In the picture that you saw two days ago of colorful wildflowers on an embankment of the expressway called Mopac, bluebonnets played the smallest role. But bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, are also known to form dense colonies, and to prove it here’s a photograph of a group of them I found on Burnet Rd. outside the J.J. Pickle Research Campus shortly after I left the Mopac site on March 26.
When it comes to the blue in bluebonnets, the rods and cones in my eyes have always seen the color as more violet or purple than blue. I talked about the same color discrepancy last year when I showed pictures of bluebells. Of course colors fall along a continuum, and different people draw different dividing lines between adjacent colors in the spectrum. I’ll add that no matter what you call the color of these flowers, when they occur in large numbers they give off a distinctive and heady scent: you can even buy bluebonnet perfume, bluebonnet eau de toilette, etc.; just do an Internet search and you’ll see.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman