Bluebonnets that aren’t blue? How different colors, including white, can pop up in the state flower

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white bluebonnets

White bluebonnets in Buda sent in by viewer Monica Mills

BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — Bluebonnets are inherently named for their beautiful blue-violet color. But did you know they can come in other colors, too?

Viewer Monica Mills sent in these photos of white bluebonnets in her Buda yard. She said in an email to KXAN the flowers’ seeds were harvested from their ranch in San Saba last year.

  • white bluebonnets
  • white bluebonnets
  • white bluebonnets
  • white bluebonnets
  • white bluebonnets

The Texas State Historical Association says the state Legislature adopted the bluebonnet as the state flower of Texas on March 7, 1901. In the 1930s, the Highway Department extended the flower’s range, TSHA says, which is why you see bluebonnets growing along most highways.

The flowers typically bloom in late March and early April. But what causes the different variations in color?

Like many things that differ from the norm in nature, the white color is caused by a genetic mutation, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

The blue color is most dominant for bluebonnets. As the blue flowers pollinate with bluebonnets of other colors, the cross will most likely produce more blue flowers, the center says. You can also see light blue or pink bluebonnet varieties.

Eventually, the blue will overtake the other colors. But horticulturists can use mutated flowers to create new varieties of plants, the center says.

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