Wildflower Wheel Identifies Texas Wildflowers

By Diane Bowen, Ag Publications, Texas A&M University

With the wildflower season approaching, nature lovers can learn more about Texas’ abundant roadside beauties with a new identification wheel, “Texas Wildflowers.”

The wheel was created to help people identify the wildflowers they see along the highways each year. Produced by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the wheel features photographs of 16 of the state’s most common wildflowers: black-eyed Susan, bluebonnet, coreopsis, Drummond phlox, gayfeather, Indian blaket, Indian paintbrush, lemon mint, Maximillan sunflowers, mealy cup sage, Mexican hat, pink evening primrose, verbena, bluebell, standing cypress and wine cup.

To help gardeners trying to grow wildflowers, the wheel features both the blossom and the seedling for each species.

“Texas has a worldwide reputation for its wildflowers,” said Doug Welsh, Extension horticulturist.”The wildflower wheel will help Texans, new and old, identify and grow these Lone Star natives.” The wheels detail information about wildflowers, such as the fact that Texas has no law that specifically makes it illegal to pick wildflowers. But it is illegal to trespass on private property or to damage government property (including road rights-of-way). Motorists should not dig up clumps of flowers or drive over them so that others can enjoy them also.

To beautify roadsides, the Texas Department of Transportation sows more than 60,000 pounds of wildflower seeds along highways each fall.

In the past, wildflowers have been used for medicinal purposes: Native Americans made tea from plains coreopsis to strengthen their blood. Gayfeather is also called snakeroot because part of it was once used to treat snakebites. Pioneers brewed a cough medicine from lemon mint. A number of Texas wildflowers are endangered species. One of them, the Navasota ladies’-tresses, grows only in Grimes County.

The wheel also provides tips for growing wildflowers, including:

The new wheel can be viewed on the Web at:

Wildflower Wheel

(click on 'Search' and type in 'Wildflower Wheel', click on 'Find', then select the first item listed: "Texas Wildflower Wheel".)

A wheel costs $10.95 and can be ordered at:

Ordering information

For credit card orders, by call toll-free (888) 900-2577.

This article appeared in the March 2001 on-line issue of Horticulture Update, edited by Dr. Douglas F. Welsh, and produced by Extension Horticulture, Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas.

Web page construction by Jill Stavenhagen.