The surprising history of the Texas bluebonnet

Plus, where to take those perfect spring photos.

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Texas has the best state flower, hands down (we might be a bit biased).

Photo by @photofishtexan

One look outside on a short drive around San Antonio is proof enough that spring has sprung, and the bluebonnets are in full bloom.

There’s nothing that fills us more with Lone Star pride quite like looking out at the fields + highways lined with our gorgeous state flower, but at one point you may have wondered what makes this flower special?

Where did the name come from?

On March 7, 1901, the Texas Legislature adopted the bluebonnet as the state flower. The flower is found in at least five different Lupinus species variations, however, only one bears the official name Lupinus texensis (amended on March 8, 1971). The flower’s common name was derived from its resemblance to a sunbonnet, which pioneer women wore to protect themselves from the sun.

The role of women in choosing the flower

Texas lawmakers (all men at that time) originally wanted the cactus (for hardiness and orchid-like beauty) or cotton to represent the state. However, the National Society of Colonial Dames of America successfully petitioned their case for the Lupinus Subcarnosus. In 1933, “Bluebonnets,” written by Julia D. Booth and Lora C. Crockett, was adopted as the state flower song.


While on your drive to see this majestic flowers, you may spot a wild friend or two.

Photo by @ando_kurohige

Where to see bluebonnets

Peak bluebonnet season extends from late-March to mid-April. Lucky for you, we’re just a short drive away from the Texas Hill Country which often offers the best climate for the native Texan wildflower. Here are a few places to stop at:

Pro tip: Don’t pick the bluebonnets. While it isn’t illegal, stomping or picking them won’t let them go into the seeding stage for next year’s spring season.

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