From Texas Standard.
Every spring, wildflowers bring Texans and visitors alike out of their homes for all kinds of photo ops. It’s not uncommon to see dozens of cars parked along Texas highways as families pose in patches of bluebonnets.
Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson David Glessner says springtime excitement can also bring families close to speeding cars and onto medians, though, making for possibly dangerous situations.
“We do encourage people to be very careful. Safety is our top priority at TxDOT,” Glessner says. “While we do appreciate that everybody likes to enjoy the wildflowers, we ask that they pull over to a safe location and stay aware of their surroundings at all times.”
The fields of flowers along the roads are no accident. Since the mid-1930s, Glessner says, TxDOT has committed to preserving and promoting the growth of native wildflowers for Texans and visitors – these days, over 30,000 pounds of seeds are planted around growing season.
Mass planting gives the state thousands of beautiful bluebonnets and wildflowers, but TxDOT has discovered there are practical applications, too.
“Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they also provide ground cover, water conservation. They stabilize the soil and crowd out less desirable vegetation,” Glessner says.
The wildflowers also save the agency some money – to prolong the wildflowers, they’ll typically delay mowing the area.
Glessner says Texans should avoid trampling the wildflowers, including the beloved bluebonnets, while snapping their photos.
Written by Elizabeth Ucles.