Pink evening primrose

Roadside flowers provide beauty and a sense of calm when traveling along our roadways. The pink evening primrose is a familiar roadside wildflower at this time. Most of the dense patches of pink flowers that travelers see along roadways are pink evening primroses.

WILLIAM M. JOHNSON/Courtesy photo

I am betting not every state in these United States puts out a list of every flower that’s blooming in the spring.

Texas does.

I just got official notification from the journalists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife that spring has sprung all over the state and it is represented by hundreds of different kinds of flowers and blooming plants.

I am presuming this report is annual. It divides up our beautiful big state into proper sections and names all the flowers and plants on display in each.

They blame a spectacular show all over the place on the spring rains, which blanketed a big part of Texas. They also say they are expecting more astonishing wildflower displays all the way through May. They also note the National Weather Service shows rain will be tapering to below average in late spring and early summer.

What is more fun than going out and taking pictures with the children, or the pets, in a field of bluebonnets? I have also seen some on Facebook sitting in piles of Indian paintbrush and the combination of the two is beautiful.

In Central Texas, with its rolling hillsides and plateaus, we can see not only the bluebonnets, but Texas start, blue sage, Indian blanket, Mexican hat, prairie fleabane, prairie verbena, old plainsman, golden eye phlox, wine cups, white rain lily, Blackfoot daisy and Lindheimer’s paintbrush, plus a bunch more. I don’t know what a lot of those even look like. They also note the ground flora is draped with widow’s tears, spiderwort, baby blue eyes, Texas milkweed and blue curls.

Who do you suppose thought up all these colorful names?

In the Coastal Texas prairies, barrier islands and the South Texas Sand Sheet we see other interesting things, they say. That’s our section of the state, incidentally.

Included on our beautiful coast are woolly whites, wild indigo, coral bean, Rio Grande greenthread, sand rose gentian, sea lavender, sea rocket and American snoutbean.

The latter doesn’t sound very pretty, but I bet it is.

Moving up to North Texas, we see brown-eyed Susan, winecup, penny royal and evening primrose. (We have lots of that here, though some of us call them buttercups. If you smell one, you will have a buttery nose.)

Also in North Texas are the Texas skeleton plant, larkspur, coneflowers, and lots and lots of green milkweeds.

In Southwest Texas, wildflower displays are increasing from Laredo to Del Rio, they write. Mixed in with many kinds of cacti, guyadan and cenezio and Texas blueweed, camphorweed, paper flower, lemonscent, Texas palo verde and sunflowers.

There are bluebonnets upon bluebonnets. In Lockhart State Park they have pink bluebonnets. The prettiest blue ones are bright blue and called sandy land bluebonnets.

The parks people say to exercise caution when taking wildflower photos on busy roadways. Use your emergency lights and be mindful of wildlife, like nesting birds, venomous snakes and fire ants.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at cgillentine1@sbcglobal.net.

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