Ft. Worth Prairie, Part_1

Yesterday (Oct. 10, 2009), our Cross Timbers Master Naturalist Class went on a ‘Prairie Field Trip’. The prairie was located on the 2200 acre Bear Creek Ranch in southeast Parker county, Texas.
Location – 32° 37.5′ N,  97° 37.5′ W.

Dr. Tony Burgess, Professor, TCU Environmental Science Department characterizes the local prairie here in an excerpt from his paper, The Fort Worth Prairie: An Introduction.

“In north-central Texas the boundaries between grassland, savanna, and woodland are somewhat unstable, because the local climate could support several different types of plant growth forms.  The regional landscapes have a fairly complicated patchwork of different vegetation.  In this climatic context, differences in soil texture, slope, and position within the landscape may create highly contrasting plant communities (Diggs et al. 1999, Hill 1887).  Deep, sandy soil favors post oaks and sticky clay often grows open prairies. The Fort Worth Prairie, or Grand Prairie, was described by Hill (1901) and Dyksterhuis (1946), who recognized the association between open grasslands and limestone geology. The Fort Worth Prairie is different from Midwest prairies in that its geology includes layers of hard limestone that resist weathering into deep soil. These hard strata have been exposed by erosion, forming ridgetops and cuestas separated by valleys where softer rock has worn away (Hill 1901, Diggs et al. 1999).”

Next post I will discuss the three major types of herbaceous vegetation that can be distinguished within these banded prairie landscapes and more on the Bear Creek Ranch.

Note: This post will be updated later with information on the photos, but for now, here are some of the photos.

Be sure to click on the photos for enlarged views.

Indian Grass
Sorghastrum nutans
1 Indian-GrassOne of the Big Three Grasses

Sorghastrum nutans ( L). Nash. Indian Grass, is a native, perennial, warm-season grass, and a major component of the tall grass vegetation which once dominated the prairies of the central and eastern United States.  Indian Grass grows 3 to 5 feet tall.  Even as a young plant, it can be distinguished from other native grass species by the “rifle-sight” ligule at the point where the leaf attaches to the stem.  The leaf blade also narrows at the point of attachment.  The seed head is a single, narrow, plume-like panicle of a golden brown color.  The seed is light and fluffy with small awns attached.  There are about 175,000 seeds per pound.

Following A Seep
2 Following-a-seep-downhill

Seep Muhly
Muhlenbergia reverchonii
3 Seep-Muhly

Grass Family (Poaceae).  Seep Muhly is a native, warm season, perennial bunch grass.  The height ranges from 1 to 3 feet.  The leaf blade is narrow, 6 to 10 inches long.  The upper blades are shorter than lower ones, mostly twisting and sharp pointed.  The leaf sheath is mostly basal and longer than the internodes.  The seedhead is an open panicle about 10 inches long with branchlets 1 to 2 inches long and 1 to 8 spikelets each.  There is a short awn on the lemma of each spikelet.
Because seep muhly is tough and wiry, it is grazed mostly during the winter.  Where adapted, tt is a good conservation plant on steep highly erodible soils.

3A-seep-muhly-dist

Red-eared Slider
Trachemys scripta elegans
4 Red-eared-SliderRed-eared Slider information, Click Here !

Red Harvester Ant Bed
5-Ant-Bed

Closeup
Pogonomyrmex barbatus
6 Pogo-closeupHelp Save the Texas Horned Lizard

The Texas horned lizard is a protected threatened species. It is commonly called “horny toad.”

Full-grown lizards are normally 2 1/2 to 4 1/4 inches from the snout to the tip of the tail, although some grow larger. They have broad, flattened bodies and bear a crown of spines at the back of the head. Their color varies by the background color of the habitat in which they live.

Populations of the horned lizard and the harvester ant, on which it predominantly feeds, have declined in the eastern part of Texas. There are several possible factors contributing to the decline of these species.
* Red imported fire ants are believed to eliminate harvester ants and prevent new colonies from forming by preying on mated queen harvester ants.
* Red imported fire ants may prey directly on lizards or on hatching eggs of lizards.
* Many insecticides used to control or eliminate the red imported fire ant are toxic to the harvester ant, and eliminate the harvester ant more efficiently than they eliminate fire ants. Broadcast applications of fire ant bait products should be avoided in areas where harvester ants are found.
* Horned lizards normally inhabit flat, open, dry country with little cover. Urbanization, mowing, shredding, shallow discing and other land use practices can eliminate or reduce the production of weed seeds on which harvester ants feed. Harvester ants and horned lizards, which are dependent upon this ant species, cannot survive in these disturbed habitats.

Three-Banded Grasshopper
Hadrotettix trifasciatus
7 Hadrotettix trifasciatus

According to the ‘Wyoming Agricultrial Experiment Station Bulletin 912,

“The Three-banded Grasshopper ranges widely in the grasslands of the West in the middle third of the continent. It is a common species of the shortgrass, desert, and mixedgrass prairies. It is less abundant in other prairies and is rare in grass-shrub communities of the intermountain basins. In the tallgrass prairie it occupies areas of sparse vegetation on gravelly hilltops and slopes. This particular species is not considered a serious agricultural pest.

Its feeding on good forage grasses would tend to give it pest status, but research has shown that it feeds more heavily on poor forage plants and plants poisonous to livestock (death camus, milkweeds, some milkvetches, and others). It feeds on grasses, forbs, sedges, dead and weakened insects, plant litter, and dry cattle dung. It feeds chiefly on forbs, with as many as 40 species recorded from analyses of crop contents and direct observations in nature. Examination of 152 specimens collected from several habitats near North Platte, Nebraska revealed that 75 percent of crop contents consisted of forbs, 21 percent grasses and sedge, and 4 percent arthropod parts.”

Big Blue Sage
Salvia azurea var. grandiflora
8 Blue-Sage

Makes a good plant for cultivation in Native Gardens.

Salvia azurea Michx. ex Lam. var. grandiflora Benth.
Pitcher sage, Big blue sage, Azure sage, Giant blue sage, Blue sage
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
USDA Symbol: SAAZG
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.

A tall, delicate plant with large, 2-lipped, blue flowers, whorled around the square stem and forming a terminal spike-like cluster.

A widespread perennial of the grasslands, it also extends east to the Carolinas. It begins to flower early and may continue until fall, or into early winter in Florida.

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 3: 129.

8A-blue-sage-dist

Iron Weed
Vernonia baldwinii
9 Iron-Weed

Western ironweed’s 3-5 ft. stems occur singly or in clumps, and are stout and hairy. Wide clusters of vibrant, red-violet flowers form at the ends of short branches near the top of the plant. Because the flowers are all of the disk variety, the 6 in. wide flower cluster has a fuzzy appearance. Long, lance-shaped leaves line the stems.

This plant aggressively colonizes by rhizomes once established so place accordingly if used in a Native Garden. Its bloom period lasts until frost.

9A-ironweed-dist

We saw a lot of dried Basket Flower heads. For those asking how a Basket Flower received its name, here is a photo I made at the Ft. Worth Nature Center earlier in the year.

Basket Flower
Centaurea americana
10 basketflower

American basket-flower is a 1 1/2-5 ft. annual with a stout, leafy, much-branched stem and lavender-pink, filamentous flower heads with cream-colored centers. The flower heads are 4-5 in. wide and are subtended by fringed bracts. The plant looks similar to the thistles but lacks their prickly characteristics

The name basket flower refers to the stiff, straw-colored bracts just beneath the flower head, which are divided at the tip into long, sharp teeth.


Leave a comment.

What’s your favorite photograph?


Troy and Martha
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All Photos:  Canon G10

References:

Dr. Tony Burgess, Professor, TCU Environmental Science Department, The Fort Worth Prairie: An Introduction.

Hatch, S.L., K.N. Gandhi, and L.E. Brown. 1990. Checklist of the vascular plants of Texas (MP-1655). Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, College Station.

USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (14 September 2009). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Posted in Ft. Worth Prairie, Grand Prairie, Grasses, Harvester Ants, insects, Naturalists, Prairie, Turtles, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Sesbane or Hemp Sesbania

Synonyms:
Sesbania herbacea (Mill.) McVaugh – Sesbane
Sesbania exaltata (Raf.) Rydb. ex A.W. Hill – Hemp Sesbania
Sesbania macrocarpa Muhl. ex Raf.

Photos, range map, and a line drawing are below.
Click on the photos for closer looks

“Sesbane” is an annual herb in the Fabaceae (pea) family, openly branched, 10-12 feet tall. Also known as Bladderpod, Bigpod Sesbania, Bagpod, Sesbane, Coffee-bean, Bequilla, Colorado Riverhemp, Siene Weed, and Zacata de Agua. The genus name, Sesbania, is the latinized verson of the old Adansonian name, Sesban, which is presumably of Arabic origin. Herbacea refers to herb-like. The alternate species name, exaltata, refers to tall or lofty.

The leaves are alternate, pinnately compound, with numerous leaflets (30-70), and 5-16 inches in length.

The yellow flowers are in axillary racemes. 1-6 flowered. Stamens 10 (9 joined, 1 free<see line drawing>)

Blooms
bloom-side

New Leaf and bloom
new-leaf-and-bloom

The legume fruit is linear, slender, somewhat curved, 6-12 inches long, 1/6 inch wide. 30-40 seed per fruit. July-October.

Legume seed pods
legumes

It is found in damp soils and disturbed areas from East-SE Texas to the West Cross Timbers and Edwards Plateau. Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Kaufman, and Tarrant counties.

Many authors place this plant in the shrub category. The old dead stems are persistant with dry remenants of the legumes. Native Americans used the fibers to make a fine strong thread for fishing lines and nets. (I’ll have to try that). When growing in the water, the submerged portion of the stem develops a thickened spongy aerenchyma (an airy tissue found in roots of plants, which allows exchange of gases between the shoot and the root. It contains large air-filled cavities, which provide a low-resistance internal pathway for the exchange of gases such as oxygen and ethylene between the plant parts above the water and the submerged tissues). Click here for a Wikipedia discussion of arenchyma (really interesting, really!).

The seeds are known to be eaten by some birds including quail. However, the seeds and leaves are considered to be poisonous by many authors.

Boardwalk-20091001

Compare the current photo above to an earlier photo below posted at our other site, Texas Travelers, back in August during the drought.

ftwnc-marsh-August

The drought is over but Mother Nature has played a harsh trick on the best-laid plans of men. Much of the boardwalk area for viewing fish, turtles and lily pads is now surrounded by this fast-growing Sesbane. Such is Nature.

Line drawing of sesbania herbaces
Sesbania-herbacea-line---CoNote the 10 stamens on the bottom right, 9 joined, 1 free.
What’s up with that? Very cool !

Note: I colored the flowers yellow
and the bean green for easy identification

U.S. Distribution
US-herbacea-disst

References:

USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (14 September 2009). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Native Plant Database.

Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of the Southwest. Robert A. Vines. pp 546-547. A Guide for the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Line drawing reference:

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 2: 376.

Please leave a comment and let us know what invasive or exotic plant is bugging you.

Troy

Posted in Ft. Worth Nature Center, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Naturalists, USDA Plant Database, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fall Gallups In

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When Martha made this photo
I said it looked like Giraffe legs.

She replied…..

Whose knees are these
With their heads out of sight
Above the trees

9-September

Click on the calendar
and scroll around,
Maybe you can find the Giraffe.

Photo and verse by Martha
Calendar by Troy

If you like the calendar and/or photo, leave a comment.

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Posted in National Parks, Trees | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pink Evening Primrose

In keeping with the current theme of showing some of the variety of the Evening Primrose family, I am presenting some photos, a little information and the range of the Pink Evening Primrose. Spring is really here in North Texas when we find this along the highways, in the fields and especially in our front yard.

A little over a year ago Martha and I did a post on Pink Evening Primroses that are naturalized in our front yard. Here is the essence of that post:

“Suburban Wildflowers
Pink Evening Primrose on the Curb
Once about 20 years ago, before I mowed my yard for the first time in the spring, I had a single Pink Evening Primrose come up on the curb next to the street in the front yard. I assume a seed(?) must have blown in on the wind. Martha would not let me cut it down, and we watered it through the spring and summer and fall and winter. Well, you get the picture, we took care of it. The next year there were a few more, and the next year more, and so on. You can see what has happened. I now mow about half of them down at the first mowing. Next year I may let them all bloom and see what the yard looks like. Also, I mow them in the fall when they quit blooming and reclaim my full lawn for a few months. They actually seem to like the mowing, as it spreads by rhizomes, and doesn’t harm the old plants. Much of the plants’ leaves grow close to the ground in the grass.
Nodding buds open into pink or white flowers about two inches across. We have never had white ones, since it all started with a single plant from unknown sources. (Small Acorns into Mighty Oaks grow). I guess that’s true. It turns out that watering is not that necessary since it is a drought resistant plant.”

Be sure to click on the photos.

Oenothera speciosa
PEP-on-CurbMy Front Yard Curb

The nice thing about them is that they haven’t seemed to violate any weed ordnances. At least I haven’t had any complaints, and also, in this section of town now, a lot of people leave a patch to bloom for a while. When they are not blooming, they are only about a foot tall.

Be careful what you ask for!

My father once saw the lovely patch of pink evening primroses in our yard and requested some to put in his yard. We obliged, dug up a few, and transplanted them for him to the raised section of his back yard. For 2-3 years, he really enjoyed looking out the window into his back yard to see them blooming for so many months.

Then one year he says that they have taken over his yard, and we must take them back. We tried mowing them, and they just spread. We said that we couldn’t dig them all up, but we tried. To no avail, they spread and filled in the spaces. We fought them for years and finally everyone just gave up and enjoyed their beauty.

A closer view
PEP

Go to this page to see the thumbnails and click on the thumbnails for all of the variations in this spectacular and showy flower.

Distribution for this Genus.
pink-enening-primrose-dist

Texas Distribution
pink-enening-primrose-dist-

Oenothera speciosa Nutt.
Pink evening primrose, Showy evening primrose, Mexican evening primrose, Showy primrose, Pink ladies, Buttercups, Pink buttercups
Onagraceae (Evening-Primrose Family)
USDA Symbol: OESP2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.

Pinkladies or pink evening-primrose is an upright to sprawling, 1 1/2 ft. perennial, which spreads to form extensive colonies. Its large, four-petaled flowers, solitary from leaf axils, range in color from dark pink to white. Nodding buds, opening into pink or white flowers, are in the upper leaf axils on slender, downy stems. The delicate-textured, cup-shaped blossoms are lined with pink or red veins. Foliage is usually linear and pinnate, although leaves can be entire and lance-shaped depending on locality. A hardy and drought resistant species that can form colonies of considerable size. The flowers may be as small as 1 (2.5 cm) wide under drought conditions. The plant is frequently grown in gardens and escapes from cultivation.

As the common name implies, most of these species also open their flowers in the evening, closing them again early each morning. The flowers of some members of the genus open in the evening so rapidly that the movement can almost be observed. Pink evening primrose, however, opens its flowers in the morning, closing each evening. To further complicate matters, populations in north Texas tend to open in the evening.

Classification
Kingdom: Plantae  – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Myrtales
Family: Onagraceae – Evening Primrose family
Genus: Oenothera L. – evening primrose
Species: Oenothera speciosa Nutt. – pinkladies

Line Drawing
pink-enening-primrose-line

Line drawing:
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 2: 603.

References:

USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (14 September 2009). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Native Plant Database.

Marshall Enquist, Wildflowers of the Texas Hill country.

Troy and Martha
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Posted in Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, USDA Plant Database, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

False Gaura

Stenosiphon lilifolius

One of my favorite flowers in late summer-early fall. It has beautiful white flowers standing above the dry grasses and short forbs. It is surprisingly different from others in the Evening Primrose family. It is, of course, part of the ONAGRACEAE family of Evening Primroses. It certainly does not resemble its more showy cousins, such as, the Flutter Mill, Pink Evening Primrose, or the Beach Evening Primrose from an earlier post. The overall general appearance is more like the Gaura, hence it’s name, the False Gaura.

Click on the Photos for a better look.

False GauraFt. Worth Nature Center & Refuge
False-Guara-bush
Notice the reletatively few branches,each bearing many flowers on a spike. These are set on semi-woody green stems, of which, the main stem is reddish-brown at the base.

Flowers
False-Guara-flower

Line drawing
false-gaura-line
Notice the sepals bent sharply back and how the petals are set on a slender tube which is part of the inferior ovary. A very interesting plant with unusual construction.

Stems: Erect, 1-3, slender, wiry-branched in inflorescence, waxy, usually glabrous to inflorescence, somewhat brittle.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, sessile, lanceolate, 1 to 3 inches long, 1/4 to 3/4 inch wide, glabrous; margins entire, whitish; tips pointed; lower leaves often absent at flowering; upper leaves reduced, linear-lanceolate. One of the really interesting facts is that False Gaura drops its leaves during periods of drought and conducts photosynthesis in the stem.
Inflorescence: Spikes, elongate, terminal, glandular-hairy.
Flowers: About 1/2 inch across, sessile; sepals 4, oblong-lanceolate, whitish, sparsely pubescent, bent abruptly backward; petals 4, less than 1/4 inch long, white, clawed, at end of threadlike floral tube; stamens 8, unequal; style as long or longer than stamens, stigma 4-lobed.
Fruits: Capsules, nut-like, egg-shaped, conspicuously ribbed, pubescent, 1-seeded; seeds small, whitish yellow.
Habitat: Dry, rocky, prairie hillsides, roadsides, stream valleys, and waste places, most abundant on gently sloping limestone soils.
Symbol: STLI2
Group: Dicot
Family: Onagraceae –    Evening Primrose family
Duration: Perennial – A rosette of leaves develops in the fall of the first year, and the stem arises in the second year.
Growth Habit: Sub-shrub – Height up to 8-10 feet
Forb/herb
Native Status: L48,  N
Flowering Period: July, August, September

Stenosiphon lilifolius with Megaphasma denticrus
walking-stick
Bonus Photo – Immature Giant Walking Stick
Body length – probably less than two inches

I have been on the lookout all summer for a giant walking stick, to no avail. Little did I realize that I had captured the elusive creature until I returned home and was viewing my photos. If I had known he/she was there, I would have photographed him/her some more. Did you ever look at a photo and say,”Wow, I didn’t know that was in the photo!”.

Don’t forget to leave a comment!
Have you seen one this year?
I know Marvin has. He posted a nice one earlier. Giant Walking Stick(click here).

U.S. Distribution
false-gaura-dist

Texas Distribution by County
false-gaura-county-dist
Go to the USDA Plant Database, click on the state, and find the county distribution for your locality.

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. Vol. 2: 610.
Marshall Enquist, Wildflowers of the Texas Hill country
Mike Haddock, Agriculture Librarian and Chair of the Sciences Department at Kansas State University Libraries.
Harold William Rickett, Wildflowers of the United State, Vol III(Texas), Part 1.
Range maps: USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database . National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Troy & Martha

Posted in Ft. Worth Nature Center, insects, USDA Plant Database, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Beach Evening-Primrose

the Beach Evening-Primrose is another plant named for Thomas Drummond, (ca. 1790-1835), one of my favorite early Texas Naturalists. It is one of the early plants to bloom in the spring (March 22). Notice all of last year’s brown vegetation.

Be sure to click on the photos for better looks.

Oenothera drummondii Hook.
Beach-Evening-primrose wideBolivar Peninsula, Gulf Coast, Texas
©2009 Martha Mullens
Nikon S51

Early Morning Back-lighted Photo
(to show the delicate color)
Beach-Evening-primrose close
©2009 Troy Mullens
Nikon D200, 200 mm Macro lens

Thomas Drummond was born in Scotland, around 1790. In 1825 he was invited to be part of a 5 man British expedition to collect plants in the Arctic. His job was to collect plants in Western Canada. For two and a half years, he traveled up and down rivers in a large canoe with an Indian guide collecting plants. Once the boat became stuck in ice and he had to eat some of the bird skins that he had so carefully collected. When he returned home, he wrote two books about mosses. in 1828 he returned to St. Louis to be manager of the botannical gardens. While here, he heard of the work of Jean Louis Berlandier , the first Naturalist to make large collections in Texas. In March, 1833, he arrived at Velasco, Texas to begin his collecting work in that area. He spent twenty-one months working the area between Galveston Island and the Edwards Plateau, especially along the Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe rivers.

His collections were some of the first made in Texas that were extensively distributed among the museums and scientific instiutions of the world. He collected 750 species of plants and 150 specimens of birds. Drummond had hoped to make a complete botanical survey of Texas, but he died in Havana, Cuba, in 1835, under curious circumstances while presumable making a collecting tour of that island.

Oenothera drummondii Hook.
Beach evening-primrose, Beach evening primrose
Onagraceae (Evening-Primrose Family)
USDA Symbol: OEDR
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.

Distribution
Dist Oenothera drummondii

There is another Beach evening-primrose distributed along the western coast of the US, but that is another story.

Range map:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database . National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Troy & Martha

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Posted in Naturalists, USDA Plant Database, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Roughleaf Dogwood

If you live in East Texas and someone says the Dogwoods are blooming, you think of the Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida). However if you live in North Central Texas, you immediately think of the Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii) which brightens up the landscape at the Ft. Worth Nature Center & Refuge(a 3500+ acre oasis of varied habitats just west of Ft. Worth proper).

Be sure to click on the photos for better looks.

Roughleaf dogwood – Cornus drummondii
Rough-leaf-dogwood-SpringMay 10, 2009
Ft. worth Nature Center

Rough-leaf dogwood is a clumping shrub or small tree, to 16-18 ft. which does well in the understory,  at margins or in fence rows. It is crowned with flat-topped clusters of creamy-yellow flowers and later has small  white fruit. Leaves are opposite on green twigs and up to 4 inches long, roughly ovate with an abruptly drawn-out tip and a rounded to tapering base, smooth margins, and prominent veins bending toward the tip; upper surface sometimes slightly rough to the touch, lower slightly velvety. The upper surface of the oval leaves is covered with rough hairs while the lower surface is softly pubescent. Fall color is purplish-red. Flowers about 1/4 inch wide, cream colored, with 4 petals, numerous in broad clusters at the ends of branches, appearing from April to early June. The round white fleshy fruit is about 1/4 inch in size.

Roughleaf Dogwood blooms
Rough-leaf-dogwood-blossoms

This dogwood is easily recognized by the rough, upper leaf surfaces and white fruit. It spreads from root sprouts and provides cover for wildlife and various small birds which nest in the thickets, as well as food for many small birds.

Fruit
roughleaf-dogwood-fruitingSept 1, 2009

Closeup of fruit (berries)
Rough-leaf-dogwood-berries

The species name of this plant is named for Thomas Drummond, (ca. 1790-1835), naturalist, born in Scotland, around 1790. In 1830 he made a trip to America to collect specimens from the western and southern United States. In March, 1833, he arrived at Velasco, Texas to begin his collecting work in that area. He spent twenty-one months working the area between Galveston Island and the Edwards Plateau, especially along the Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe rivers. His collections were some of the first made in Texas that were extensively distributed among the museums and scientific institutions of the world. He collected 750 species of plants and 150 specimens of birds. Drummond had hoped to make a complete botanical survey of Texas, but he died in Havana, Cuba, in 1835, under curious circumstances while presumable making a collecting tour of that island.

This tree does not have the large beautiful white blossoms of the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). The rough-leaf dogwood (C. drummondii) has tiny individual creamy-white flowers which are  in  clusters that give an illusion of large blooms two – four inches across.

Roughleaf dogwood occurs over most of the Edwards Plateau, Central Texas. North Central Texas and southern East Texas, with a few growing in the Panhandle. Judging from its Texas range, rough-leaf dogwood tolerates a wide variety of soil types. It forms thickets by sprouting from spreading lateral roots.

Distribution of Roughleaf Dogwood
dist-roughleaf-dogwood

USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database . National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Cornus drummondii C.A. Mey.
Roughleaf dogwood
Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)
USDA Symbol: CODR
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.

Leave a comment if you like trees.

Troy

Posted in Ft. Worth Nature Center, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Naturalists, Trees, USDA Plant Database | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment