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West Texas Botanizing

Are you ready for some more West Texas botanizing?

I’ve finally finished uploading all the “critter” images from my West Texas trip of June 1-15 and have now begun to organize and upload my thousands of plant images. The first batch of about 15 or 20 species is from a quick stop at a Rest Area along US 190 near the Pecos River east of Iraan, TX (Crockett Co.). Very quickly, the uploads will turn to my images from TNC’s Davis Mountains Preserve where I spent three full days and parts of two others birding, botanizing, and generally iNatting in the higher mountains at 6000 to 8300+ ft of elevation (June 1-5). We then relocated to a private ranch in the north part of the Davis Mountains at somewhat lower elevation where the bioblitzing continued (including another several hundred plant images, June 5-8). On June 8, after departing the Davis Mountains, I made a full circuit around Balmorhea Lake, taking the opportunity to photograph some of the plants of the wetlands and saline flats surrounding that waterbody. A final chapter in this Trans-Pecos trip will be a set of uploads from the Fort Stockton area (Pecos Co., June 9-16) while I suffered through a week-long “hotel arrest” waiting for truck repairs so that I could finally head home.

I’m hoping some of my botanically-inclined iNat friends and followers can help confirm a lot of these plant images. Some will be easier than others. The Davis Mountains has a very interesting botanical array with many endemics and lots of species found only in the “sky islands” of the Trans-Pecos within Texas.

I'll supplement this Journal entry with some of the more interesting images as they get uploaded.

Have fun with these!

Posted by gcwarbler gcwarbler, June 30, 2016 18:01

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Fendler's Ceanothus (Ceanothus fendleri)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 5, 2016

Description

I have barely begun to organize and identify thousands of plant images from my early June jaunt to West Texas. I thought I'd upload this one as a starting point as a teaser.

Fendler's Ceanothus is apparently known in Texas only from a handful of plants in the higher elevations of the Trans-Pecos. This shrub was photographed on a hillside in Tobe Canyon at about 7000 ft, on TNC's Davis Mountains Preserve. It is definitely a pollinator magnet with many bees, flies, beetles, and a few butterflies on the shrub.
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3445031

p.s. I was never able to get a clear picture of that interesting little black and red beetle in the background!

Photos / Sounds

What

Leafcutter, Mortar, and Resin Bees (Genus Megachile)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

I can't recall seeing leafcutter bees go after flower petals, but that's what appears to have happened here to this White-eyed Phlox in the Davis Mts.; elev. 5100 ft.

Tags

bee

Photos / Sounds

What

Purple Groundcherry (Quincula lobata)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 1, 2016 12:44 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Trans-Pecos Five-Eyes (Chamaesaracha villosa)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 1, 2016 12:59 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Mexican Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja mexicana)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 1, 2016 05:41 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Pygmy Bluet (Houstonia wrightii)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 1, 2016 05:55 PM CDT

Description

In Texas, pygmy bluets are known only from the Davis Mountains.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pinewoods Geranium (Geranium caespitosum)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2, 2016 05:44 PM CDT

Description

Fairly common in open woods and moist canyons in the mountains. This species sometimes (?) goes by the name G. atropurpureum.

Photos / Sounds

What

Wholeleaf Paintbrush (Castilleja integra)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 3, 2016 05:24 PM CDT

Description

Uncommon in the moist canyon bottom of Madera Canyon; one of four species of paintbrush found in the Davis Mountains. See also,
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3571841

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 3, 2016 05:39 PM CDT

Description

Although this is shown in Correl & Johnston and a plant list by B. Carr (2005) as ssp. asperulum, I'm going with the current mapping on USDA PLANTS which shows ssp. flexicum as the taxon occurring in West Texas mountains.
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=GAMEF

Photos / Sounds

What

Manyflowered Gromwell (Lithospermum multiflorum)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 3, 2016 05:38 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Uinta Ragwort (Packera millelobata)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 3, 2016 04:50 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Roundleaf Snowberry (Symphoricarpos rotundifolius)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 3, 2016 05:28 PM CDT

Description

One of three species of snowberry occurring in the Davis Mountains (Carr 2005). This one can be keyed out by (a) the relatively glabrous (unhairy) leaves, and (b) the stamens [visible in the first flower close-up] which reach half way out on the lobes of the corolla.

Photos / Sounds

What

Longleaf Cologania (Cologania angustifolia)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 4, 2016 09:11 AM CDT

Description

A very interesting skinny pea vine on the trail in the middle part of Madera Canyon. Elev. abt 6500 ft.

Photos / Sounds

What

Standley's Draba (Draba standleyi)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 4, 2016 11:54 AM CDT

Description

This is certainly one of the more interesting finds on this hike. This clump was growing out of a nearly vertical basalt wall near the base of Baldy Peak on Mt. Livermore. Within Texas, this is only known from the Davis Mountains.

For further details on this species, see: J. M. Poole et al. 2007. Rare Plants of Texas, p. 182-183. Texas A&M Press.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 4, 2016 11:53 AM CDT

Description

I believe this is the correct variety of "Claretcup" which occurs in the Davis Mountains. (I need a newer Texas cactus reference.)

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 4, 2016 10:43 AM CDT

Description

This is the variety with highly glandular-hairy calyces (see flower close-up) which keys out in Correll & Johnston to "Verbena wrightii" (now a synonym of G. b. ciliata).

Photos / Sounds

What

Lewis Flax (Linum lewisii)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 4, 2016 11:32 AM CDT

Description

Common along the jeep trail at high elevations on Mt. Livermore.

Photos / Sounds

What

Desert Indigo Sage (Salvia arizonica)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 4, 2016 01:40 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Hillside Vervain (Verbena neomexicana)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 4, 2016 10:43 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Desert Savior (Echeveria strictiflora)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 4, 2016 06:16 PM CDT

Description

We saw a few clusters of this species on rocky ravines at mid-elevations (about 6200 ft in this instance). The plants were just beginning to send up new flower stalks. I photographed the dry stalks from the previous year.

Photos / Sounds

What

Earle's Woolly Locoweed (Astragalus mollissimus var. earlei)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Lyre-leaf Greeneyes (Berlandiera lyrata)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Lyreleaf greeneyes, Chocolate daisy; Asteraceae

Photos / Sounds

What

Firecrackerbush (Bouvardia ternifolia)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Description

This variety is recognized by the stamens which are not pubescent, the three-lobed leaves, and the hairless tails on the seeds.

Photos / Sounds

What

Indian Rushpea (Hoffmannseggia glauca)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

a.k.a. hog potato or Indian rush-pea.

Photos / Sounds

What

Blue Curls (Phacelia congesta)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

This is the variety "rupestris" (in Correll & Johnston, 1970) indicated by the white flowers, but that variety is not recognized in newer taxonomic treatments (e.g., ITIS).

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Characterized by the branched stems and glaucous, blue-green foliage.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rocky Mountain Zinnia (Zinnia grandiflora)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Photos / Sounds

What

Dwarf Stickpea (Calliandra humilis)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Photos / Sounds

What

Bracted Bedstraw (Galium microphyllum)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

I saw a few patches of this in and around rocky areas but not necessarily shaded or moist sites.

Photos / Sounds

What

Slimleaf Plains-Mustard (Hesperidanthus linearifolius)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

I just saw one or two plants of this species; it may be more numerous but if not in bloom, in is is quite inconspicuous.

Photos / Sounds

What

Valdivia Duckweed (Lemna valdiviana)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Description

The oblique, oblong, often pointed thali are characteristic of this species of duckweed. Note also how several thali (6 to 8) are linked together, rather than just 2 or 3.
http://waynesword.palomar.edu/imgleva.htm
http://luirig.altervista.org/schedenam/fnam.php?taxon=Lemna+valdiviana

Photos / Sounds

What

Fendler's Penstemon (Penstemon fendleri)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Description

Just two flowers on a single plant still blooming

Photos / Sounds

What

Velvetseed Milkwort (Hebecarpa obscura)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

This was a nice find in an open gravelly grassland slope at about 5200 ft.

Photos / Sounds

What

Plains Ironweed (Vernonia marginata)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

A patch of this distinctive ironweed was growing around a hillside spring at about 5000 ft. elevation. While all the leaves were very narrow, note the variation in narrowness in two of the clusters (last two images).

Photos / Sounds

What

Wright's Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia wrightii)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Description

Wright'™s dutchman€'s pipe, Wright'™s pipevine; Aristolochiaceae. Just a single cluster of this inconspicuous and interesting little flower was found around the rocky margin of a permanent reach of a stream; elev. about 4600 ft.

Photos / Sounds

What

Fringed Willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Description

I almost overlooked this tiny pink flower in the wetlands along the stream bank. The plants are about 1 to 1-1/2 feet tall and the flowers are barely 4 mm long, on top of a fruit capsule that is 25 to 40 mm.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rose Evening Primrose (Oenothera rosea)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Description

This example has much nicer flowers than the one I uploaded from the previous day. Unfortunately, the leaves on this plant had some type of fungus or other disease.

Photos / Sounds

What

Tracy's Hawthorn (Crataegus tracyi)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Description

The only hawthorn thus far documented in the Davis Mountains.

Photos / Sounds

What

Wright's Silktassel (Garrya wrightii)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Description

Characterized by the relatively flat and sparsely haired leaves.

Photos / Sounds

What

Golden Pricklypoppy (Argemone aenea)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Description

Of two yellow prickly-poppies in Texas, only A. aenea is documented in the Trans-Pecos. The stamens of this species are reportedly supposed to be red or purplish, but here they are quite yellow. The stamen count on this flower of about 120 is close to the range for A. aenea and far too many for A. mexicana of South Texas.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rough Nama (Nama hispida)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 2016

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

a.k.a. "Rough nama".

Photos / Sounds

What

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 8, 2016 12:10 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Texas Blueweed (Helianthus ciliaris)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 8, 2016 01:14 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Alkali Mallow (Malvella leprosa)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 8, 2016 01:28 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

American Three-square Bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

June 8, 2016 01:27 PM CDT

Description

An abundant stand of the bulrush is found below the levee on the NW side of the lake.

Comments

Beautiful!!! Now, I just need to get a West TX Flora to key any of these out... ;)

@nathantaylor7583 comes to mind as a West TX plant guru.

Posted by sambiology over 5 years ago (Flag)

Wow!!! Absolutely another universe to me...

Posted by connlindajo over 5 years ago (Flag)

Yay! I have C&J, Warnock and Powell sitting next to the computer. :-) Will try to start working on these this weekend.

Posted by billdodd over 5 years ago (Flag)

Powell is currently polishing up his Flora of the Trans-Pecos (flowering plants) to be published through JBRIT. It is extremely useful, complete, and I can't wait until it comes out. I use the unfinished version on the majority of my specimens whenever I'm in Alpine.

Posted by nathantaylor over 5 years ago (Flag)

@nathantaylor7583 - Wow, great to hear about Powell's upcoming Trans-Pecos Flora! I'll be looking forward to that.

Posted by billdodd over 5 years ago (Flag)

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