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Plan a Trip to Brenham Texas »Wildflower Watch
We have many people ask, "When's the best time for bluebonnets?" or "Where's the best spot to take pictures?" Well, this is the spot to be checking for that very information! Come here for the latest updates on locations, activity, and more regarding all things wildflowers!
Go to our Wildflower Archives to read our Wildflower Blogs from 2012 and before!
Other websites you might find helpful:
Read our Wildflower DOs & DON'Ts
We know you want to take pictures in the fields lined with colorful flowers, but we want you to be safe. Please follow these guidelines for keeping your family safe during this next season...
- Bring that camera! Washington County has a photo contest every year and the winning entry is made into a postcard with the photographer’s photo credit.
- It is easy to gaze off the road when you are driving to look for those patches of bluebonnets. Select a designated watcher in the car and have the driver keep his/her eyes on the road! Also, when you pull off to see a patch of wildflowers, be very careful of the cars driving past you and keep your eye on the occupants in your automobile. It is easy to get carried away with getting the best camera shot but be sure you don’t wander off into traffic while looking through the viewfinder!
- Keep your eye on small children. We all know how quickly they can dart between cars or out in the street. When you are enjoying or photographing the wildflowers, keep safety in mind for everyone in your party.
- Don’t touch, pet or bother the livestock! This includes horses, cows, goats, sheep, etc. It’s neat when you pull over to a bluebonnet patch and there are wonderful animals on the other side of the fence. All of these animals may bite out of aggression, fear or the prospect of food they think you have! Protect yourself and your children by keeping a safe distance. Also, before you sit in a patch of bluebonnets, check the area where you will be sitting - a mound of ants or a surprised snake will not make a pretty picture.
- Stay off private property. If there is a fence, that is a good indication it is private property. If it is an unfenced field off the road right-of-way, there is still a good chance it is private property. Instead of trespassing, make sure it is permissible when you wander through the bluebonnets. (Many of our attractions feature bluebonnet patches that are good, safe areas for picture taking.)
- Plan ahead! Request a Visitor Guide or call 1-888-BRENHAM. There is a lot to do in Washington County and you will find lodging, restaurants, attractions, shopping, etc. to add to your bluebonnet trip.
2013 Bluebonnet & Wildflower Watch
As you find flowers (all wildflowers, not just bluebonnets!), please share the news with us! We can't be everywhere, so we rely on your help to spread the word. We are on Facebook and welcome updates to our Wall. You can also share with us via Twitter, email, phone (888-BRENHAM), or in person (115 West Main St, Downtown Brenham)! And if you take some great pictures, share them with us in our Flickr group or on our Facebook wall to show others!
The map to the right is a map of our county. It shows the "Bluebonnet Trail" by the blue dotted line, which indicates the popular roads flowers are often found along. Keep in mind, these are the main roads - there are many roads that branch off of these that are not on this map. We encourage you to get out there and explore the county, just be mindful of private property!
Click the map to get a larger image so you can see where the flowers are being found this season. We will update this as often as we can and will mark in either BLUE, RED, or YELLOW markings on the map to show various flowers. Resize the pop up window as necessary to see the map as big as you need. Also, if you're a repeat visitor, you may need to "refresh" this page to get the most recent map.
May 13, 2013: There are still a lot of indian blanket out there - Hwy 290, FM 390, Hwy 36, FM 1155 and more. White prickly poppies, either mexican hat or clasping-leaf cornflower (or both!), thistle, ragweed, verbena, gayfeather and rosita are also very prevalent. I've spotted a few bluebonnets here and there, but they are few and far between.
May 2, 2013: Lots and Lots and Lots of indian blanket (firewheels) are spread about. Lots! And there are also rain lillies, lots of varieties of yellows, evening primrose, indian paintbrush, and many others. ~Jenny :-)
Apr 29, 2013: There are STILL bluebonnets! They are sprinkled in nicely with all the other beautiful wildflowers we have - lots of indian paintbrush, indian blanket, coreopsis, evening primrose, verbena, prickly poppies, and a whole lot more! It seems like every road I drive on now has a variety of flowers to "oooh" and "aaaah" over. It really is a beautiful time of year ot visit.
As for the actual fields of bluebonnets, they are definitely fading now. The fields on Hwy 290 East of Chappell Hill are nearly no more. One side is still good enough, but the other is not. The field behind La Quinta is still there, but fading.
FM 2621 is a really beautiful road to travel on right now - so many different colors, including bluebonnets, as well as FM 390. Hwy 290 East has replaced bluebonnets with lots of indian blanket and evening primrose. Oh, and winecups are plentiful, too! Like I said, it seems like every road has some kind of beautiful flower along it. ~ Jenny :-)
Apr 23, 2013:
Hwy 36 South has quite a lot of indian paintbrush, indian blanket, and evening primrose in the median between Brenham's city limits and the Washington County border. Very pretty! Bluebonnets were found, among other flowers, along Old Independence Road just this past weekend. The fields on Hwy 290 East are starting to fade a bit - the field on the right, just a couple of miles east of Chappell Hill, is now a bit overgrown and worn, but the field on the left is still quite pretty.
I found a really pretty field of evening primrose mixed with purple verbena over the weekend. Problem is, I can't remember if I was on Emshoff Rd or New Wehdem Rd when I ran across it! :-) Either way, I was west of Hwy 36 South, making my way from Randle Hill Rd back to Hwy 36, somewhere near St James Lutheran Church.
I suggest blazing your own trail - get out there and explore the roads you've never been on - we have maps to help you find your way back!!! ~ Jenny :-)
Apr 18, 2013: Lots of Color!
I braved the rain this morning so I could get a current look at what's in the northern part of Washington County... I found lots of different colors! There were more bluebonnets than previously seen, but more than that there was lots of Indian Paintbrush, Coreopsis, Evening Primrose, Indian Blanket, Broomweed, White Prickly Poppies, Texas Thistle, Sleepy Daisy, Hairy Spiderwort, Verbena (maybe) and more! Here's a breakdown of my drive...
FM 50 - lots of paintbrush, primrose, some indian blanket, few bluebonnets
FM 2621 - mix of everything, including bluebonnets
FM 390 - mix of everything, few bluebonnets
Old Baylor Park - mix of everything, few bluebonnets
FM 390 - indian paintbrush, indian blanket, yellows
FM 2679 - indian paintbrush, others
Hwy 290 West back to Brenham - mix of everything, including bluebonnets
As for the status on thebluebonnets, from what I saw this morning they are still out there but I'd say we've hit our peak and those that actually fully bloomed are going to start turning soon. There are a lot of bluebonnets in fields out there that have yet to fully develop. I keep hoping they'll grow bigger, but I'm not sure it's going to happen. I went to the spots in town and only found the field behind La Quinta to still be a viable source for pictures. Those along Hwy 290 east of Chappell Hill are also still good. But like I said, they've been out for a while now so they will probably start to turn soon.
If you want to see wildflowers, come see us!!! We definitely have a selection of pretty flowers to see. ~ Jenny :-)
Apr 17, 2013:
Reports of various wildflowers (other than bluebonnets) have been seen on FM 390 between Independence and William Penn (east). Evening Primrose, Indian Blanket, Coreopsis, Indian Paintbrush and probably more! Also along Hwy 36 North between Brenham city limit and Pledger Rd.
The bluebonnets behind the La Quinta in Brenham are hanging in there, as are the two big fields worth on Hwy 290 East, just two-ish miles east of Chappell Hill. Our best guess is another week or so and most of them will start to fade - the earliest blooms inside Brenham's city limits are now gone, just as of this week.
Apr 9, 2013
The bluebonnets still look good! Those fields along Hwy 290 just a couple of miles east of Chappell Hill is a really great area to take pictures. Also the field behind La Quinta has gotten even better than before - really deep blue! We also have a report that Washington-on-the-Brazos has bluebonnets - a pretty, medium to large patch at the Star of the Republic museum and also near the Visitor Center.
Evening Primrose has filled out a nice area along the road around FM 1155 and Copelyn Springs Rd (north of Chappell Hill). Also at Little Cedar Creek Rd and FM 2447 (east of Chappell Hill). Phlox was spotted around FM 1155 and Felder Rd (north of Chappell Hill).
Apr 2, 2013 - Wildflowers... There are more than just Bluebonnets!
Just received a report of beautiful Evening Primrose (buttercups) along Hwy 105 at FM 50. There are also some Firewheels blooming along Hwy 105 at New Years Creek Ln. There are tons of Coreopsis along Hwy 290 East around Hempstead. And right at Hwy 290 East and FM 1488 there are beautiful Winecups mixed in with others. FM 390 west of Hwy 36 North is finally showing some more Bluebonnets, but it's still not real plentiful. Turn left on Hoddeville School Rd as you're traveling west and just a quarter of a mile down the road is a large private pasture with a mix of at least 4 or 5 flowers. That pasture is slowly growing, but isn't as dense as it was last year - at least not yet! (Pictured is the mixture of flowers along Hoddeville School Rd taken on March 30.)
Mar 28, 2013 - Happy Easter!
Our bluebonnets are looking really nice! In some areas we may have reached peak, but in others not quite. We've seen a lot more activity this year on the east side of our county than the west. Are you going for a drive this weekend? Be sure to check the info below and the map to see where the flowers are. Remember to report back to us if you find something wonderful out there!
Mar 22, 2013 - Bluebonnet Sightings:
* FM 1948 at Post Oak Rd
* FM 1948 and Longpoint Rd
* Longpoint Rd & Rehburg Rd (pictured right)
* Hwy 36 North between edge of town and convenience stores at Oak Hill Dr (if driving into Brenham, slow down, take the Business 36 exit at left)
* Hwy 36 around Brenham (between 36 North and 290 West)
* Wood Ridge Blvd behind La Quinta, Wal-Mart & Home Depot and also across Hwy 36 South from Denny's next to the car wash
* Large strip between Dollar Tree & Whataburger
* Becker Dr and Stringer St
* Becker Dr and Stone Hill Dr
* FM 389 at FM 2502 has a large patch
* Hwy 6 South (south of Navasota) has a very large field of bluebonnets
Mar 19, 2013: Drove out Hwy 290 East to Hempstead after work last night and WOW was I surprised at the Bluebonnets along the road. They hadn't been there up until just the last few days - amazing! There were lots of bluebonnets along both sides of the highway all the way from Brenham to Chappell Hill and beyond. The "Welcome to Washington County" monument hillside is growing up pretty good as well. Also saw quite a lot of Indian Paintbrush from Chappell Hill to Hempstead.
Coworkers report: Hwy 36 North just a few miles north of Brenham has a nice stretch of bluebonnets near a convenience store at Geers Rd/Fritz Rd. Also, FM 1155 from Chappell Hill to Washington has a nice sprinkling of bluebonnets all along the road. ~ Jenny :-)
Mar 18, 2013: I was starting to think we were having a dry season, but it looks to just be LATE! Here is what I found...
* Hwy 105 from Brenham to Washington looks good. All along the road are Bluebonnets scattered about. Some patches are larger than others. No covered fields though. Makes a nice drive out to Washington-on-the-Brazos and beyond!
* FM 390 at Old Baylor Park in Independence - the Bluebonnets are growing, still small and sparse, but it's a nice place for a picnic lunch and swinging!
* FM 390 from Hwy 36 North to FM 1948 has Indian Paintbrush scattered along, but it isn't super plentiful. Right along the side of the road at FM 390 and Hoddeville School Rd is the only patch of Bluebonnets found along 390. it's very pretty!
* Hoddeville School Rd just a quarter mile off of FM 390 is a private, fenced pasture that looks promising. Last year this field was full of vibrant colors - with a little more time (and maybe a little more rain), this field might make some really nice landscape pictures.
* Hwy 290 West from Burton to Brenham has Bluebonnet scattered along both sides of the road and in the middle! There are even some spots that make good picture spots with the kids, just be sure to pull all the way off the road and be careful! Watch where you step, too! There have been reports of snakes already being out.
* Hwy 290 East at the Brazos River, in the middle of the highway, are plentiful Bluebonnets. On the other side of the river are Indian Paintbrush!
* In Brenham behind La Quinta along Hwy 36 South, there is a nice field getting better every day. On the right the flowers are trying to grow, but are growing slowly. Continue down that road (Wood Ridge Blvd) towards Home Depot and you'll find really nice Bluebonnets on the right.
* In Brenham, behind J.C. Penney along Becker Drive at Stone Hill Drive - there's a nice little field of Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush growing there - it's not abundant, but it's there! ~ Jenny :-)
Mar 13, 2013: Take FM 390 east from Burton - you'll find Indian Paintbrush popping up. Just after Hoddeville School Road on the right is a nice patch of Bluebonnets growing. It's not large, but they're pretty! If you like to explore, take a right on Quail Run Rd and loop back to FM 390 along Hoddeville School Rd. Last year Hoddeville had a beautiful display!
Along Hwy 290/36 in front of Appel Ford is a large strip of Bluebonnets between the highway and the feeder road. Makes for a nice surprise as you're driving by. :-) In Brenham on Becker Drive, behind J.C. Penney, is a field with Bluebonnets in it - if you turn right off of Becker onto Stone Hill Drive you can pull over and take a picture in the field. And those growing behind La Quinta are still growing, so keep your eyes out for those.
It's still early, so stay tuned. We'll be driving around this weekend to find more actiivty, so Monday we should have more updates. ~Jenny :-)
Mar 11, 2013: Happy Spring Break everyone! As I was driving to Houston this weekend I kept my eyes out for bluebonnets. I found the largest number I've seen so far right at the edge of Washington County in the middle of Highway 290 East. If you're traveling towards Brenham, look to your left in the grassy median, right after you cross the Brazos River. There is no place to pull over and would be rather dangerous to try to get out and take pictures with your family, but at least you can SEE them as you drive by!!!
There were lots of other wildflowers out too. Yellow daisy-like, tall skinny purple, tiny white, tiny pink, tiny purple, and other yellow types. They may be small or sparse, but they're out there - you just have to look closely! ~Jenny :-)
Mar 5, 2013:
I think the field behind La Quinta is going to be beautiful in a couple of weeks. I drove back there at lunch today and saw many bluebonnets just waiting for the right amount of sun and moisture to help them grow bigger and more blue. Stay tuned! ~Jenny :-) (pictured left are bluebonnets found at Old Baylor Park in independence on 3/2/13.)
Mar 2, 2013:
I went scouting for flowers this Saturday and found the beginnings of bluebonnets, indian paintbrush, and several differnet types of yellow flowers. The bluebonnets and paintbrush were very small, but they were there! ~Jenny :-)
* Indian Paintbrush: FM 390 at Quail Run Rd, Hoddeville School Rd, FM 390 to Independence, Hwy 290 between Hempstead and Chappell Hill in the median.
* Bluebonnet: FM 390 at Hoddeville School Rd, Old Baylor Park in Independence, scattered along FM 390, but very small and hard to see. Others report along Hwy 36 headed north through Brenham. Hwy 105 East.
* Coreopsis and others: Scattered throughout Washington County.
Feb 27, 2013:
Thanks to some phone calls and an email, we've heard of some early bluebonnet sightings along Hwy 290 just before Hempstead along the eastbound roadside. Also along Hwy 6 between Hempstead and College Station, Hwy 36 North of Brenham, and at Old Baylor Park in Independence. Keep in mind, these are early and probably small, but they are blooming nonetheless! :-) Also, there is some beautiful yellow Coreopsis (?) blooming along Hwy 290 in the median between Hempstead & Brenham. They really brighten up the roads, yes?! ~Jenny :-)
Wildflower.org posted their spring forecast at: http://www.wildflower.org/press/index.php?link=press&id=264.
Feb 22, 2013:
Early bluebonnets, our harbingers of spring in Washington County, are starting to pop up here and there. While we expect to have patches of flowers within the next several weeks (always depending on Mother Nature), this year we estimate plants will tend to be smaller and not as prolific due to the lack of rain last fall. Also, last year’s invasive wild mustard crop impacted the natural seeding that contributes to a fresh crop of wildflowers each year. As spring moves along, we’ll be driving our roadways in earnest to provide updates where flowers can be enjoyed. ~Lu
Feb 21, 2013:
We are seeing a little activity within the city limits of Brenham. As you may have heard, we found our first bluebonnet in January! And since we've gotten a little more rain this month, the early city bluebonnets are starting to bloom. A few have been spotted in front of a house on Alamo Street, right across from Manuel's Mexican Restaurant. Also at the house on the corner of Tom Green and Market, across from Church's Chicken. Just north of the downtown square is a small patch that grows amongst concrete at the corner of Vulcan and Park. I know there are others out there, I just haven't seen them yet. As for the countryside, we will continue to anxiously await the arrival of color. ~Jenny :-)