Although they have been grown in Oklahoma and a few other places, they are native only to Texas and grow well across the state. According to the Native Plant Data Base there are six different varieties recognized as the state flower of Texas.
This patch has been in the backyard for three years and we continue to expand it as seed collection allows.
We began with a handful of seeds collected from an area scheduled for road construction and commercial development. Lupinus texensis is an annual so we harvest our seeds each spring for planting in the fall. Before planting we scarify and soak them to get the best possible germination rate. You can read more about the process in this post from last year. After germination in the fall low rosettes form and remain close to the ground all winter.
The rosettes pop up just before bloom time.
The lower flowers open first with white centers and as the blooms move up the stem the centers turn to pink and then red. This year the blooms range up to 18" tall in the beds and a bit shorter out in the yard.
The seedpods mature from the bottom upward and are velvety soft.
Intensely blue in evening light.
The top remains distinctly white and is star shaped when viewed from overhead.
They mix well with other wildflowers like this damianita
They are beginning to spread into the buffalo grass lawn along with prairie verbena which arrived here naturally from a nearby field. The tall tufts of grass are native grama grass and the tall green plants in the foreground are Mexican Hat wildflowers waiting to bloom.
We enjoy having the space to preserve these special native wildflowers in our garden.
To enjoy more wildflowers be sure to check out the links at Clay and Limestone.