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The Legend of the Pink Bluebonnets

Updated on July 22, 2017
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Shannon has written web content and general interest articles for various clients and websites for over a decade.

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There is no other state like Texas. The name itself comes from the Caddo word tejas, meaning friend. And friendly it is. Sure, there are those that are too busy living the fast-paced lifestyle to notice those around them, but the majority of Texans are the epitome of southern hospitality. Gentlemen open doors for the ladies, people wave at strangers in friendly greeting, and chivalry is not dead. But everybody knows that everything is bigger in Texas so it should be no surprise that the hearts of those who live here are just as big. With those big hearts comes a big appreciation for the legends and stories that permeate Texas traditions, like the bluebonnets that grace the fields far and wide each spring. Their popularity dates back generations enough that folk lore about them has been passed down. Now you too can learn the secrets of the bluebonnets if you are not already aware. Perhaps the most interesting tale is the story of how the rare pink bluebonnets came to be.

The Legend of the Texas Bluebonnets

Ever wonder how this beautiful state flower came to be? A little native girl sacrificed her beloved doll, which had a vibrant blue feather attached to it. Her sacrifice compelled the spirits to end the famine that had befallen her people. As the rain began to fall, breathtaking blue flowers greeted the natives on the hillside and the little girl became a hero. Or so the story goes. You can hear more about the legend of the bluebonnets by watching the video to the right.

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The Legend of the Pink Bluebonnet


Like the legend of the bluebonnets, the legend of the pink bluebonnets also begins with a child. Two, in fact. These children, brother and sister, were walking with their grandmother on their way to church. As they walked, the children admired the wildflowers in the field.


“Grandma, what’s that?” the little girl asked.


As the grandmother began to explain that every once in awhile a rare white bluebonnet can be found growing among the blue flowers and that many believe the Lone Star flag was inspired by a patch of white flowers amid all of the blue ones, her brother cried out in excitement from a distance. What was it that he found? A pink bluebonnet, and as they gaze upon its beauty, the grandmother recalls a story her grandmother told her in her youth.


“Pink bluebonnets,” she said, “are only found growing along the riverside. They are nature’s way of reminding us never to forget the Alamo.”


“Tell us more!” they begged. “What do you mean?”


Their grandmother retold her grandmother’s story.


Well, many years ago, before Texas was a state, our ancestors fought a great battle at the Alamo. Our family lived a short distance from the Alamo, near the old cathedral. My papa was a hard worker. He awoke early to work the land until the noon siesta. We spent the afternoons and evenings splashing in the river, dancing, eating, and enjoying one another’s company.


Some of those times, Americano families joined us for a visit, It was never long before the conversation among the men turned to politics. They were angry over the Mexican government’s treatment of Texas and there was talk of a revolution. Eventually, word arrived that the Mexican dictator was sending troops to our city. Women began to fear for their husbands, fathers, and sons.


Papa was not sure if he should stay and protect his family or join the Americanos in an effort to defend the old mission. He eventually decided that his family would be safer hidden away in the countryside. Each and every day we could hear the gunfire in the distance. Nighttime too. Eventually, the Texans were no match for the Mexican army.


One day those terrible gunshots finally ended. Papa and Mama were both grateful for our survival and we were able to return home. However, they mourned the loss of many friends whose homes were destroyed during the battle.


Many years later, I saw Mama placing a pink flower in a vase next to the statue of the Virgin Mary. When I asked her about the flower, she said that she found it down by the river. The pink flower, she said, was once a white bluebonnet but because so much blood was shed during the battle at the Alamo, it had nowhere to go. The blood flowed downstream and the white flowers growing beside the river took on the tint of the blood.


“And that is why pink bluebonnets are only found near the river, always within sight of the Alamo,” the grandmother finished.


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Bluebonnet Photos: It's Tradition

Texas bluebonnets are an iconic symbol of the arrival of spring. Each year, Texans head out in search of that perfect bluebonnet photo shot. Breathtaking photographs can be found all over the internet of the rolling fields covered in the vibrant blue flowers. It has become somewhat of a tradition that pictures of families and children be taken among the flowers. The trick is to be careful not to step on them. As the saying goes, "bluebonnets grow by the inch, but they die by the foot." Crushing them prevents them from seeding. Plus, it is illegal to pick them. They are not mowed down by lawnmowers either. Another key thing to watch out for are the snakes. Yes, snakes are a very real danger in Texas. There have been reports of children being bitten by rattlesnakes hidden among the flowers. Who knows what other snakes might favor the tall grass. But if you're careful, come visit Texas in early spring and take your own priceless photo among the bluebonnets. While you're at it, impress the locals with your knowledge of bluebonnet folk lore.

Life Is Like Bluebonnets in the Spring. . .

Bluebonnet Trail of Ennis, TX

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    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Thank you, Martie. I !appreciate that you shared it on FB, too! I found it interesting enough when I learned about it to share it via this article. So glad others enjoy it too.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 19 months ago from South Africa

      Shanmarie, this is a very interesting articles about Texas' Bluebonnets. Our legends and history are so precious.

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Thanks, Maria! If anyone would appreciate the music, it would be you! I like the sentiment behind it.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 19 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Beautiful song...I learned much I didn't know about bluebonnets - sweet pictures, dear Shannon.

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Thanks, phoenix. Those kinds of stories are part of a culture, which makes them interesting to me as well.

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Chitrangada, thank you! I appreciate it.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 19 months ago from United Kingdom

      I do so enjoy stories that explain the history of people, places, and things. This was a lovely tale. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 19 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice, interesting and beautiful hub!

      Thanks for sharing this beautiful story of your state flower, the Bluebonnets. I was not aware of this and I learned a great deal of this lovely flower, the colours and the history about how it became the state flower of Texas.

      Beautiful pictures and well presented!

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Hello Ruby,

      From what I have read, the pink ones are so rare in nature that even experts have difficulty finding them. However, they have cultivated them. But if I ever see one growing wild, I will know what a thrill it is. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This is so interesting. The bluebonnet video is beautiful. How I would love to have a field of bluebonnets near me. Your story, how the different varieties originated is intriguing.

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Hi MsDora,

      I know the area you mention. I used to live down in Southeast Texas. The flowers are a very enticing view for travelers. It's funny how I learn random things about this state, but I do not know the state pledge of allegiance, which my children recite right after the United States pledge of allegiance every day at school. I guess that's what I get for not being a native to Texas.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Shanmarie, I've had my share (not enough) of the beautiful blue bonnets. I traveled from Houston to Bryan fairly often, and I loved to make the trip in the early morning. I miss the view! Thanks for the reminder.

      The legends are very interesting. First I've heard them--both pink and blue.

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Hi, Bill. They are left growing along the sides of the highway each year. Some of the patchers are truly a sight to behold!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've only seen pictures of the bluebonnet fields, and they are beautiful....thanks for sharing with us northerners. :)

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Thanks! I didn't take the one with the flag or the one with the pink bluebonnet, but I took the others on Easter Sunday.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

      Hahaha that's funny about the transplant.

      Those are spectacular photos, Shan. I didn't realize you had taken them. How precious and beautiful! Those look professional. I would blow those up and hang them in my house, especially with those gorgeous colors.

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Hi Faith,

      I actually grew up in IL and moved to TX straight out of high school. I've been here for 16 years now. They sometimes refer to me as a transplanted Yankee, but, yes, I believe your daughter is considered a true Texan. hahaha

      This is the first year that I've ever taken pictures in the bluebonnets. I did not take any of myself, but my children enjoyed it. We found a good spot for it where we were away from traffic. It was in a field next to a parking lot. We so often see people stopping on the freeway just to take pictures or in high traffic areas. Too dangerous to risk, if you ask me.

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Hello Eric,

      Glad you enjoyed the stories. I have always enjoyed hearing the legends behind various things.

    • shanmarie profile image
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      shanmarie 19 months ago

      Hi Kristen,

      So nice of you to stop by and leave a comment. Thank you for your kind words. It is interesting history, isn't it?

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

      What a lovely hub, Shan!

      I enjoyed reading all about bluebonnets and Texas. This is truly a most beautiful and interesting hub. I learned a lot here. Fascinating!

      My daughter was actually born in Texas. My husband was stationed in the Air Force in Fort Worth for two years, and she was born there.

      So, I've been told she is a true Texan because of her birthright.

      Sharing everywhere, this wonderful gem

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderful hub, thank you for sharing this with us. Really cool stories.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Shannon, thanks for sharing this beautiful story of your state flower, the bluebonnets. I learned a great deal of flower history behind how it came to be the state flower of Texas and the story behind the colors. Beautiful photos too.