Nature decorates the city for Fiesta with native wildflowers

SAN ANTONIO – I love Fiesta season, and as people decorate the city with paper flowers, nature decorates for Fiesta with wildflowers.

Just pick any random road and you’ll find wildflowers bursting through unmown strips along sidewalks, roads or highways.

It is crucial not to mow these native wildflowers. Instead, continue to sow seeds for them in our parks, gardens and yards to help our pollinators and promote biodiversity.

That’s why I am going to help you identify some of the common native wildflowers you are seeing around San Antonio and how you can plant them in your gardens in the fall. I’m not saying they will not grow if you sow seeds for them now in your gardens, but native wildflowers have a higher chance of blooming if sowed during cooler temperatures in the fall to form strong roots.

Here are some of my favorite native wildflowers:

Texas Thistle

They look like your typical “weed” growing in the garden with spiny leaves, but they have the most beautiful light purple or lavender pom-pom-like flowers. Bees and butterflies go wild for them, and so do I.

Texas Thistle (Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

Tick Seed

These are my absolute favorite wildflowers.

One seed can yield several flowers on one stem. It’s one stem of a bouquet of many yellow flowers each with a red bleeding middle.

Tick seed (Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

Indian Blanket

These look like what it’s named after — a blanket of red, yellow and orange covering an area.

Indian Blanket (Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

Mexican Hat

You’ll remember it because it looks like a sombrero, and is definitely Fiesta ready.

Mexican Hat (Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)


Now this is my kind of flower! You can’t forget her because she looks like a glass of fine wine.

Winecup (Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

Pink Evening Rose

This is probably Winecup’s happy hour best friend.

She looks like a rosé girlie to me, and now you’ll always think the same when you see her.

Pink Evening Primrose (Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

Texas Prickly Poppy

These have similar spiny leaves like Thistle and then bam, it stuns you with these big white poppy blooms — chef’s kiss.

Texas Prickly Poppy (Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

How can you grow these in your garden in the fall?

I have a hard rule when it comes to picking wildflowers: don’t do it, the pollinators need them more than you need them in a vase for your living room. You can pick or mow them only when they are starting to dry out right before the flower heads drop seeds. My favorite thing to do is spot wildflowers on my daily walk, and I take note of where they are located. Then I check on them every time I walk by them. When they are done blooming, I take my scissors on my walk and a baggie to clip and collect (free!) seeds.

I keep the seeds in a paper bag in a cool place inside until November, then I sow hundreds of seeds at the end of November that I didn’t have to pay for.

If this sounds like a lot of work, or something you don’t have the patience for, no worries! Rainbow Gardens has a great selection of native seeds you can buy.

If you want some of these blooms in your garden now, Rainbow Gardens also has some native wildflowers like Indian Blanket that you can buy as transplants now.

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