First Lady Claudia Johnson (or “Lady Bird” as she will forever be remembered), believed intensely in the importance of wildflowers, natural preservation, and beautification of public landscapes. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center pays tribute to her mission with more than 800 species of native plants displayed in exhibits and floral landscapes that reflect the beauty of her vision.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, located at the University of Texas at Austin, features educational exhibits, a visitor’s gallery, and several trails that highlight wildflowers and other native plants. Enter through the Central Complex, and then take the trails to explore the 4.5-acre Luci and Ian Family Garden, an interactive garden designed for families; the Central Gardens, focused on sustainable gardening; the 70-acre Restoration Research; and the 16-acre Texas Arboretum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You can pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the gardens or buy refreshments at the on-site restaurant, the Wildflower Cafe.
- The Central Complex, Central Gardens, Luci and Ian Family Garden, and Texas Arboretum trail are wheelchair accessible.
- Wheelchairs are available to borrow for free at the admissions kiosk.
- Guided tours are available daily.
- Pets are not allowed.
How to Get There
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is located on LaCrosse Avenue across from Circle C Ranch, about 12 miles southwest of downtown Austin. If you’re driving from the Texas Capitol, take TX-1 Loop South (MoPac) nine miles to LaCross Avenue. Parking is free.
When to Get There
The Wildflower Center is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Check the website for a listing of what’s in bloom during your visit. Spring wildflower season, which starts in February, is considered to be the most colorful time of year—it’s when you can see Texas bluebonnets and delicate pink evening primrose in bloom.
Where Flowers Bloom, There Blooms Hope
Wife to Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, Lady Bird is remembered for her far-reaching effort to beautify the American landscape. The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 (known as “Lady Bird’s Bill”) included provisions for air quality and limiting eyesores such as junkyards and litter along highways. Her work is evident along public highways in Texas each spring as the wildflowers bloom.