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Wildflowers Still in Bloom Despite Recent Drought

March 24, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas, March 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Brown and green could dominate as the colors most visible along many Texas roadsides this spring, rather than the preferred pastels of wildflowers Texas motorists are accustomed to seeing this time of year.

Even though this may be the case, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) predicts roadways will not be completely without bright flora as wildflower seedlings struggled to survive the recent Texas drought.

“Lack of adequate rainfall last fall and throughout the winter has left very poor stands of wildflowers in some areas,” said Dennis Markwardt, TxDOT vegetation management director. “This year motorists might not see the usual amount of colorful, spring wildflowers alongside highways in several parts of the state.”

The central Texas region is thought to have suffered the most from the drought’s impact. Typical areas of great wildflower stands throughout the area are expected to have a mere scattering of wildflowers this season.

But all is not lost. East Texas did receive adequate rainfall last fall and winter and is predicted to have brilliant wildflower displays this spring.

In particular, Brazos County’sBryan-College Station area has already reported healthy stands of bluebonnets in the area.

“Areas in east and northeast Texas should have some good displays of the Lance-leaved coreopsis or tickseed, starting in a few weeks through May,” Markwardt added.

Normally, the peak wildflower blooming season draws tourists from across Texas and beyond to witness the colorful display each spring.

TxDOT buys and sows an estimated 30,000 pounds of wildflower seed each year.

As a reminder, TxDOT plants wildflowers for everyone’s enjoyment. Picture-taking that leads to potential damage of wildflowers is discouraged. If too many wildflowers are trampled or damaged, they die and do not re-seed.

Naturally, TxDOT also discourages picking wildflowers for the same reason.

TxDOT’s wildflower hotline, providing statewide information on select wildflower locations, operates 24 hours a day at (800) 452-9292. The hotline will operate until late spring.

See more information on wildflowers at: http://www.dot.state.tx.us/public_involvement/wildflowers/default.htm

For more information contact TxDOT’s Government and Public Affairs Division at (512) 463 – 8588.

The Texas Department of Transportation

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining nearly 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 15,000 employees strive to empower local leaders to solve local transportation problems, and to use new financial tools, including tolling and public-private partnerships, to reduce congestion and pave the way for future economic growth while enhancing safety, improving air quality and preserving the value of the state’s transportation assets. Find out more at www.txdot.gov.

SOURCE Texas Department of Transportation


Source: newswire



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