February is when we get our first glimpse of spring in San Antonio! If you pay attention, you’ll notice lots of changes happening outdoors. The temperatures are getting warmer, birds are singing more, and the Live Oak trees are dropping their leaves. I always found that strange when we first moved here from Chicago—leaves falling from the trees in February instead of fall!
One thing I love about San Antonio is that our spring blooms come early. Some of my favorite Texas native plants are already blooming. Have you spotted some of these? Perhaps you have some in your yard!
1) Texas Mountain Laurel trees
How can you not love a tree whose nickname is the Grape Kool-Aid tree? You may smell the intoxicating scent of these trees in bloom before you see them. I can’t tell you how happy it made me when I spotted the first Texas Mountain Laurel to bloom in my neighborhood last week.
The blooms are fleeting, only lasting a few weeks, so go out and hunt them down if you haven’t had a chance to see (and smell) them yet! You can also find this pretty evergreen tree for purchase at local nurseries if you want to add one to your yard to enjoy each year. Learn more about Texas Mountain Laurel.
2) Texas Redbud trees
This tree is hard to miss. It is a bright fuchsia purple when in bloom! It is so striking because the blooms cover its bare branches. While Texas Redbud typically starts blooming in March, I have already spotted some blooming in February.
There is a Texas Redbud located at the front of our neighborhood, and another outside a Starbucks down the road. I’m always on the lookout for these trees starting this month! Learn more about Texas Redbud tree.
3) Agarita shrubs
This evergreen Texas native shrub may be best known for its pokey leaves. However, it is covered with pretty yellow blooms in February, which attract lots of bees. Agarita is an important late winter nectar source for pollinators when very few other plants are blooming.
In nature, Agarita can often be found growing along the edge of a forested area. To spot it, take a walk on the trails of Phil Hardberger Park, or head to the San Antonio Botanical Garden to see it growing in the Family Adventure Garden or along the South Texas trail!
Its yellow blossoms are followed by bright red berries in summer which are devoured by birds. Agarita is an awesome wildlife plant to add to your yard.
4) Texas wildflowers
It may be too early to see Texas Bluebonnets, but other Texas wildflowers are starting to emerge! I spotted some purple Prairie Verbena blooming at Hardberger Park yesterday. This tends to be one of the first Texas wildflowers to bloom. Here are 10 Texas Wildflowers to watch for and to try growing in your yard!
Spot a wildflower and aren’t sure what it is? Take a photo and upload it to the iNaturalist or Seek app to identify it. Keep your eyes open while walking on the trails to see lots of wildflowers blooming over the next month!