fun.

This article was originally published on March 6, 2023.

Did you know there's a dark side to bluebonnet season in Collin County? Learn more about etiquette and trespassing concerns as you search for that next Instagram spot this bluebonnet season.