Friday, March 2, 2012

Flower of the Week: the Bluebonnet

Texas Bluebonnet

Lupinus texensis

"The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland." 
- historian Jack McGuire

image via Flickr

In honor of Texas Independence Day, we're posting our next Flower of the Week a day early. The Bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas and a fierce source of pride for Lone Star State natives. Because the bluebonnet is an official symbol of our state (which is the only place in the world that two of the five official state bluebonnets grow naturally), it is illegal to pick these flowers where they grow wild in fields and cover the sides of our roads in a riot of vivid blue hues. 

Last week we saw bluebonnets start to pop up along the highways, a sure sign that spring is here to stay, and remembered the American Indian folk tale of how bluebonnets came to be: A young Comanche girl sacrifices her most beloved doll to the gods in a prayer for much-needed rain to save her people from a drought, and her sacrifice is answered with a beautiful gift. Read the tale in full here.

Happy 176th Birthday, Texas! 

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