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Range extensions and county records for angiosperms from the southwestern Cross Timbers in Eastland County, Texas.

Abstract. -- This study reports the results of fieldwork conducted during June-August 2002 and February-May 2003 on a privately owned ranch in the southwestern Cross Timbers region of north central Texas. A total of 150 species of flowering plants in 55 families are reported with 72 species in 44 families representing new distribution and occurrence records for Eastland County. Seven of these records represent major range extensions for the species in Texas.

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The flora of the southwestern Cross Timbers region of Texas is poorly known as compared to other regions of North Central Texas (Turner et al. 2003a; 2003b). The southwestern Cross Timbers is that part of the West Cross Timbers (Diggs et al. 1999) that encompasses Brown, eastern Callahan, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Palo Pinto, eastern Shackelford, and Stephens counties in Texas. Soils are often sandy or sandy clays, rainfall is about 60-80 cm per year, and there are about 230 frost free days in the year (Diggs et al. 1999). Pre-settlement vegetation was likely savannah with post oak overstory and an understory dominated by little bluestem (Dyksterhuis 1948). At present, because of fire suppression, brush such as mesquite and cedar are increasing and suppressing the original grassland component (Diggs et al. 1999).

STUDY AREA AND METHODS

The McPhail Land and Cattle Company is a 10,750 ha ranch located in the southwestern Cross Timbers in Eastland County, Texas (Figure 1). The ranch has a diversity of habitats including rocky Cretaceous outcrops and the Leon River bottomlands. Typical habitats found on the ranch include clayey bottomlands, disturbed areas, lacustrine areas around ponds and lakes, grasslands, riparian areas immediately adjacent to the river, rocky outcrops or gravely slopes, and sandy woodlands. Average precipitation in this region of the West Cross Timbers is about 65 cm and is usually concentrated in the spring and fall (Diggs et al. 1999).

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Floristic surveys on the ranch were conducted in the June-August 2002 and February-May 2003. Sampling was done by randomly selecting different vegetational areas throughout the ranch and collecting at least every 10 days by walking, driving, or horseback. Plants were identified using Shinners and Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). Nomenclature of native or naturalized plants was standardized using Jones et al. (1997; 2003). Taxa are discussed alphabetically according to family. Voucher specimens are deposited in the Tarleton State University Herbarium (TAC).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The survey resulted in 150 species in 55 families. The Asteraceae (21 species), Fabaceae (14 species), Poaceae (9 species), and Onagraceae (8 species) were the most numerous families. This analysis resulted in new distribution and occurrence records for 72 species from Eastland County in relation to information currently available in the Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (Turner et al. 2003a; 2003b). Ninety-one percent of the total number of plants surveyed and 83% of the distributional records were native species. Sixty-three species represent new county records for Eastland County but also have been reported (Turner et al. 2003a; 2003b) to occur in counties bordering Eastland County (Table 1).

None of the species reported are federally-listed noxious weeds (Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) 2002; United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, PPQ 2003). Several weedy species that had previously been reported from only one county in the southwestern Cross Timbers (Turner et al. 2003a; 2003b) are worth further comment. The following species (Table 1) had previously been reported only from Brown County (Turner et al. 2003a) in the southwestern Cross Timbers. Amaranthus rudis is an invader species of low moist, disturbed sites and is found nearly throughout Texas (Diggs et al. 1999) and was collected bordering a pond on the ranch. Ambrosia trifida is often extremely abundant in disturbed areas nearly throughout the state (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected in the Leon River bottom from the ranch. Grindelia papposa is found in disturbed areas and is widespread in Texas. It was collected in disturbed areas on the ranch. Funastrum cynanchoides is known from waste places with sandy or rocky soils mainly in the western one-half of Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected in the clay-soiled bottomlands of the Leon River on the ranch. Campsis radicans occurs along stream banks, disturbed ground, along fences, and is cultivated and may escape becoming a problematic weed in the eastern half of Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). Collection of this species was in disturbed areas of the ranch. Argemone albflora subsp. Texana is known from weedy areas in rocky or sandy soils from east Texas, west to the Grand Prairie, and probably was introduced into the Rolling Plains (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected from clay soils along the Leon River bottom on the ranch. Bothriocloa ischaemum var. songarica is native to Asia and found in calcareous soils from roadsides and fields throughout Texas and is a pernicious weed crowding out native species (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected from rocky slopes on the ranch.

Two additional weedy species were previously reported from only a single county in the southwestern Cross Timbers (Table 1). Sibara virginica is known from wet thickets, ditches, and disturbed areas in southeast and east Texas to the Edwards Plateau and the Rolling Plains (Diggs et al. 1999). Collections of this species were from disturbed areas of the ranch and previously it had been collected only from Callahan County (Turner et al. 2003a). Verbena bracteata is known from disturbed areas and is widespread in Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected from grassland areas of the ranch and previously had only been reported only from Erath County (Turner et al. 2003a).

Five non-weedy species had been reported from only Brown County in the southwestern Cross Timbers (Turner et al. 2003a; 2003b). Nemastylis geminiflora is known from prairies or open oak woods in southeast and east Texas, west to the Rolling Plains and Edwards Plateau (Diggs et al. 1999). Collections of this species were from grassland areas of the ranch. Carya illinoensis is known from stream bottoms or slopes mainly in the eastern half of Texas and becoming scattered westward (Diggs et al. 1999). Collections of this species were from the Leon River bottomlands of the ranch. Cooperia drummondii is known from prairies and roadsides, often on thin soils covering limestone in southeastern and eastern Texas west to the West Cross Timbers and Edwards Plateau (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected from a roadside on the ranch. Sphaeralcea angustifolia subsp. cuspidata is known from sandy or rocky soils mainly in the western half of Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). Collections of this species were from disturbed areas of the ranch. Gaura brachycarpa is known from sandy open areas from the Post Oak Savannah west to the West Cross Timbers and south to the South Texas Plains (Diggs et al. 1999). Collections of this species were from grassland areas of the ranch.

Three non-weedy species had been reported from only Erath County in the southwestern Cross Timbers (Turner et al. 2003a; 2003b). Nelumbo lutea is known from lakes and ponds in southeastern and eastern Texas, west to the West Cross Timbers and Edwards Plateau (Diggs et al. 1999). Collections of this species were from ponds and lakes on the ranch. Rivina humilis is known from stream bottom woods and thickets on limestone soils throughout much of Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected along the Leon River on the ranch. Viola bicolor is known from eastern Texas west to the Rolling Plains and the Edwards Plateau (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected in sandy grasslands on the ranch.

Four non-weedy species had previously been reported from only one county in the southwestern Cross Timbers (Turner et al. 2003a; 2003b). Muscari neglectum is widely cultivated and escapes becoming naturalized in fields and roadsides in north central, central, and east Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). Collections of this species were from disturbed areas of the ranch and previously it had been reported from only Comanche County in the southwestern Cross Timbers (Turner et al. 2003b). Boerhavia diffusa is known from rocky, gravely, or sandy ground and is widespread in Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected in clay-soiled bottomlands along the Leon River on the ranch and previously had been reported only from Palo Pinto County in the southwestern Cross Timbers (Turner et al. 2003a). Castilleja indivisa is known from sandy or occasionally silty open woods, prairies, and disturbed areas from southeastern and east Texas, west to the East Cross Timbers but has been widely seeded by the Texas Highway Department (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected in grasslands as well as gravely to rocky slopes on the ranch and it had previously been reported only from Callahan County (Turner et al. 2003a). Also, Ludwigia peploides, previously reported from only Callahan County (Turner et al. 2003a), was collected from ponds and lakes on the ranch. It is known from wet areas from southeast and eastern Texas to the West Cross Timbers and Edwards Plateau (Diggs et al. 1999).

Two species endemic to Texas are reported for the first time in Eastland County. Senecio ampullaceus is found in sandy open woods, fields, and on roadsides (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected in sandy grasslands on the ranch and previously it had only been reported from Callahan and Comanche counties (Turner et al. 2003a). Monarda punctata L. var. intermedia is the most common variety of M. punctata in north central Texas and is known from there, west to the Rolling Plains and the eastern Edwards Plateau (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected from a roadside on the ranch and previously it had only been reported from Brown, Callahan, and Erath counties in the southwestern Cross Timbers (Turner et al. 2003a).

Seven species represent major range extensions for plant species in Texas. While most of the flora collected in this investigation was native (91%), 57% of the major range extensions are introduced weeds. New distribution records for these taxa are discussed individually by family.

FAMILY ACANTHACEAE

Ruellia humilis Nutt. is a native forb found in prairies and open woods in southeastern and east Texas, west to the Panhandle and the Edwards Plateau (Diggs et al. 1999) but is considered rare in the western three-fourths of the state (Correll & Johnston 1970). It was collected it in grasslands on the ranch. Previously, it had not been collected in the southwestern Cross Timbers and the closest collection was from Hill County (Turner et al. 2003a) approximately 120 km east of Eastland County.

FAMILY BORAGINACEAE

Lithospermum arvensis L. is an introduced species from Europe and known from ditch banks, roadsides, and other disturbed sites from southeastern and eastern Texas, west to the West Cross Timbers and Edwards Plateau (Diggs et al. 1999). It was found in disturbed areas of the ranch. The closest reported locality to the West Cross Timbers is San Saba County to the south and Tarrant County to the northeast (Turner et al. 2003a). This collection from Eastland County is about 120 km from each of these localities.

FAMILY CARYOPHYLLACEAE

Stellaria media (L.) Vill. is an introduced species from Europe and is a widespread weed of stream bottoms, lawns, and disturbed sites nearly throughout Texas. It was collected in disturbed areas of the ranch. The closest reported localities (Turner et al. 2003a) to the West Cross Timbers are Burnet County approximately 160 km south and Parker County approximately 80 km northeast of the region.

FAMILY FABACEAE

Vicia sativa L. is an introduced species from Europe and the Mediterranean region and is frequently cultivated and escapes to roadside and weedy areas in southeastern and eastern Texas, west to the East Cross Timbers (Diggs et al. 1999). Collection of this species was from grassland areas of the ranch. Since Tarrant County is the closest reported locality to the northeast and Hill County to the east (Turner et al. 2003a), this extends the range of this species about 120 km south and west into the West Cross Timbers.

FAMILY IRIDACEAE

Sisyrinchium minus Engelm. & A. Gray is native and known from sandy soils mainly in southeastern and central Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected in grasslands on the ranch and previously was known from Tarrant County to the north and San Saba County to the south (Turner et al. 2003b). Collection of this species from Eastland County is about 120 km from each of these localities.

FAMILY PORTULACACEAE

Portulaca oleracea L. is a cosmopolitan weed that is probably introduced from the Old World and is known from dry lake beds and disturbed areas nearly throughout Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected from disturbed areas of the ranch and the closest localities previously reported (Turner et al. 2003a) from the West Cross Timbers are from Parker County, about 40 km northeast of Eastland County.

FAMILY SOLANACEAE

Physalis longifolia Nutt. is a native forb known from open woods and prairies throughout most of Texas (Diggs et al. 1999). It was collected from disturbed areas on the ranch. The closest reported locality to the West Cross Timbers is Tarrant County (Turner et al. 2003a), about 120 km to the northeast.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors thank Botanical Research Institute of Texas staff, including Justin Allison, Barney Lipscomb, Amanda Neill, Dr. Guy Nesom, and Bob O'Kennon for confirming our identifications. We would also like to thank Jim Goetze for constructing Figure 1.

LITERATURE CITED

Correll, D.S. & M.C. Johnston. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Texas Research Foundation. Renner, Texas. 1083 pp.

Diggs, G. M., B. L. Lipscomb, & R. J. O'Kennon. 1999. Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas. Fort Worth, Texas: Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

Dyksterhuis, E. J. 1948. The vegetation of the western cross timbers. Ecological Monographs, 18: 325-376.

Jones, S. D., J. K. Wipff, & P. M. Montgomery. 1997. Vascular Plants of Texas, A comprehensive checklist including synonymy, bibliography, and index. University of Texas Press, Austin, 404 pp.

Jones, S. D. & J. K. Wipff. 2003. A 2003 Updated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Texas. Published by the authors as a compact disk, Bryan Texas, 699 pp.

Plant Protection & Quarantine (PPQ). 2002. Federal Noxious Weed List. United States Department Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Turner, B. L., H. Nichols, G. Denny, & O. Doron. 2003a. Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas, Volume I. Fort Worth, Texas: Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

Turner, B. L., H. Nichols, G. Denny, & O. Doron. 2003b. Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas, Volume II. Fort Worth, Texas: Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

USDA, APHIS, PPQ. 2003. Federal Domestic Quarantines. USDA, APHIS, PPQ.

ADN at: nelson@tarleton.edu

S. McPhail and A. D. Nelson

Department of Biological Sciences, Box T-0100

Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas 76402
Table 1. Floral records for Eastland County that have also been reported
from bordering counties (Turner et al., 2003a; 2003b) including Brown
(B), Callahan (CA), Comanche (CO), Erath (E), Palo Pinto (P),
Shackelford (SH), and Stephens (ST). Plants that are native (N) to north
central Texas and introduced (I) are indicated.

 Bordering
Family Species Counties N/I

Amaranthaceae Amaranthus rudis J.D. Sauer B N
Amaryllidaceae Cooperia drummondii Herb. B N
Anacardiaceae Rhus lanceolata (A. Gray) B,CA,CO,E,P N
 Britton
Apiaceae Torilis arvensis (Huds.) Link B,P N
Asclepidaceae Funastrum cynanchoides B N
 (Decne.) Schltr.
Asteraceae Ambrosia trifida L. var. B N
 texana Scheele
 Conyza canadensis (L.) B,C N
 Cronquist var. glabrata (A.
 Gray) Cronquist
 Dyssodia pentachaeta DC. B N
 Erigeron strigosus Muhl. ex B,CA,E N
 Willd.
 Grindelia papposa G.L. Nesom & B N
 Y.B. Suh
 Senecio ampullaceus Hook. CA,CO N
 Symphyotrichum subulatum B,E,P N
 (Michx.) G. L. Nesom
Bignoniaceae Campsis radicans (L.) Seem. ex B N
 Bureau
Brassicaceae Sibara virginica (L.) Rollins CA N
Capparaceae Polanisia dodecandra (L.) DC. B,P N
 subsp. trachysperma (Torr. &
 A. Gray) H.H. Iltis
Convolvulaceae Ipomoea cordatotriloba Dennst. B,E,P N
 var. torreyana (A. Gray) D.F.
 Austin
Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita foetidissima Kunth. B,E N
Cuscutaceae Cuscuta indecora Choisy var. CA,CO N
 indecora
Euphorbiaceae Chamaesyce nutans (Lag.) Small B,E N
 Cnidoscolus texanus (Mull. CA,E N
 Arg.) Small
 Croton glandulosus L. var. E,P N
 lindheimeri Mull. Arg.
Fabaceae Chamaecrista fasciculata E,P N
 (Michx.) Greene
 Dalea enneandra Nutt. B,CA,E,P,SH N
 Desmanthus illinoensis B,CO N
 (Michx.) MacMill. ex B.L.
 Rob & Fernald
 Indigofera miniata Ortega var. CO,E,P N
 miniata
 Medicago minima (L.) L. B,P I
 Neptunia lutea (Leavenw.) B,P N
 Benth.
 Prosopis glandulosa Torr. B,CO,SH N
Fumariaceae Corydalis aurea Willd. subsp. B,CA,CO,SH N
 occidentalis (Engelm. ex A.
 Gray) G.B. Ownbey
Gentianaceae Eustoma russellianum (Hook.) B,CA,CO,E,P N
 G. Don
Geraniaceae Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Her. B,CA,CO,E,SH I
 ex Aiton
Hyacinthaceae Muscari neglectum Guss. ex C I
 Ten.
Hydrophyllaceae Phacelia congesta Hook. B,P N
Iridaceae Nemastylis geminiflora Nutt. B N
Juglandaceae Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) B N
 K. Koch
Lamiaceae Monarda punctata L. var. B,CA,CO N
 intermedia (E.M. McClint, &
 Epling) Waterf.
Malvaceae Rhynchosida physocalyx (A. B,P,ST N
 Gray) Fryxell.
 Sphaeralcea angustifolia B N
 (Cav.) G. Don var.
 angustifolia
Meliaceae Melia azedarach L. B,E I
Nelumbonaceae Nelumbo lutea (Willd.) Pers. E N
Nyctaginaceae Boerhavia diffusa L. P N
Onagraceae Gaura brachycarpa Small B N
 Gaura sinuata Nutt. ex Ser. B,CO,E,SH N
 Ludwigia peploides (Kunth) CA N
 P.H. Raven
 Oenethera laciniata Hill CA,CO,E,P N
Papaveraceae Argemone albiflora Hornem, B N
 subsp. texana G.B. Ownbey
Pedialiaceae Proboscidea louisianica B,E,ST N
 (Mill.) Thell.
Phytolaccaceae Rivina humilis L. E N
Plantaginaceae Plantago rhodosperma Decne. B,CA,CO.E.SH N
Poaceae Bothriochloa barbinodis (Lag.) B,E N
 Herter var. perforata (Trin.
 ex E. Fourn.) Gould
 Bothriochloa ischaemum (L.) B I
 Keng var. songarica (Rupr. ex
 Fisch & C.A. Mey.) Celerier &
 Harlan
 Bromus catharticus Vahl B,CO,E,SH I
 Erioneuron pilosum (Buckley) B,CA,CO,SH,ST N
 Nash
 Nassella leucotricha (Trin. & B,CA,P N
 Rupr.) R. Pohl
 Vulpia octoflora (Walter) B,E N
 Rydb. var. octoflora
Polemoniaceae Ipomopsis rubra (L.) Wherry B,CA,CO,E,P,SH,ST N
Rosaceae Prunus angustifolia Marshall B,CO,E,SH N
 Prunus mexicana S. Watson CO,E N
Rubiaceae Cephalanthus occidentalis L B,E N
Scrophulariaceae Castilleja indivisa Engelm. CA N
 Nuttallanthus texanus B,CA,CO,P N
 (Scheele) D.A. Sutton
Verbenaceae Verbena bracteata Lag. & Rodr. E N
Violaceae Viola bicolor Pursh E N
Viscaceae Phoradendron tomentosum (DC.) B,CA,CO,SH N
 Engelm. ex A. Gray
Zygophyllaceae Tribulus terrestris L. B,E I
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Author:McPhail, S.; Nelson, A.D.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Aug 1, 2005
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