Wild flowers of Texas

Texas is renowned for its colourful wild flowers which often occur in huge spreads and are the subject of ‘sightings’, when people come from far and wide to view the short-lived splendour. Natural prairies were always full of wild flowers, blooming among the grasses. Here is a small selection of some of the brightest and… Read More

Prairie fire

Fire plays a necessary role in the natural cycle of prairie ecology by removing the mass of dead matter which impedes the growth of the young grass. Controlled fires are still used to do the job, but in the days of the first settlers uncontrolled wildfires could sweep across the prairies threatening all in their… Read More

Bluebonnet, State Flower of Texas

  The bluebonnet creates one of the most beautiful and iconic spectacles of Texas. It’s a biennial leguminous plant with bright blue (and also white or pink) pea-like flowers which make a splash of colour across grasslands and along road verges in April and early May around Ennis, in the Blackland Prairie and in similar… Read More

Wildfire and bison – key factors in the survival of prairies

Like so many other things, prairies aren’t what they used to be. Back in the nineteenth century and before, they were vast areas of grassland constituting over forty percent of North America’s natural landscape. They were maintained by the action of two main influences: wildfires and plains bison. Wildfires, sometimes caused by lightning, would sweep… Read More