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By GoolsbyH. R. N

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By GoolsbyH.R. No. 852


WHEREAS, No flower other than the Texas bluebonnet can capture the unique spirit of the Lone Star State or invoke feelings of state pride and loyalty; and

WHEREAS, The bluebonnet was officially designated the Texas state flower on March 7, 1901; and after recognizing that there are six species of the state flower, the Texas Legislature amended this designation in 1971, by adding "any other variety of Bluebonnet not heretofore recorded"; and

WHEREAS, The long stem bluebonnet (Lupinus havardii) is found growing only in a narrow band along the Rio Grande in the state's Big Bend region; and this long stem variety has been developed into a florist quality, commercial cut flower variety after five years of research and marketing studies begun in 1989 by Texas A&M University; and

WHEREAS, The Texas Department of Agriculture funded in the spring of 1995 a two year marketing test that allowed researchers to grow and test market the flowers in Dallas and El Paso; and this test proved long stem bluebonnets were extremely popular with consumers; and

WHEREAS, The commercial variety of the long stem bluebonnet is in demand by the florist industry for its color and fragrance; blue flowers are prized for floral arrangements because this color in nature is a rarity; and also because strong fragrances are rarely found in the majority of commercially bred cut flowers; and

WHEREAS, The commercial long stem bluebonnet offers a great potential for the Texas economy and increased business for Texas nursery growers and floral retailers because almost all cut flowers are produced out of state; and

WHEREAS, Potential market estimates indicate that if 10 percent of the cut flowers bought by Texans were produced by Texas growers, a $100 million industry would be created; and

WHEREAS, The Texas Agricultural Experiment Station has released for commercial production several varieties in the Big Bend Bluebonnet "Texas" series that include the Texas Sapphire, a traditional blue flower, as well as Texas Ice, a white bluebonnet; and

WHEREAS, Texas A&M University offers contracts to Texas growers who desire to commercially grow these long stem bluebonnets; and

WHEREAS, No other flower so embodies the natural beauty found in Texas and therefore holds a special place in the heart of all Texans; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 75th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby recognizes the Big Bend Bluebonnet "Texas" series varieties for their contributions to the state's spirit, beauty, and economic growth.

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