Sunday, June 22, 2008

YOU KNOW IT'S HOT IN TEXAS WHEN......


THE BLUEBELLS ARE IN BLOOM!!! And they are really showing off their stuff right now! They are right on time. It is about 100 degrees outside today and dry, dry, dry. If you are reading this from a cooler, wetter climate - please send us some RAIN!

Bluebells (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum) are a native Texas wildflower species. They bloom during the hottest, driest times of the year, typically right in the middle of summer after most of the other wildflowers have gone to seed. They aren't as abundant as they once were due to over-exuberant wildflower fans who just had to have them in their home gardens and dug up too many! They say they don't transplant well so it is best to purchase seeds if you want to try them, or just settle for pictures.

I saw these out in the pastures today and managed to snap a few photos. They are really something to see and will take your breath away as you come up over a hillside. Whole sections of bluish-purple can cover a field! They should not be confused with 'Bluebonnets' (which are also awesome) but which bloom in the spring. BlueBELLS are a much more purple-looking wildflower with a big, papery flower-head and yellowish dot in the center. They don't really look anything like a Bluebonnet and they don't bloom at the same time either.


Central Texas has an ice cream company named after this wildflower. Blue Bell Ice Cream got it's name from this beautiful summer-bloomer! The story goes that the Bluebell was always in bloom during the best months for ice cream sales (hot, dry, hot, dry) and thus they named the company after the wildflower. I must admit Blue Bell Ice Cream is pretty tasty, but it still doesn't compare with this hardiest of the hardy Texas inhabitant!
Yes, I know the video is shaky and the wind was blowing (just turn the volume down and you won't notice!), but you really need to view the live action clip in order to get a sense of just how FAR and WIDE these wildflowers can spread out and cover a field!

video

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