How Texas wildflowers survived the deep freeze

Experts say the historic winter storm that buried parts of the Lone Star State in snow back in February helped protect plants from the worst of the deep freeze.

Video Transcript


SADY SPARKS: I think what Texas offers is a lot of bright color.

BILL WADELL: Some Texans worried this annual site wouldn't happen after a historic winter storm in February. Most of the Lone Star State was blanketed in snow and left in a deep freeze for days.

SADY SPARKS: I truly thought nothing would bloom ever again. They just kept talking about how it killed everything.

BILL WADELL: Many of the native plants survived the storm.

ANDREA DELONG AMAYA: Bluebonnets are in full bloom here. We have little pockets of ranunculus, the large buttercup behind me. And some of the salvias are blooming. And every day there's something new to see.

BILL WADELL: Andrea Delong Amaya is the Director of Horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. She says the timing of the snow, then the bitter cold temperatures, helped protect the state flower.

ANDREA DELONG AMAYA: The bluebonnets are totally fine. In fact, they were still-- most of them were still in the rosette stage, which means that they were hugging the ground pretty tightly. And the ground actually had some warmth radiating from it. And then the snow actually acted, it was somewhat of a blessing. It created a blanket that insulated those plants so that they weren't exposed to the really severe cold.

BILL WADELL: The biggest weather factor for wildflowers wasn't the snow or the cold. It's actually the drought that Texas is facing right now. That could determine how long these blooms will be sticking around.

ANDREA DELONG AMAYA: If it just really stops raining and we don't get any extra moisture it might cut out a little early.

BILL WADELL: Nature lovers are snapping photos and waiting for rain.

ANDREA DELONG AMAYA: If we could get an inch of rain or more in the next week, that would be tremendous.

BILL WADELL: Hoping these Texas treasures will be on full display into the month of May.

SADY SPARKS: I think that it's amazing to see how resilient all the plants are, just seeing all the different colors, seeing flowers I've never seen in my life.

BILL WADELL: For AccuWeather, I'm Bill Wadell.