Each year, The Wildflower Center
honors its namesake and founder with a day
of free admission and special activities planned
to celebrate Mrs. Johnson's environmental legacy
and the legislation that she inspired.
With Lady Bird's influence,
more than 200 environmental laws were enacted
under President Johnson's administration.
Today I'm taking you along to the
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
to see some of my favorite Texas wildflowers.
is the scientific name for evening primrose.
This plant is sometimes known as showy primrose because the
flowers often open in the morning rather than evening.
You might know this little wildflower as a buttercup.
It gets that name from the cup shape petals
and its butter colored pollen.
As a child, this is one of the first wildflowers I knew.
I inherited my love of flowers from my mother.
I fondly remember how she would delight in
sharing these little pink blooms,
put it to our noses to take in the fragrance,
and leave of us with little "butter noses".
Sweet memories of childhood!
The delicate flowers are about 3 inches wide with four petals.
They can range from a dark pink to a pale pink.
Here in Texas we can plant them from seed in the fall, though they
are common along the highways and in open woodlands.
They generally bloom from the middle of March well into July.
Lady Bird Johnson, a former First Lady of the United States,
delighted in this sweet, pink flower.
In her book, WILDFLOWERS ACROSS AMERICA,
Mrs. Johnson said, ". . . evening primrose —
to me one of the most exquisite and feminine of all wildflowers."
At one time the pink evening primrose was chosen for an early
logo for her National Wildflower Center at Austin.
This hardy drought tolerant wildflower is one of the few
evening primroses that blooms during the daytime.
Some of these little "buttercups" also
come in a sunny yellow variety.
The square-bud primrose has a more distinctly square shape
to the petals, and the flowers are a bit smaller
than the pink evening primrose.
Mixed in among the pink and yellow evening primroses
in the planting I photographed are these striking winecups
that are a deep burgundy color.
The cupped petals of the winecup
are deeper than the primrose.
This deep burgundy color is a common
variety to Central Texas.
There is also a white variety.
are in the Mallow Family.
The National Wildflower Center was established in 1982
to protect and preserve the native plants
and natural landscapes of North America.
The Center is one of the leading research
institutions for native plants.
Spectacular displays of color blanket
both garden plots and open areas at the center.
To read more about the National Wildflower Center click here.