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Hey, Wildflower! (Identifying Central Texas wildflowers in our own backyard)

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Central Texas wildflowers are in full bloom! Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be working on identifying all of the different types of plants native to Central Texas. Since the wildflowers are out and looking beautiful, I decided to start here. The kids love it, and I enjoy the time spent studying outside. Stay tuned for more posts about the cool plants we’ll be finding and pressing in the next few weeks. It’s all part of our new organic style of homeschooling and our goal to love learning.  We’re so excited to see and name each one. This is the first time ever our family has gone out to pick flowers with the intent to identify each one! We didn’t have a large variety of flowers on our property, but we were excited to find what we did. It was also an excellent opportunity to snag some long grass for weaving on the loom!

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So, with coffee in hand (for my tired eyes) we headed out early to beat the impending rain. The weatherman says it’s going to rain the entire week, so we’ll work on pressing them in the following days to label, and then some for an Easter craft with the cousins!

Here is what we have an endless supply of in our yard:

Texas Dandelion Texas Dandelion – Pyrrhopappus multicaulis

The kids love that the dandelions stay open in the morning but close when the sun is high in the sky. It’s a new surprise every morning when our green afternoon pastures are speckled with yellow the next day.

wildflowers-014.jpgTexas Vervain – Verbena Halei (and Ella)

These are so pretty and remind me of lavender! I like simple, and these are right up my ally. All of the Texas Vervain we found on our property were purple, but they grow with white flowers as well.

Slender Stem Bitterweed (Hymenoxys scaposa)Slender Stem Bitterweed (Hymenoxys scaposa)

These look so similar to the Texas Dandelions but are much smaller. The girls really like them, and we actually found this one with a bee completely covered in pollen. So much so, he had a hard time flying away! I couldn’t get my camera ready in time to catch it, though.  Hopefully, he made it safely back to his hive!

wildflowers-019.jpgEvening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

Did you know these are not called buttercups?? I didn’t! That’s what I’ve always called them. The kids love putting them up to their noses to see the pollen stick.

Hymenopappus scabiosaeus L'Hér.  Carolina woollywhite, Old Plainsman, Woolly-WhiteCarolina wooly white, Old Plainsman, Woolly-White (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus L’Hér)

This pretty little (well, big) thing goes by many names. I had no idea what this plant was called, and it took the kids and me quite a while to find it online. Most of what we found didn’t have the pink colored blooms like this one. It’s fun to find all the different looking flowers that are actually the same thing!

texaswildflowerpictures.com is the website we used to find what we were looking for. It’s by far the easiest to navigate, and it’s color-coded! While we don’t have the Texas staples like Mexican Hats, Indian Paintbrushes, and Bluebonnets (below are some we have pressed and ready to label) in our yard, we’re excited to have what we do!

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From left to right: Indian Paintbrush, Bluebonnet, Indian Blanket Flower, Brown Eyed Susan

What’s your favorite wildflower?

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