Wildflower season a bit slow in warming up after unusual winter weather

Bluebonnet ‘selfie’ opportunities a bit disappointing for some

The winter weather and current drought conditions are causing some delays in the wildflower blooms. At least one couple who planned a vacation around the season is a bit disappointed.

SAN ANTONIO – While life for them in the Big Apple normally can be a bit hectic, the pandemic has left Anne Dyas-Little and her husband, Jeremy Little, with a bit of free time on their hands.

The couple decided to use this time while their jobs are shut down to visit family in San Antonio and take in bluebonnet season.

“I hadn’t seen bluebonnets in about 19 years, since moving to New York. So I really wanted to come see them,” said Dyas-Little, who grew up in San Antonio. “It’s such a tradition to take photos with your kids and the bluebonnets.”

The Little family came to San Antonio hoping for some photos with the famous flowers. They found bluebonnets have been hard to come by. (KSAT 12 News)

The couple are parents of an 18-month-old daughter, Corrie.

Will there be bluebonnets this year? How the February winter storm affected Texas wildflower season

They were hoping to make lasting memories, snapping some family photos among the flowers.

“They’re beautiful,” said Jeremy Little. “We’ve got lots of pictures of them around the house, but seeing them--I’m ready to see the field filled with them.”

However, it seems nature had other plans.

The usually-plentiful famous Texas flowers, so far, are hard to come by.

“Just a patch here and there,” Dyas-Little said.

Wildflower season is off to a slow start, and the reason may be more than just a wild winter.

Wildflowers are slowly starting to bloom at the San Antonio Botanical Garden and elsewhere. (KSAT 12 News)

“They are a little late. The weather did push them behind a little bit, but also we can contribute that to how dry we are,” said Scott Litchke, associate director of grounds and conservatories for the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

VIEW: KSAT12′s wildflower photo gallery

Litchke says although the unusual ice and snow we have may seem like they would be to blame, the lack of rain is the real culprit.

“The most crucial time for Texas wildflowers is really September, October, November. That ‘s when they set their seed and they begin to germinate,” he said. “We had a blanket of snow which actually helped insulate the plants that were germinating.”

The winter weather took a toll on palm and citrus trees at the San Antonio Botanical Garden and elsewhere. However, experts say the delay with wildflowers is more due to drought conditions. (KSAT 12 News)

The frosty weather did take a toll on some trees, though, including citrus and palm, he said.

Moutain laurel and Mexican Plum are not expected to bloom at all, Litchke said.

The wildflower season will just call for a bit more patience this year, he said, but it still should be worth the wait.

“Don’t give up on the bluebonnets. They’re a little behind but they’re coming,” he said.

The Littles, meanwhile, decided to get their flower fix by making due with the current bluebonnet situation.

“They’re there and it’ll scratch the itch for now,” said Dyas-Little.


About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Tim has been a photojournalist and video editor at KSAT since 1998. He came to San Antonio from Lubbock, where he worked in TV and earned his bachelor's degree in Electronic Media and Communication from Texas Tech University. Tim has won a handful of awards and has earned a master's in Strategic Communication and Innovation from Tech as well.