LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER
OCTOBER 2019 PAGE ONE

Photographs by Michael Charters




I recently visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. I should immediately point out that the picture above is not mine. I borrowed it from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Facebook page. Obviously, in the month of October, you would not see such displays of wildflowers like this, but I am hoping to go back in the spring when the floral displays will be more extensive. Nevertheless, there were many species still in bloom and it was well worth a visit. The Center contains some 900 species of Texas native plants. It's difficult to say whether there are more plant species in Texas or California; the CNPS says that California has more, but I have also read that the crown goes to Texas. In any case, both states have a great and diverse flora. Figures I have seen indicate there are around 5,000 species of plants in Texas, of which some 2,700 are considered "wild flowers." This doesn't include the grasses, sedges, rushes, trees, shrubs, some cacti and plants with small flowers that aren’t showy. Texas does have 100,000 more square miles of area than does California. The highest point in Texas is Guadalupe Peak in the Guadalupe Mountains which has an elevation of 8,751'. Austin sits on the eastern edge of what is called the Texas Hill Country in the Edwards Plateau region, which is one of the major wildflower areas in the state. Other significant areas are the Piney Woods in the east, the Gulf Coast prairie and marsh region reaching from Houston to Corpus Christi, the Post Oak savannah area which stretches southwest from Texarkana, the High Plains up near Lubbock and Amarillo, the Trans-Pecos region in western Texas, the Rolling Plains region occupying a large area from around Abilene up into the panhandle, the Blackland Prairies reaching north, east and south of Dallas, the South Texas Plains which occupies much of the area south of San Antonio, and the Cross Timbers and Prairies area, a region of dense trees extending north, west and south of Fort Worth. The Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico stretches along the southern border of Texas all the way from Brownsville to El Paso, and no doubt many species have originated there.


   
Halberd-leaved rose mallow
Hibiscus laevis
Malvaceae
 
Purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea
Asteraceae
 
Giant coneflower
Rudbeckia maxima
Asteraceae


 
Gregg's mist-flower
Conoclinium greggii
Asteraceae

[Named for Josiah Gregg, 1806-1850]


 
 
Rock rose, Texas swamp-mallow
Pavonia lasiopetala
Malvaceae

[Named for José Antonio Pavón y Jiménez, 1754-1840]
 
 
 
 
Bitterweed
Tetraneuris scaposa
Asteraceae
Partridge pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata
Fabaceae
 
 


   
Coral berry
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus
Caprifoliaceae

 
Agarita
Mahonia trifoliata
Berberidaceae

[Named for Bernard McMahon, 1775-1816]


   
Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria
Aquifoliaceae

 
   
Salt marsh-mallow
Kosteletzkya virginica
Malvaceae

[Named for Vincenz Franz Kosteletzky, 1801-1887]
Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis
Bignoniaceae

 


 
Prairie goldenrod
Solidago nemoralis
Asteraceae


 
Woollytooth spotted beebalm
Monarda punctata
Lamiaceae
   
Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea
Lamiaceae
 


 
Drummond's wild petunia
Ruellia drummondiana
Acanthaceae
[Named for Thomas Drummond, 1793-1835]
  Chocolate flower
Berlandiera lyrata
Asteraceae
[Named for Jean-Louis Berlandier, 1805-1851]


 
Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum
Asteraceae
 
 

Bull muhly
Muhlenbergia emersleyi
Poaceae
[Named for Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg. 1753-1815, and John Dare Emersley, c.1826-1899]


   
Pale-leaf yucca
Yucca pallida
Agavaceae

 
Sensitive briar
Mimosa roemeriana
Fabaceae

[Named for Ferdinand von Roemer. 1818-1891]


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