ack in the days of CB radio my handle was Flower Girl. In my teaching days I was mostly remembered (dreaded?) for the wildflower collection project. Coming from “up north”, the panorama of spring wildflowers was, and still is, a yearly spiritual explosion. My daughter and I escape for an hour or so when we can (with a stop at Starbucks first of course), to troll the back roads around Ennis, looking for birds and flowers. She’s looking up and I’m looking down, which makes the driving a bit iffy! We love to make short stops for photos, bird book searches, and talking to “moo-cows” and horses that are at the fences.
We are now near the end of the great spring floral displays except for the last hurrah, the beautiful Texas Blue Bells. Scientifically known as Eustoma grandiflorium, it has a scientific synonym of Eustoma russellianium. In the trade they are also called “Lisianthus” and as such can be purchased in purple, pink or white and are usually annuals. The natives appear to be short-lived perennials.
Our Texas Blue Bells are more like a medium to dark lavender with a maroonish throat, 5 yellow anthers, and a double greenish stigma. But, hey, you can read all this online just as I did. None of that explains the thrill of topping a hill and seeing the glory of blue bells spread out across the field below. The search is worth the price (gas $!) and great for the soul and the camera.
There are a few places in Ennis to see blue bells, but the best is out Farm-to-Market Road 85 going east from South Kaufman Street several miles to a right turn at the top of a hill onto Zmolek Road. You’ll see them in the field to your right as you make the 90 degree turn and that’s where I took my photo. To return to Ennis, continue to the end of Zmolek Road and you will hit the frontage road to I-45 and can go north back to town. If you are a wildflower lover, you won’t be blue, but the flowers will – well, sort of, but not really.
Do you think nature should be part of our everyday life, not just somewhere to go on the weekends? You are invited to attend our free, open-to-the-public, monthly program on the fourth Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Red Oak Library, 200 Lakeview Pkwy, Red Oak.
For more information on the Indian Trail Master Naturalist Chapter, contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at 972-825-5175 or visit the club website: http://txmn.org/indiantrail/.
Christine Cook is a member of Indian Trail Master Naturalists.