Journal archives for May 2018

May 18, 2018

Castilleja (Paintbrush) Species of Texas

Castilleja, a member of the parasitic family Orobanchaceae, includes over 200 species, seven of which are native to Texas. A few of these seven species include several subspecies, most notably C. purpurea, which has a number of subspecies that vary greatly in color.

The colorful components of Castilleja are actually specialized bracts rather than actual petals, and surround small, modestly colored flowers.

Castilleja are hemiparasites that do photosynthesize, but also draw water and nutrients from host plants by penetrating the roots of those plants with specialized roots called haustoria. Because of this, Castilleja does not thrive in isolation. Depending on the composition of a botanical community, Castilleja can increase or decrease biodiversity by either parasitizing on more dominant or secondary plants.

Castilleja is often found thriving among stands of lupines, as lupines are nitrogen-fixing and produce a number of toxins that may inhibit herbivory. Castilleja draws these chemicals and nutrients from lupines and does well as a result.

Species of Castilleja native to Texas, and notes on their distribution in the state:
C. indivisa (Texas Paintbrush) (Eastern half of state, mostly excluding Cross Timbers ecoregion)
C. integra (Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush, Squawfeather) (Mostly West Texas)
C. integra var. integra
C. lanata (Sierra woolly Indian paintbrush) (mostly West Texas)
C. mexicana (Mexican Indian Paintbrush) (Big Bend region)
C. purpurea (Prairie Paintbrush) (Edwards Plateau and north into the Cross Timbers ecoregion)
C. purpurea var. citrina (Lemon Paintbrush) (Central Great Plains, Edwards Plateau. Occurrences reported near San Saba/Mason/Sonora)
C. purpurea var. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's paintbrush) (Uncommon, along Balcones Fault Zone)
C. purpurea var. purpurea (Purple Paintbrush) (Primarily found in Cross Timbers ecoregion, with some occurrences south to Llano Uplift)
C. rigida (Rigid Paintbrush) (Uncommon, mostly western Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos)
C. sessiliflora (Downy Painted Cup) (West Texas and panhandle)

See sources:

Posted on May 18, 2018 07:26 PM by mattgeo1990 mattgeo1990 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Solanum Species of Texas

Solanum is a genus in the Nightshade family (Solanaceae) that contains between 1,500 and 2,000 species, twelve of which occur naturally in Texas. The genus Solanum includes the potato (S. tuberosum) and the tomato (S. lycopersicum). In addition to these two important plants, the family Solanaceae also includes peppers, eggplant, tobacco, and petunias.

Despite being highly poisonous to livestock and humans, one Texas native species, Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silverleaf Nightshade), has historically been and continues to be useful to humans. Native Americans used various parts of the plant to treat a number of ailments such as toothache, snakebites, respiratory problems, colds, eye injuries/irritation, stomach problems, sneezing, and constipation. Additionally, parts of the plant were used in the process of tanning hides, curdling milk, making cheese, and increasing human lactation periods. Modern uses include synthesis of birth control hormones and corticosteroids, limiting growth of certain cancer cells, and treating herpes. Silverleaf nightshade is native to Texas and New Mexico, but has been widely introduced across the US and to other continents, where it is considered an aggressive invasive weed. It is considered a noxious weed in several US states.

12 species native to Texas, and notes on their occurrence in the state:

S. americanum (American Black Nightshade) (USDA reports occurrences only in panhandle, but iNat reports occurrences mostly in the eastern third of the state)
S. campechiense (Redberry Nightshade) (mostly in Rio Grande Valley)
S. carolinense (Carolina Horsenettle) (mostly in East Texas)
S. citrullifolium (Watermelon Nightshade) (Seemingly rare in Texas, mostly in Trans Pecos with some occurrences in Central Texas)
S. dimidiatum (Western Horsenettle) (across most of the state, except TransPecos, Coastal Plain, and panhandle)
S. douglasii (Greenspot Nightshade) (seemingly rare in Texas, occurs mostly in southern half of state)
S. elaeagnifolium (Silverleaf Nightshade) (very common, occurs statewide)
S. erianthum (Potato Tree) (occurs in Rio Grande Valley)
S. heterodoxum (Melonleaf Nightshade) (seemingly rare in Texas, iNat reports one occurrence near Marathon, TX)
S. ptycanthum (Eastern Black Nightshade) (occurs mostly south of I-10 and east of I-35)

See sources:

Posted on May 18, 2018 09:33 PM by mattgeo1990 mattgeo1990 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Lupine Species of Texas

Although it originally only included Lupinus texensis, the definition of the Texas state flower was expanded to include any species of Lupine occurring in Texas.

7 species native to Texas, and notes on their distribution in the state:

L. concinnus (Annual Lupine/Bajada Lupine) (seemingly rare in Texas, occurs in Trans-Pecos)
L. havardii (Big Bend Bluebonnet) (endemic to Big Bend region)
L. perennis (Wild Lupine) (seemingly rare, occurs in Beaumont/Jasper area of East Texas)
L. perennis ssp. gracilis (Sundial Lupine) (seemingly rare, occurs in Beaumont/Jasper area of East Texas)
L. plattensis (Nebraska Lupine) (seemingly rare in Texas, USDA reports occurrence in Hartley County)
L. subcarnosus (Sandyland Bluebonnet) (central and western coastal plains/blackland prairies)
L. texensis (Texas Bluebonnet) (common in most of the state except panhandle and far west Texas, less common in east Texas)

See sources:

Posted on May 18, 2018 10:01 PM by mattgeo1990 mattgeo1990 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 31, 2018

Glandularia (Mock Vervain) Species of Texas

Glandularia is a genus within the family Verbenaceae, and although native to the Americas, has been introduced in Europe and Africa. Although it seems that the generic complex of Glandularia has a storied history wrought with taxonomic disagreement, as far as I can tell there are nine species of the genus that occur in Texas. In general, it seems that differentiating many members of the genera Glandularia and Verbena can be difficult in the field for a layman. Additionally, it seems that hybridization between species and between these two genera is not uncommon. However, in Texas the two genera might be differentiated in that Glandularia tends to exhibit a round-topped cluster of flowers, whilee Texas species of Verbena do not tend to exhibit this type of inflorescence.

Species that occur in Texas and notes about their distribution in the state:

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie Verbena, Dakota Mock Vervain) (common across most of the state, except east Texas and most of the Trans-Pecos)
Glandularia pubera (Davis Mountains Mock Vervain, formerly G. b. var. ciliata) (uncommon in panhandle and south Texas, but found across the Trans-Pecos)
Glandularia canadensis (Rose Mock Vervain) (mostly confined to east Texas)
Glandularia gooddingii (Southwestern Mock Vervain) (seemingly very rare in Texas, few possible occurences in central and far south Texas)
Glandularia polyantha (Rio Grande Mock Vervain) (seemingly rare, occurs in Texas only in the Rio Grande Valley)
Glandularia pumila (Dwarf Vervain) (occurs across most of the state except far north panhandle, far west Texas, and east Texas)
Glandularia quandrangulata (Beaked Mock Vervain, synonymous with G. pulchella) (mostly occurs south of I-10 and west of I-37)
Glandularia tumidula (Plains Mock Vervain) (Seemingly rare in Texas, occurs in Val Verde, Uvalde, and Bandera counties)
Glandularia delticola (Moradia) (seemingly rare in Texas, found only in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties in the Rio Grande Valley)


Texas Species of Glandularia (Verbenaceae), B.L. Turner, 1998, UT Austin

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center NPIN

USDA Plants Database

Posted on May 31, 2018 03:41 PM by mattgeo1990 mattgeo1990 | 0 comments | Leave a comment