Wildflower Season Will Suck This Year, Experts Say

Any Texan with a kid or a sweetie has taken part in the annual trek to see bluebonnets and other wildflowers bloom riotously in what passes for spring here.

If you were getting your hopes up about Spring 2011, tamp them down right now.

The long and extensive drought that's hit the state is crippling the blooms at a crucial time, an expert tells the Associated Press.

Damon Waitt, senior botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, said the young plants that produce spring's flowers should be about the size of a dinner plate by winter. But the rosettes he saw on a recent trip into the field were "very, very small."

Last year was a pretty good year for wildflowers, so we'll always have that. And the seeds from that good year will pay dividends down the road in future springs.

Of course it's also good to remember that a "bad year" doesn't mean no flowers, it just means the colorful carpets might not be as extensive as usual.

Which does mean things might get a little crowded out there, as everyone tries to take a picture of their kids, their dog or themselves surrounded by flowers.

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