Many of the native plants – salvias, spiderworts, columbines, penstemons – are the same as can be found here in north Texas, but this unfamiliar tree with its profusion of tiny yellow pompoms caught our eye; it's a huisache, a member of the acacia family. According to the online database, in southern Europe this species is extensively planted for the flowers which are a perfume ingredient.
|Observation Tower and Administration Building|
Harmoniously complementing the plants and the land is the subtly contemporary architecture of the facilities with its rustic stone Hill Country look.
|View from Observation Tower|
The one antique structure at the center, an 1885 carriage house, is currently housing an exhibit of intricate paper flower art by Shou Ping.
|The Display Gardens|
It was a perfect time to visit the Wildflower Center which I had long wanted to see. It is also, coincidentally, the centennial of the birth of Lady Bird Johnson whose "focus was on the ecological advantages as well as the beauty of native plants - a passion that would lead her to create the National Wildflower Research Center in 1982 on the occasion of her 70th birthday". Be sure to visit this special website dedicated to "our environmental First Lady."
Oh-oh, made a mistake! What I took to be coreopsis growing along the roadsides is, instead, an invasive weed called bastard cabbage, Rapistrum rugosum, a member of the mustard family native to the Mediterranean. Just happened to see an article in the April 4th Dallas Morning News about it.