On a recent trip to Austin and Fredericksburg, I spotted a limestone hillside south of Abilene covered in these beautiful pink wildflowers. I was unable to stop and photograph them on the way to Austin, but I figured I would have an opportunity on the way home.
We were heading north from Junction, Texas when I spotted some of these beautiful flowers and had my wife pull over on the shoulder of what we thought was a low traffic highway. We had seen very little traffic since leaving Junction, but during the 20 minute stop, we were nearly killed by an impatient motorist who started to pass a car on the shoulder of the road near where we were parked. This is illegal, and he would have killed me and hit the car and my wife at 75 miles per hour. I’ve heard of dying for your art, but I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice either one of us for pretty pink flowers. Thankfully, this idiot saw us in time and we lived to tell the tale.
Pictured here is an example of Centaurium beyrichii, or Mountain Pink. It is a member of the Gentian family (Gentianaceae). It is an annual that tolerates dry, rocky, limestone rich soils and makes a colorful addition to rock gardens. You can read more about them at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower website at wildflower.org and USDA Plants website which shows that this species is only found in Texas and Oklahoma.