Increasing population of wildflowers might help East Texas environment

Increasing population of wildflowers might help East Texas environment
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

Driving down the highway, it's clear to see that spring has clearly sprung, as colorful wildflowers are in full bloom all over Deep East Texas.

"I enjoy looking at the flowers. I probably irritate some people because I don't drive 75 miles an hour. I'm busy looking at the flowers," joked Lufkin wildflower enthusiast Dick Pike.

There seems to be more blooms than usual, and they also seem larger than they have over the years.

Pike credits this to all the rainy weather we've been experiencing lately.

"Most of the flowers have responded very well, I think, to the rain we've had," Pike said. "We really don't have this kind of weather in East Texas this time of year."

While the wildflowers are visually pleasing, they are also very helpful.

"There seems to be more pollinators active - bees, wasps, butterflies, hummingbirds," Pike said. "I think we've had more hummingbirds than we generally have this time of year."

Why are pollinators so important to the environment?

"There will probably be more flower seeds produced for the coming years, more flowers coming up," Pike said. "As far as the beekeepers are concerned, that probably means more and better honey production."

Pike is excited for the increase in wildflowers because they do so much more for the local environment than the non-native flowers do.

"The non-natives just don't have the attraction of the butterflies and pollinators that the natives do," Pike said.

It also doesn't hurt that they are so beautiful.

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