A Walk in Fern Bluff Park
March 15, 2001 

Page 2- 2001's First Bluebonnets

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

Additional bluebonnet blooms should become visible throughout the park in the next few days. This plant's distinctive leaf can already be seen in a number of places.

At least seven species of bluebonnets are found in the United States, and three of these are found in Texas. Do you know what species was blooming in Fern Bluff Park today? It is, of course, the National Flower of Texas, the Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis). This species was made the Texas state flower in 1901, but all the other bluebonnet species were elevated to that status in 1971 

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On the way to Temple last week my eye spotted several expanses of bluebonnets on the grassy shoulders of the Interstate Highway.  It was inevitable that these flowers would soon start blooming in Fern Bluff Park. Consequently, it was not surprising to be greeted by a few splashes of blue and white calico when I began this walk in the park today. Below is a close-up of the flower head of the bluebonnet  pictured at left. Only one small patch was blooming this morning, in the southeast sector near the border with Fern Bluff Elementary. Look where  the park joins with the recreation fields, near the stands of cactus. They won't be hard to spot.

L. texensis is characterized by the relatively sharp points on its leaf tips (the Big Bend Lupine has sharp points too, but the leaves are pubescent while those of L. texensis are relatively smooth), the shallowly cupped wing petals (the "nose" on the individual flowers) that are elongated and tightly folded, like hands in prayer, and the white tips on the undeveloped terminal flowers (in the upper left portion of the photograph). The banner petal of each flower has a pale yellow "eye" in its center (see the flower in the lower left of the photo), which reddens as it ages (the lower right flower).

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

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