Wildflowers in The Woodlands: How to identify common species in south Montgomery County

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FIREWHEEL (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
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GOLDEN GROUNDSEL (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
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(Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
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INDIAN PAINTBRUSH (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
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TEXAS YELLOWSTAR (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
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ANTELOPE HORNS MILKWEED (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
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TEXAS BLUEBONNETS (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
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GOLDENEYE PHLOX (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
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PINK EVENING PRIMROSE (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
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PLAINS COREOPSIS (Courtesy Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)
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HORSEMINT (Courtesy Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)
Despite a slow start to wildflower season with February’s Winter Storm Uri freezing the region, The Woodlands area’s native flowers should still provide some color to the landscape through the end of spring, according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

“Most native perennial or biennial plants such as bluebonnets fared just fine under the insulated snow and ice,” TPWD botanist Jason Singhurst said in a news release.

Michael Potter, the county horticulture agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Montgomery County, said in late April a warm snap pushed many wildflowers to their peak, but blooming season should continue through May.

“Right after that freeze it heated up the soil, which helped a lot, but it kind of slowed them down,” he said.

Other wildflowers such as verbenas may persist until the fall if weather conditions permit, he said.


The Woodlands is home to hundreds of wildflower species that can be found in open fields, along local roads and highways, and at community parks and nature preserves. Here are some of the most prominent that can be found in the area.

Goldeneye phlox

Visual: small purple or pink flower with five petals and a hollow, white-to-yellow center

Fun fact: Phlox is pronounced “flocks."

Time active: February-May

Golden groundsel

Visual: small flowers with spread-out, yellow petals and an orange pollen disc at the center

Fun fact: It is an evergreen plant that blooms each spring.

Time active: February-June

Pink evening primrose

Visual: a light pink or white flower with a yellow center and four distinct petals

Fun fact: Evening primroses typically open flowers in the evenings.

Time active: February-June

Texas bluebonnets

Visual: a group of purple/blue and white petals at the top of a thin stem

Fun fact: It is the official state flower of Texas.

Time active: March-May

Indian paintbrush

Visual: fanned top with orange/red leaves under small, white flowers

Fun fact: Varieties can vary in color, including shades of yellow.

Time active: March-May

Texas yellowstar

Visual: a small, star-shaped flower with yellow, pointed petals

Fun fact: Flower stars can have five, six or three petals.

Time active: March-May

Antelope horns milkweed

Visual: cluster of small green, white and purple flowers atop a stem

Fun fact: Milkweed is the food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars.

Time active: March-October

Horsemint

Visual: white, pink or purple flowers in bunches atop the stem

Fun fact: It can stay in bloom through the summer if adequate rain is present.

Time active: April-June

Plains coreopsis

Visual: round flower head with yellow petals and a red ring at the center

Fun fact: It can be found across much of the United States.

Time active: April-June

Firewheel

Visual: round flower with yellow-tipped red petals

Fun fact: They are also known as Indian blankets.

Time active: April-June

Common sunflowers

Visual: large, round yellow flowers with a dark brown seeded center atop a tall stem

Fun fact: The seeds are edible and can be used to make oils.

Time active: July-October
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


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