15 Texas Wildflowers You Can Find Around Fort Cavazos

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Spring is, hands down, the best time to be in the State of Texas.

I have never seen as many wildflowers in my life as I have seen since moving to Fort Cavazos in Central Texas.

I was ready and excited to see the bluebonnets that Texas is famous for. However, I didn’t know that there were so many other wildflowers here and that they are just as, if not even more, plentiful than the famous state flower.

Here are just SOME of the wildflowers that you will see around Fort Cavazos.

Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets are so beloved in the State of Texas that they officially became the state flower in 1901. The state actually plants them along the highways and state parks grow giant fields of them to attract visitors from all over to come see them in the spring.

You can find them along the roads near Fort Cavazos and there are large fields of them in the training areas. I’ve also spotted them around Stop signs on post near the PX. You pretty much can’t miss them when they bloom.

Chasing Texas bluebonnets

(I made my girls take pictures in the bluebonnets every year that we lived in Texas!)

Indian Paintbrush

One of the more commonly recognized Texas wildflowers is the Indian Paintbrush. This orange and red flower usually blooms around the same time as the bluebonnets. You can see them mixed in with the bluebonnets along the roadways and in fields.

Indian Paintbrush is also known as ‘Prairie Fire’ and grows in other areas of the country. Native Americans used it as both a ‘love charm’ and poison depending on who they were giving it to.

Pink Evening Primrose

The Pink Evening Primrose is one of the more common Central Texas wildflowers since the state highway department scatters them on the roadsides. We see them up and down the highways around Fort Cavazos and they bloom from March to August. So, they ‘last’ longer than the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes.

Texas Wildflowers: Pink Evening Primrose
(Wildflowers along Hwy 116 between Copperas Cove & Gatesville.)

Buttercups

This is technically also a species of primrose. However, it has yellow blooms and has been named Buttercups because of its color. We actually have these growing in our yard and it has made me so happy to see every spring!

Texas Wildflowers: Buttercups
(Is there anything better than Texas wildflowers & happy children?)

Sunflowers

Another one of my favorite wildflowers to see beside the road were the sunflowers! They are everywhere!!

The plants get really tall, but the flowers don’t get nearly as big as the sunflowers that folks plant in their gardens. However, they are plentiful and always made me smile to see them blooming on the roadside.

Texas Wildflowers: Sunflowers

(I stopped beside the road in Houston to take these sunflower pictures.)

Mexican Hats (Coneflowers)

There are several varieties of coneflowers, but the one I saw most often when I was out and about were known as Mexican Hats. These red and yellow flowers bloom throughout the summer. I mostly saw these beside the road in our neighborhood in areas that almost never got mowed.

These flowers are very easy to spot because the center of the flower sticks up much higher than the petals. It’s a weird flower, but pretty!

(Photo courtesy of Gardener’s Path, since I don’t have a good picture of a Mexican hat.)

Indian Blankets

Indian Blankets (also known as Firewheel) are extremely common around Fort Cavazos. They turn the roadsides into a fiery blend of red, orange, and yellow petals. Indian blankets are pretty small, but they grow in abundance!

These wildflowers have a pinwheel appearance. The petals are red near the center of the flower that fades to orange with yellow tips.

(I took this picture of Indian Blanket at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose.)

Cutleaf Daisy

Cutleaf daisies (also known as Engelmann’s Daisy) can be found all over Central Texas. It’s not unusual to see it in pastures as it’s a good source of protein for livestock. These daisies are also used on slopes and embankments to help reduce soil erosion.

In fact, these pictures were taken beside the road in my neighborhood where the seeds were likely spread to help prevent erosion.

(These cutleaf daisies were beside my neighbor’s driveway, probably as a pretty way to prevent erosion.)

Hairy Cornsalad

I had never in my life heard of hairy cornsalad before writing this post. This ‘weed’ on the side of the road is served as a salad green in various European countries under the name mache. I took the pictures because of the white flowers.

However, if the leaves are harvested before the flower appears, there is 3 times as much vitamin C as lettuce, vitamin B6, iron, and potassium. It’s scientific name is Valerianella locusta if you’re interested to learn more.

(Who knew that this ‘weed’ is served in fancy French salads?)

Texas Thistle

Texas thistle is one of the ten species of thistles found in the state. It is a rather prickly plant that can grow up to 6 feet tall. I saw these all over the sides of the road around Fort Cavazos.

Livestock and deer don’t eat thistle, but its seeds are appreciated by the birds and its nectar is great for bees.

Texas wildflowers: Texas Thistle
(It’s so pretty for such a prickly plant.)

Antelope Horn Milkweed

There are several unusual Texas Wildflowers and Antelope Horn Milkweed is one of them. I didn’t realize that this cluster was the flower. I thought that these unique green star-shaped things would open up and bloom into flowers…but I was wrong!

Milkweeds are necessary for the survival of Monarch caterpillars and butterflies as it is their primary food source. Since Texas is a key stop on the Monarch’s migration, these wildflowers are an important part of the ecosystem.

Texas Wildflowers: Antelope Horn Milkweed
(Monarch butterflies love these milkweeds!)

Greenthread

Greenthreads get their name from their super thin ‘leaves’. They look almost like little needles along the stem but are soft and wispy. These little flowers were everywhere in our neighborhood and around Fort Cavazos. They have a long flowering period, so they pretty much bloom all summer and fall.

Native Americans made tea from these wildflowers. It was often called “Navajo Tea”, “Hopi Tea”, or “Pueblo Tea” depending on which tribe was making it. This tea was thought to calm stomach irritation and is mildly diuretic.

Texas Wildflowers: Greenthreads
(You can see the wispy ‘green threads’ on the stems of these flowers.)

Winecups

Winecups (also known as Purple Poppy Mallows and Buffalo Roses) bloom in the spring and are easy to spot due to their vivid purple coloring. They bloom in the morning and close at night, like morning glories.

These weren’t as common in our area, but every now and then we would spot some.

Texas Wildflowers: Winecups
(Winecups have such a vivid color!)

Blackfoot Daisy

Blackfoot daisies have a long blooming season (summer to fall). So, these little white daisies were easy to spot. It also makes them popular with native gardeners and wasn’t uncommon to see them planted in flower beds.

Lanceleaf Tickseed

Lanceleaf tickseed blooms in the spring and early summer and is native to most of the U.S. These sunny blooms can be found alongside the roads in Texas. Tickseed are known to attract bees, butterflies, and birds, which makes it popular with native gardeners.

(These pictures were taken right outside of our fence in Copperas Cove.)

Mountain Pink

Mountain Pink (also known as Quinine Weed) grows in the shape of an inverted cone to form a rounded mass. It blooms from May to July and thrives in harsh conditions and rocky soil.

This is one of the Texas wildflowers that is toxic to cattle, sheep, and goats. In fact, it is suspected of killing bighorn sheep in the Blackgap Wildlife Management Area.

Texas Wildflowers: Mountain Pink
(Heff stopped by the road and picked these for me in the training area. He may have saved a cow’s life!)

It’s no secret that Fort Cavazos was one of my least favorite duty stations, but I will honestly miss the beautiful Texas wildflowers. (You can check out the Pros and Cons of Fort Cavazos to see what I didn’t like about it.)

Driving down the road and seeing the bright beautiful colors was something that brought me so much joy while we were there!

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