Austin Texas’ Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Growing up in Texas it seems only natural to love Texas Wildflowers and plants. I grew up taking pictures in fields of Texas Wildflowers every Spring and did the same with my kids. By the time I was 10 or 12 in the early ‘70’s I was identifying native trees and plants at our 1000 acre Texas Ranch- the Raetzsch Ranch in the Sand Hills near Seguin, Texas with the help of several reference books. One book I enjoyed was Euell Gibbon’s Stalking the Wild Asparagus but I used other guides as well. There were Hickory trees, Post Oaks, Live Oaks, a few Mesquites, American Beautyberry, dewberries and more. If I could not find a plant in my books I would send a photo to the gardening editor of the local newspaper to ID it for me. Lady Bird Johnson was busy beautifying Texas Highways in the 1960’s, planting wildflowers and removing junkyards and billboards. She and I, both Texas Natives, seemed to be on the same plane. I do admire Lady Bird’s legacy as we are birds of a feather so to speak. To this day I am very interested in plants, beauty and preserving natural resources. I volunteer at the Wildflower Center Native Plant Sale and am currently volunteering in a long term research study on land stewardship being done at the center. I concur with the Center’s Mission to conserve, restore and create healthy landscapes!
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Photos
Here are some photos I have taken at my many visits to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin Texas.
Texas’ Candelilla Plant
The Candelilla plant I took a photo of at Lady Bird is a plant that grows in West Texas. I had just visited far West Texas at Big Bend in Brewster County as well as Presidio and Jeff Davis counties among other places. There are many, many uses for this desert plant Euphorbia cerifera or Euphorbia antisyphilitica Zucc. including chewing gum, candles, Redken hair products, Pond’s Skin Cream, Burt’s Bees products and many more. The University of Texas at Austin has a fantastic article on Candelilla, Wax Making and more on their Texas Beyond History website. We just never know that a cure for cancer or other diseases of people and animals may be found in some of our Texas species!
Texas Native Plants
It is only fitting that Austin, Texas’ Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center only features native Texas plants. Native plants grow well here using less resources than other plants while being disease resistant AND providing food for wildlife including birds, butterflies and bees. In times of drought it will be the native plants like Blackfoot Daisy that thrive in spite of any amount of heat or drought. I encourage you to go visit the Wildflower Center to learn more about our native Texas plants. You will see how beautiful our plants are, see how they fit into your home’s yard and why you should use them.