An Annotated List of Plant Taxa Endemic to the Lone Star State

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No Place but Texas:

An Annotated List of Plant Taxa Endemic to the Lone Star State
William R. Carr

The Nature Conservancy of Texas

Incomplete Working Draft, November 2009

Provided below is a list of all plant taxa thought to be endemic to, i.e., found only in, the State of Texas. This distinction has no biological significance, since political boundaries do not correspond to biotic and abiotic forces that effect plant distribution. Nonetheless, this list is offered to satisfy the curiosity of those who wish to know, for whatever reason, which of the state's 5500 to 6000 plant taxa grow only in Texas. Plant taxa that are endemic to the each of the 11 ecoregions that are found, in whole or (mostly) in part in Texas, are available from The Nature Conservancy in other venues.
A list of Texas endemics is not a new idea: two similar unpublished lists have been generated in the past. The first, entitled Endemic Vascular Plants of Texas, probably dates from the mid 1970's. It came to the Texas Natural Heritage Program from the files of the long-defunct Rare Plant Study Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Its authorship is unknown, but legend has it that it was the work of a student of Dr. Chester Rowell, a student who compiled it by painstakingly thumbing through the Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (Correll & Johnston, 1970) and writing down every taxon described as endemic to Texas. The second effort was a list of target species for a project entitled Phytogeographical Investigation of Texas Endemics (Amos, 1991). This list was compiled by Dr. Bonnie Amos of Angelo State University. Its concept was broader, including taxa thought to be endemic to major natural biological regions contained mostly within the state as well as most of the traditional political endemics.
All of the taxa from the preceding efforts were originally included in this list. Many were deleted on the basis of new information documenting occurrence beyond the boundaries of the state. Others were deleted for taxonomic reasons, as new information made it clear that some of our so-called endemics were not distinct from taxa of other regions. (See "Excluded Taxa" at end of document.) Conversely, a few recently-described endemics are included here for the first time.
This is a work in progress. County distributions were compiled over the years from voucher specimens as well as a wide spectrum of published and unpublished literature. However, those sources are not cited directly in this document. Before any such list can be published, voucher specimens for each county must be transcribed. That task has not been undertaken as yet, in part because the ongoing Flora of Texas project offers the prospect that such information will be available electronically in a few years. For the meantime, county records represented by vouchers at the Plant Resources Center at the University of Texas at Austin are flagged with asterisks. The fact that other records are not documented herein is unacceptable and will be corrected in the future.
Only a few particularly pertinent literature references are cited. Those providing an illustration of the taxon in question are flagged with asterisks.

Isoetaceae Quillwort Family
Isoetes lithophila Pfeiffer. Rock quillwort. Sand and gravel in shallow water of ephemeral pools on essentially barren granite and gneiss outcrops on the Llano Uplift. Burnet*, Gillespie, Llano* and Mason counties. Ref: Correll, 1956*; Correll & Correll, 1975*; Flora of North America Committee, 1993; Rowell, 1983; Walters & Wyatt, 1982.

Agavaceae Agave Family
Nolina arenicola Correll. Sand sacahuista. Windblown Quaternary sand in dune area east of Van Horn; also in shrublands on steep Permian limestone slopes in the Guadalupe Mountains. Culberson, Hudspeth and perhaps El Paso counties. Ref.: Burgess & Northington, 1981; Correll, 1968; Poole, 1989b; Powell, 1998*.
Nolina lindheimeriana (Scheele) Wats. Lindheimer's nolina. Grasslands and open juniper-oak woodlands on dry rocky limestone slopes, mostly on the Edwards Plateau, but ranging north on the Lampasas Cutplain to Bell and Somervell Counties and south to at least Fayette County. Bandera*, Bell, Bexar*, Comal*, Edwards*, Gillespie*, Fayette*, Kendall*, Kerr*, Lampasas*, Somervell, Travis* and Williamson* counties. Ref.: Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*; Lynch, 1981*.
Yucca cernua Keith. Nodding yucca. Known from a six square kilometer area in west-central Newton County and adjacent eastern Jasper County, where it is restricted to open or partially shaded upland sites on brownish acid clays of the Redco Series (Keith, 2003).
Yucca necopina Shinners. Glen Rose yucca. Grasslands on sandy soils on terraces of the Brazos River in Hood and Somervell counties and in deep sands in Parker and Tarrant counties (Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999). Ref.: Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*.
Yucca pallida McKelvey. Pale yucca. Rocky limestone slopes primarily on the Lampasas Cutplain and in the Cross Timbers, with reports from Bosque, Brown, Coryell, Dallas, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise counties; the report from Travis County in Vines (1960) is doubtful. Reports from the Blackland Prairie are probably from areas of shallow stony soils rather than deep heavy clays. Ref.: Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*; Tull & Miller, 1991; Vines, 1960.
Yucca rupicola Scheele. Twistleaf yucca. The common yucca of the Edwards Plateau and Llano Uplift, occurring in almost every imaginable habitat. Bandera, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Burnet, Comal, Dallas, Edwards, Gillespie, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Llano, Real, San Saba, Somervell, Travis, Uvalde and Val Verde counties. According to Mahler (1988), Yucca rupicola ranges no further north than Bell County, which would seem to indicate that reports from Dallas and Somervell counties may be based on specimens of Yucca pallida, another Texas endemic. Ref.: Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*; Enquist, 1987a*; Lynch, 1981*; Rickett, 1970*; Vines, 1960*.
Yucca tenuistyla Trel. White-rim yucca. Southern Edwards Plateau and South Texas Plains; county distribution unknown due to lack of voucher specimens. A poorly known species, submerged by some authorities (e.g., Vines, 1960) within the more widespread Yucca constricta.
Commelinaceae Spiderwort Family
Tradescantia edwardsiana Tharp. Plateau spiderwort. Locally common in woodlands and forests in mesic canyons and on alluvial terraces in parts of the Lampasas Cutplain, but rare on much of the Edwards Plateau. Bandera*, Bell*, Bexar*, Brown*, Caldwell*, Collin (Diggs et al., 1999), Coryell*, Dallas (Diggs et al., 1999), Fannin*, Hays, Lamar*, Medina*, Palo Pinto*, Travis*, Uvalde* and Val Verde* counties. Ref.: Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*; Tharp, 1932*.
Tradescantia humilis Rose. Texas spiderwort. Numerous habitats in sandy to loamy soils over much of southern and eastern Texas. Austin*, Atascosa*, Bandera*, Bastrop*, Bee*, Bexar*, Brazoria*, Brown (Diggs et al., 1999), Burleson*, Dallas (Diggs et al., 1999), Dimmit*, Fayette*, Frio*, Goliad*, Gonzales*, Guadalupe*, Harris*, Hays*, Karnes*, Kenedy*, Kleberg*, Lamar (Diggs et al., 1999), Matagorda*, Newton*, Nueces*, Robertson*, San Patricio*, Travis*, Uvalde*, Victoria*, Webb*, Williamson* and Wilson* counties. Ref.: Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*; Rickett, 1970*.
Tradescantia pedicellata Celarier [Tradescantia X diffusa Bush]. Granite spiderwort. Mostly in grasslands and among shrubs on rocky slopes and flats on sandy to gravelly soils derived from granite, gneiss and other igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Llano Uplift. Burnet*, Llano* and Mason* counties; a report from Blanco Co. is somewhat anomalous. Ref.: Celarier, 1956; Enquist, 1987a*; MacRoberts, 1978.
Tradescantia subacaulis Bush. Stemless spiderwort. Grasslands and woodland margins, mostly on sandy soils, ranging across much of the eastern half of Texas. Anderson*, Aransas*, Atascosa*, Bastrop*, Bexar*, Brazos*, Brooks*, Caldwell*, Calhoun*, Chambers*, Dallas*, Denton*, Erath*, Fayette*, Fort Bend*, Freestone*, Gonzales*, Grayson*, Henderson*, Hidalgo*, Kenedy*, Kleberg*, Lavaca*, Lee*, Leon*, Liberty*, Limestone*, Medina*, Milam*, Navarro (Diggs et al., 1999), Refugio*, Robertson*, San Patricio*, San Saba*, Tarrant*, Travis*, Washington* and Willacy* counties. Ref.: Anderson & Woodson, 1935; Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*; Jones, 1977.
Cyperaceae Sedge Family
Carex edwardsiana Bridges & Orzell. Canyon sedge. Duff-covered loamy soils in mostly deciduous woodlands on rocky slopes in mesic limestone canyons. Bandera*, Bell*, Bexar, Blanco, Comal, Coryell*, Hays*, Kendall*, Medina*, Real, Travis and Uvalde* counties. Ref.: Bridges & Orzell, 1989*; Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*; Naczi & Bryson, 1990.
Cyperus onerosus M. C. Johnston. Dune flatsedge. Moist to wet sand in depressions among active or partially stabilized sand dunes in Andrews, Ward and Winkler counties. Ref.: Carr, 1991; Johnston, 1964a; Warnock, 1974*.
Eleocharis austrotexana M. C. Johnston. South Texas spikesedge. Miscellaneous wetlands at scattered locations on the coastal plain. Atascosa, Cameron*, Guadalupe*, Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, San Patricio and Wharton* counties (Johnston, 1964; ASTC, 1983; TEX-LL, 1997). Ref.: Johnston, 1964b.
Liliaceae Lily Family
Allium canadense L. var. ecristatum M. E. Jones. Crestless wild-onion. Poorly drained sites on sandy substrates within coastal prairies of the Coastal Bend area. Goliad, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio counties (Ownbey, 1950; TAES, 1998; TEX-LL, 1998); a collection attributed to Bee County was probably taken from a site in San Patricio County (Ownbey, 1950). Ref: Cheatham, Johnston & Marshall, 1995*; Jones, 1977; Ownbey, 1950.
Allium coryi M. E. Jones. Cory's onion; Sperry's yellow onion. A variety of habitats in Brewster*, Jeff Davis*, Pecos*, Presidio* and Terrell* counties. Ref.: Cheatham, Johnston & Marshall, 1995*; Henrickson & Johnston, in prep.; Ownbey, 1950; Rickett, 1970*.
Allium elmendorfii M. Ownbey. Elmendorf onion. Grasslands and other open habitats on deep loose sands. Atascosa, Bee, Bexar, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Kenedy, Llano, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio and Wilson counties. Ref.: Cheatham, Johnston & Marshall, 1995*; Ownbey, 1950.
Allium perdulce S. V. Fraser var. sperryi M. Ownbey. Sperry's pink onion. Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Presidio and Reeves counties. Ref.: Cheatham, Johnston & Marshall, 1995*; Ownbey, 1950.
Allium runyonii M. Ownbey. Runyon's onion. Open areas on deep sandy soils. Mostly in South Texas. Brooks*, Duval*, Goliad, Jim Hogg, Kenedy*, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio*, Webb, Willacy* and Zapata* counties. Ref.: Cheatham, Johnston & Marshall, 1995*; Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*; Hill, 1982; Ownbey, 1950.
Cooperia jonesii Cory [Zephyranthes jonesii (Cory) Traub]. Jones' rainlily. Bee, Cameron, Goliad, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio and Victoria counties (Correll & Johnston, 1970). Correll & Johnston (1970) speculated that this might be a hybrid between Zephyranthes pulchella and Cooperia drummondii.
Cooperia smallii Alex. Small's rainlily. Reported only from Cameron County. Correll & Johnston (1970) speculated that this might be a hybrid between Zephyranthes pulchella and Cooperia drummondii.
Cooperia traubii Hayward. Traub's rainlily. Moist soils in seasonal swales in southeast Texas, including (at least) Aransas, Calhoun, Colorado, Galveston and Refugio counties. Ref.: Jones, 1977; Niehaus, Ripper & Savage, 1984*.
Echeandia chandleri (Greenm. & Thomps.) M. C. Johnston [Anthericum chandleri Greenm. & Thomps.] Lila de las lomas. Cameron, Kleberg and Nueces counties, in nonsaline clay in coastal prairie grassland remnants and in unshaded openings in subtropical woodlands or shrublands and in windblown saline clay on lomas at mouth of Rio Grande. Villareal Q. (1994) reported Echeandia chandleri to be common in valleys and on lower slopes in a portion of southeastern Coahuila that lies at an elevation between 1200 and 2350 meters; the species is retained as a Texas endemic pending a taxonomic assessment of the Coahuila material. Ref.: Cruden, 1981; Cruden, 1993; Poole, 1985; Richardson, 1995*.
Echeandia texensis Cruden. Green Island echeandia. Lomas along the Gulf coast in Cameron County (Cruden 1999).
Zephyranthes pulchella J. G. Sm. Showy zephyr-lily. Seasonally wet areas on the coastal plain of South Texas. Cameron*, Frio*, Hidalgo*, Karnes, Kleberg, Nueces*, Starr, Webb and Wilson counties.
Zephyranthes refugiensis F. B. Jones. Refugio rainlily. Open swales on tight sandy loam. Goliad, Refugio and San Patricio counties. Ref.: Jones, 1961; Jones, 1977.
Orchidaceae Orchid Family
Spiranthes parksii Correll. Navasota ladies'-tresses. Margins of post oak woodlands in areas where edaphic factors such as high aluminum content or hydrologic factors such as a winter-perched water table limit competing vegetation. Brazos, Burleson, Fayette, Freestone, Grimes, Jasper, Leon, Madison, Milam, Robertson and Washington counties. Ref.: Catling & McIntosh, 1979; Mahler, 1980g; Poole & Riskind, 1987*; Wilson & Ajilvsgi, 1983.
Triphora trianthophora (Sw.) Rydb. var. texana P. M. Brown & R. B. Pike. Texas three-birds orchid. Known only from Houston County, where it occurs in the sparse ground layer of a dense stand of hardwoods and pines along an intermittent drainage (Brown & Pike, 2006).
Poaceae Grass Family
Bouteloua kayi Warnock. Kay's grama. Limestone outcrops and gravelly soils on desert flats in a small portion of Brewster County. Ref.: Powell, 1994; Warnock, 1955*.
Bromus texensis (Shear.) Hitchc. Texas brome. Various habitats on the coastal plain and Edwards Plateau. Aransas*, Bexar*, Duval, Goliad, Jim Wells*, Karnes, McMullen, Nueces*, Refugio, San Patricio* and Travis counties. Ref.: Gould, 1975*; Silveus, 1933*; Wagnon, 1952.
Chloris texensis Nash. Texas windmillgrass. Relatively bare areas in coastal prairie grassland remnants on sandy to sandy loam soils. Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Nueces and Refugio counties, with questionable reports from Brazos and Hidalgo counties. Ref.: Gould & Box, 1965*; Silveus, 1933*.
Digitaria texana Hitchc. [including Digitaria runyonii Hitchc.] Texas crabgrass. Grasslands on deep sandy soils on the coastal plain. Brooks, Calhoun, Kenedy, Nueces, San Patricio and Willacy counties. Ref.: Gould & Box, 1965*; Gould, 1975; Lonard, 1993.
Muhlenbergia involuta Swallen. Canyon muhly; hybrid muhly. Rocky slopes in openly wooded limestone canyons; sometimes along creekbottoms, mostly on the Edwards Plateau. Bandera, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Comal, Edwards, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Medina and Travis counties. Supposedly of hybrid origin (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri x Muhlenbergia reverchonii). Ref.: Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon, 1999*; Gould, 1975*; Silveus, 1933*; Swallen, 1932.
Panicum nodatum Hitch. & Chase [Dichanthelium nodatum (Hitch. & Chase) Gould]. Sarita dichanthelium. Mostly on deep sandy soils of coastal barrier islands, the South Texas Sand Sheet, and the Post Oak belt on Eocene Sands in the northern part of the South Texas Plains. Aransas, Atascosa, Bastrop, Bexar, Brooks, Caldwell, Calhoun, Colorado, Gonzales, Karnes, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lavaca, Nueces, Refugio, Robertson, Victoria and Wilson counties (TEX-LL, Feb 2001; McAlister, 1999). Also in Mexico? (See Silveus, 1933.) Ref.: Gould & Box, 1965*; Lonard, 1993*; Silveus, 1933*.
Setaria firmula (Hitchc. & Chase) Pilger [Panicum firmulum Hitchc. & Chase].
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