BluebonnetThe bluebonnet (genus Lupinus), a North American annual plant of the pea family (Fabaceae), is the state flower of Texas. It grows about 0.3 m (1 ft) tall. The shape of the petals of the flower resembles the bonnet worn by pioneer women to shield themselves from the sun.
On March 7, 1901, Lupinus subcarnosus (also known as buffalo clover) became the only species of bluebonnet recognized as the state flower of Texas. However Lupinus texensis emerged as the favorite of most Texans. Their deep blue blossoms can be seen from March through May in most areas of Texas. So, in 1971, the Texas Legislature made any variety of bluebonnet the state flower. Lupinus texensis remains as the iconic Texas bluebonnet.
Although Lupinus texensis is almost exclusively blue in the wild, Texas A&M University researchers were successful in breeding red and white strains, creating a Texas state flag in bluebonnets for the 1986 Texas Sesquicentennial. Further research led to a deep maroon strain -- the university's official color.
Other species found in Texas are Lupinus havardii, Lupinus concinnus, Lupinus perennis and Lupinus plattensis.