Austin, Texas’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Growing up in Texas it seemed only natural to love Texas Wildflowers and plants. I grew up taking pictures in fields of Texas Wildflowers 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 Texas Ranch- the Raetzsch Ranch near Seguin, Texas with the help of reference books. One book I enjoyed was Euell Gibbon’s Stalking the Wild Asparagus There were Hickory trees, Post Oaks, Live Oaks, a few Mesquites, American beautyberry, dewberries and more. Lady Bird Johnson was busy beautifying Texas Highways in the 1960’s, planting wildflowers and removing junkyards and billboards. We seemed to be on the same plane. I do admire her legacy as we are birds of a feather. To this day I am very interested in plants, beauty and preserving natural resources. Here are some photos I took at a recent visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin, Texas.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Photos
The Candelilla Plant
The Candelilla plant I took a photo of at Lady Bird I had just visited in West Texas at Big Bend in Brewster County as well as Presidio and Jeff Davis counties and 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.
It is only fitting that Austin, Texas’s 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.