I was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. I still take pride in my culture and heritage. I always share the beauty of Louisiana. It is known for marshy swamplands, good food and alligators. I moved to Texas Hill Country, which is located in central Texas, and expected everything around me to be flat. When I thought of Texas, I thought of cowboys, BBQ, rodeos, and the image of the desert. I was very wrong when we moved to Central Texas! I thought I was in another state. I never knew Texas had hills and a vibe like the coast of California. Before my eyes I saw hills and the most beautiful flowers that bloom around the end of March to the mid of May. I could not believe what I was seeing with my own eyes.
I became very familiar with the state flower of Texas, when our relator asked if I had seen the Bluebonnets on my way into Lago Vista. 1431 is a main highway in Hill Country. I expressed to her I had seen these purple flowers along the roadway. She said, “Well, Jillian, those are the Bluebonnets!” Imagine, Sandy from Spongebob and her accent saying the sentence before this one. WELCOME TO TEXAS!
Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas and are the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland or the cherry blossom to a New Yorker. For Texans, bluebonnets are so much more than just the state flower. History tells two stories.
ARE Y’ALL LISTENING? Great I will begin…….
The first story is a tale of the “Lady in the Blue.” “Back in the mid-1700s, Spain was moving into the Albuquerque area of present-day New Mexico. There was a lot of missionary work going on between the religious leaders of this area – which led to an odd occurrence revolved around a Spanish nun named María de Jesús de Agreda. She was a member of the Poor Clares Order of Franciscan nuns and someone that the Jumano Indians said mysteriously appeared to them in Texas.”
“These Indians claimed to have learned about Christianity from her, especially the symbol of the cross. María de Jesús de Agreda claimed to have miraculously and physically appeared in two places at once – Texas and New Mexico – without ever leaving her convent in Spain”.
The Texas legend of the,“Lady in the Blue” , came about the Jumano Indians, who said that the nun’s spirit left behind something blue and magical in the fields.
“The Indians said that on the morning after her last visit, they awoke to find a field covered with flowers that were deep blue – the color of her cloak,”
The second story states that Texas legislative could not decide on a state flower back in 1901. They were having a hard time to choose between three types of flowers. The Prickly Pear Cactus, the Bluebonnet, or the Cotton boll. A group of women, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America of Texas, called upon an artist to create an image of the Bluebonnet so legislative could see the beauty of the flower. They went as far as putting flowers on all legislatives desk to get a physical image of the beautiful flower. It sure worked! On March 7, 1901, Governor Joseph D. Sayers approved the Bluebonnet to be the state flower of Texas. It still wasn’t over. This debate would go on for seventy more years! Lupinis Subcarnosus grows in one region of Texas. The bill went in front of the Texas House and Senate. They were trying hard to change the smaller species to a larger species. Finally, on March 8, 1971, the Texas Legislature legally recognized six species of the Bluebonnet as the Texas state flower: L. Subcarnosus, L. Texensis, L. Havardii, L. Plattensis, L. Concinnus, and L. Perenis. When you hear someone say everything is bigger in Texas, you can now understand what they mean by this saying.
TxDOT buys and sows about 30,000 pounds of wildflower seed each year. It’s an iconic to take a picture of your family or child in the field of Bluebonnets. Instead of following the yellow brick road, you will follow the Bluebonnet road. I am certainly amazed how beautiful these flowers are when they are in bloom. This Louisiana gal never knew the history behind the Texas state flower and never imagined I would have the privilege to have such beauty within arms reach.
We have a trail in our neighborhood on the Lake. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you will catch me on my golf-kart with my kids riding the beautiful trail. There are several patches of Bluebonnets everywhere for my eyes. I can’t described how entranced I become when I see these flowers. They are like a painting and until you actually experienced them firsthand, you will not understand what I am talking about. So imagine and try your hardest to plan a firsthand trip to witness with your own eyes. I love driving my golf-kart down the trail and taking multiple pictures and admiring their beauty. If you are ever in Central Texas take advantage of the wonderful views of the wildflowers that grow along the highway and appreciate their beauty. I know I do! I never in a million years would have thought I would be one of those natives that schedules that picture every year of the same patches of Bluebonnets with their kid. Yep, I am truly shifting from Cajun to Texan. I am little bit of, “Laissez les boss temps roller!” and now a whole lot of, “Yee Haw! ”