Walking Through the Ocean Blue

Reader Contribution by Amanda Stoffels
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Our farm is just outside the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas, near Ennis, and every spring for the past seven years we have been honored with the wonderful state flower blooming across our fields. I love spring and the blooming of the blue bonnets has become the symbol of my spring. So far every year we have had an increase in these flowers and my interest in the origins of the flower and how to cultivate them better has increased.  

I have learned many fun facts about bluebonnets in my investigation. Did you know there are at least four species of bluebonnet that grow in Texas? The bluebonnet got its name from its resemblance of a sun bonnet, but has had many different names over the years. Some of my favorites are buffalo clover and wolf flower. Indian lore called the flower a gift from the Great Spirit!

I would agree that this flower is a great gift to our farm. They attract native bees for pollinating, not to mention the help they offer to the beehive we just added at our farm. Butterflies are also a big fan of the native bluebonnets, and the flower’s fragrance is such a sweet smell while walking through the fields. The biggest plus for me is the beautiful fields of ocean blue waving in the wind. It is a must that I capture the beauty of these flowers with the innocence of my children.

Bluebonnets are very easy to grow in Texas. They are drought resistant and actually like dry soil, which explains why these flowers are spreading across our acres in blue waves. We even have some color varieties that are naturally occurring in patches. One of these colors is pink! Pink bonnets actually have a legend about them that Texas A&M Horticulture site explains. (Check it out here.)

Here are a few resources I checked out while investigating the Texas bluebonnet, maybe you can use them to explore your own native flowers.



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