Texas Wildflowers 2024

It is spring again, and wildflowers are in full display. And after a couple of dry years, this year in Texas wildflowers are particularly happy. Naturally, I’ve taken a few trips to enjoy and photograph the wildflowers. Here are some of the results.

Texas Redbuds seem to be blooming early this year. In early March, I encountered a field of them along the Periphery Trail in Friedrich Wilderness Park near San Antonio. The recent rain had left them looking particularly fresh. Each little drop of water acted as a magnifying glass, revealing the refracted image of the entire tree behind it.

Small flowers on a tree

Micro closeup of redbud tree in bloom with an image of the entire tree refracted in each tiny raindrops

Wildflowers serve as a means to attract pollinators rather than being the plants’ end goal. Here, a swarm of Clouded Sulphur butterflies was busy feeding and pollinating a field of Purple Coneflowers. However, whenever they landed, they would promptly close their wings shut.

A butterfly feeding on a big round flower

What’s the deal with this butterfly that refuses to open its wings while enjoying nectar from the flower? Clouded Sulphur Butterfly, Purple Coneflower, Texas

It took me a while to figure out this bush with yellow flowers, but after a few attempts I think this bush with bright yellow flowers is a Goldenball Leadtree. This Woolly Bear Caterpillar must be an invited guess.

A caterpillar on a ball like flower head

I suppose if you going to have wildflowers, you are going to have caterpillars, Woolly Bear Caterpillar, Goldenball Leadtree, Texas

It may not come as a big surprise that Texas has a huge assortment of cacti. At the right time, they produce quite an astonishing display. This Texas Red Yucca is indigenous to the Chihuahuan Desert region of western Texas and northeastern Mexico.

There were very few open flowers on the stalk of this Yucca. I suppose it might be an adaptation to dry conditions. It’s a Texas Red Yucca, found in the desert region of western Texas and northeastern Mexico.

One of my favorite methods of photographing wildflowers is on a light table. With the light emanating from behind, the details in the flower really stand out. Recently, I stumbled upon a Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus growing just a short distance from my home. One day, a cluster of these cacti burst into a spectacular display of blossoms, only to wilt and disappear entirely the following day—not stolen, but just simply dried up.

A large flower with pink petals

This flower head of Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus was photographed on a light table, Hill Country, Texas

A group of cacti in bloom.

Here’s what a field of Pinkflower Hedgehog Cacti looked like when, one day, it burst into full bloom. The flowers disappeared within a couple of days, and the cacti quietly receded into the background of the Hill Country, Texas.

This False Dayflower is native to Texas. From this angle, it resembles a face with two eyes and a snout.

A flower that looks like a face of an animal with 2 eyes and a snout.

It might be just me, but it looks like this flower resembles a face of an animal, maybe a dog? Of course it only looks like this from this one angle. False Dayflower, Texas

There was a field of Goldeneye Phlox in my backyard and the delicate petals just begged to be photographed on my light table.

A collage of flowers

A collage of Goldeneye Phlox flower heads on a light table, captured in finely detailed close-up macro images.

More from my backyard, Prairie Verbena is one of my wife’s favorites. They seem to keep blooming for several weeks, growing new flower heads as the old ones die off.

Three stems of Prairie Verbena flower heads photographed on a light table

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