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The vascular flora of Howard County, Texas.

Abstract. -- Following a comprehensive four-year survey in Howard County, Texas, and the review of three non-comprehensive surveys, a combined checklist of 307 species of vascular plants is reported. This checklist includes 202 genera and 61 families, with Asteraceae (28%), Fabaceae (8%) and Poaceae (6%) the most common. Vegetative associations and common names are also included.


Howard County is located in the extreme southern part of the High Plains at a junction point with the Edwards Plateau, the Llano Estacado, and the Rolling Plains. The Chihuahuan Desert extends to 50 km west of the county. This makes Howard County unique in both plant and animal diversity (Yanez & Simpson 2001).

Comprehensive county plant surveys have been completed for several counties in the West Texas area; King (1975) in Coke County, Eckhardt (1975) in Tom Green County, Hutchins (1968) in Garza County, and Collins (1966) in Ector and Midland counties. Three non-comprehensive surveys within Howard County have been accomplished. Army surgeon V. Havard (1885) studied the flora while assigned to an outpost at Big Spring and recorded 25 species. Reed (1978) surveyed the 1977 spring flora of Howard County and reported finding 105 species. The Big Spring State Park produced a brochure listing some 62 native plants found inside the park boundaries (Anon. 1992).


Howard County is located between 32[degrees] 00' and 32[degrees] 32' N latitudes and between 101[degrees] 10' and 110[degrees] 42' W longitudes (Anon. 1995). The county is approximately 48 km by 48 km encompassing 2334 sq. km. Elevations range from 670 m to 846 m. Mean annual rainfall is 48.8 cm with a growing season of 217 days (Anon. 2004); the climate is classified as semi-arid (Stoner et al. 1969). January mean minimum temperature is -2.2[degrees] C with a July maximum of 34.4[degrees] C (Anon. 2004).


Using Stoner et al. (1969) and Simpson & Cerda (2004) as a guide, four major vegetative associations were recognized. (1) Cultivated or recently cultivated sites show gradual slope or no slope and recent mechanical tillage. The soil is sandy loam and though spotted through the county, cultivated sites dominate the western half of the county. (2) Rolling-range sites are predominately located in the eastern portion of the county. The sites are characterized by mild to steep slopes with tight clay loam soils. Rolling-range sites are rarely utilized for farming due to slopes and potential erosion. (3) Sites with slopes of steep to vertical were called hillside sites. These sites were typically located through the central portion of the county along a remnant of the Edwards Plateau. The soil at hillside sites is dominated by limestone rock with dense woody vegetation. (4) Riparian areas cover less than 1% of the county and are characterized by temporary streams and man-made lakes and ponds.


The county was divided into 25 zones; with each zone being approximately 9 km by 9 km. Sampling began in March 2001 and continued through June 2004. Most specimens were collected in months May through August. All zones were sampled in at least three locations, usually along the roadside. Soil type and topographic feature were noted and the plants were returned to the lab for processing. Specimens were pressed and dried. Plants were identified and assigned family and species names using Jones et al. (1997). Corrections and verifications were provided by B. L. Turner and A. M. Powell at Sul Ross State University. Specimens were then mounted and herbarium labels containing collecting information were attached. Herbarium labels included family, species, and frequently used common names (Correll & Johnston 1979; USDA 2004) for reference by gardening and agricultural associations, and soil types and vegetative sites. Labeled specimens were placed in the Howard College Herbarium for teaching and public use. A complete set of voucher specimens was deposited in the Sul Ross State University Herbarium (SRSC). Selected specimens were also placed in the University of Texas at Austin Herbarium (TEX-LL).


The following list of verified plant species is by no means considered to be a complete list of all species located within Howard County. This list is an attempt to compile the works done on Howard County plants in the past (Havard 1885; Reed 1978; Anon. 1992), combine these reports with the authors' recently collected plants, and produce a list of verified plant species within Howard County.

In the list of verified species, vegetative sites are abbreviated as follows: Cultivated or recently cultivated (C), rolling-range (RR), hill-side (HS), and riparian (R).



Juniperus pinchotii Sudw., Red-berry juniper, pinchot juniper (HS).



Ephedra antisyphilitica Berland. ex C. A. Mey., Clapweed, joint-fir, popote, canatilla (HS, R).



Dyschoriste linearis (Torr. & A. Gray) Kuntze, Snake herb (RR, HS).

Justicia pilosella (Nees.) Hilsenb., Hairy tube-tongue (RR, HS).


Amaranthus blitoides Wats., Prostrate pigweed (C).

Amaranthus palmeri Wats., Careless weed (C).

Guilleminea densa (Willd.) Moq., Cottonflower (C, RR).

Tidestromia lanuginosa (Nutt.) Standl., Espanta vaqueros (C).


Rhus microphylla Engelm. ex Gray, Desert sumac (C).


Cymopterus macrorhizus Buckl., Wild parsley (HS).

Daucus pusillus Michx., Rattlesnake-weed (RR, HS).


Asclepias brachystephana Engelm. ex Torr., Purple milkweed (HS).

Asclepias engelmanniana Woods, Engelmann's milkweed (HS, R).

Asclepias latifolia (Torr.) Raf., Green milkweed, Texas milkweed (HS, R).

Asclepias oenotheroides Schltdl. & Cham., Hierba de Zizotes (C).

Asclepias subverticillata (Gray) Vail., Silkweed (HS).

Matelea biflora (Raf.) Woodson, Two-flower milkvine (HS).


Acourtia nana (Gray) Reveal & King, Desert holly, dwarf desert holly (RR, HS).

Amblyolepis setigera DC., Huisache-daisy (C).

Ambrosia grayi (A. Nels.) Shinners, Ragweed (C).

Ambrosia psilostachy a DC., Western ragweed (RR, R).

Amphiachyris dracunculoides (DC.) Nutt., Prairie broomweed (HS).

Aphanostephus ramosissimus DC., Plains lazy daisy (C).

Aphanostephus riddellii T. & G., Lazy daisy (HS).

Aphanostephus skirrhobasis (DC.) Trel. var. skirrhobasis, Lazy daisy (HS).

Artemesia ludoviciana Nutt., Western mugwort, Mexican sagewort (HS).

Baccharis salicina T. & G. Willow, baccharis, groundsel-tree (RR, HS).

Baccharis texana (T. & G.) A. Gray, Groundsel-tree (C, R).

Berlandiera lyrata Benth., Lyre leaf green-eyes (RR, HS).

Centaurea americana Nutt., Basket-flower, American star-thistle (C).

Centaurea melitensis L. Tocalote, Malta star-thistle (C).

Chaetopappa ericoides (Torr.) G. L. Nesom, White aster, rose heath (RR, HS).

Cirsium ochrocentrum Gray, Yellow-spine thistle (RR).

Cirsium texanum Buckl., Texas thistle, plumed thistle (HS).

Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronquist., Horse-weed (RR, HS).

Dyssodia acerosa DC., Dogweed (RR, R).

Dyssodia pentachaeta (DC.), Robins. Parralena (C, R).

Dyssodia tenuiloba (DC.), Robins. Dogweed, fetid marigold (RR).

Engelmannia pinnatifida Gray ex Nutt., Engelmann daisy (RR).

Erigeron modestus Gray, Fleabane (HS).

Erigeron strigosus Muhl., ex Willd. White-top (HS).

Erigeron versicolor (Greenm.) G. L. Nesom, Fleabane (C).

Euthamia leptocephala (T. & G.) Greene, Euthamia, bushy goldendrop (HS).

Evax verna Raf., Rabbit-tobacco, cotton-rose (RR).

Florestina tripteris DC., Sticky palafaxia (C, RR).

Gaillardia multiceps Greene, Onion blanketflower (HS).

Gaillardia pinnatifida Torr., Old red eye (HS).

Gaillardia pulchella Foug., Blanket flower, Indian blanket, firewheel (C).

Gaillardia suavis (Gray & Engelm.) Britton & Rusby, Blanket flower (HS).

Grindelia nuda Wood var. aphanactis (Rydb.) G. Nesom, Gumweed, tarweed (C).

Gutierrezia sarothrae (Pursh.) Britt. & Rusby, Snakeweed (HS).

Gutierrezia sphaerocephala Gray, Roundleaf, snakeleaf (HS, R).

Haploesthes greggii Gray, False broomweed, false cotton (HS).

Helianthus annuus L., Common sunflower, mirasol (C).

Helianthus ciliaris DC., Blue-weed (HS).

Helianthus petiolaris Nutt., Prairie sunflower (C, RR).

Heterotheca stenophylla (Gray) Shinners, Golden aster, camphor weed (C, RR).

Heterotheca subaxillaris (Lam.) Britt. & Rusby, Camphor weed (C, RR).

Hymenopappus artemisiifolius DC., Woolly-white (HS).

Hymenopappus flavescens Gray var. flavescens, Woolly-white (RR).

Hymenopappus scabiosaeus L'Her., Old plainsman (HS).

Hymenopappus tenuifolius Pursh., Slimleaf hymenopappus, chalk hill hymenopappus (HS).

Hymenoxys odorata DC., Bitterweed (RR).

Lactuca serriola L., Prickly lettuce, wild lettuce, compass plant (C).

Lygodesmia texana (T. & G.) Greene, Skeleton plant, skeleton weed, pink dandelion (C).

Machaeranthera gracilis (Nutt.) Shinners, Desert aster (HS).

Machaeranthera pinnatifida (Hook.) Shinners, Lacy tansyaster (HS, RR).

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Kunth.) Nees, Tahoka daisy (HS, RR).

Melampodium leucanthum T. & G., Black-foot (RR).

Palafoxia rosea (Bush) Cory, Sand palafoxia (C).

Parthenium confertum Gray, Lyreleaf parthenium, Grey's feverfew (RR).

Psilostrophe tagetina (Nutt.) Greene, Paper flower (C, RR).

Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus (D. Don) DC., False dandelion (C).

Ratibida columnifera (Nutt.) Wooton & Standl., Mexican hat (HS, RR).

Senecio douglasii DC., Butterweed (HS).

Senecio flaccidus Less., Burweed (RR).

Simsia calva (Gray & Engelm.) Gray, Awnless bush sunflower (RR).

Sonchus asper (L.) Hill, Spiny sow thistle (C).

Sonchus oleraceus L., Sow thistle (C, R).

Stephanomeria pauciflora (Torr.) A. Nels., Wire lettuce (C).

Symphyotrichum subulatum (Michx.) G. Nesom, Annual aster (HS).

Tetraneuris linearifolia (Hook.) Greene, Four-nerve daisy (HS).

Tetraneuris scaposa (DC.) Greene, Four-nerve (HS).

Thelesperma filifolium (Hook.) A. Gray, Green-thread (C).

Thelesperma megapotamicum (Spreng.) O. Ktze., Cota, Indian tea, Navajo tea (RR).

Thelesperma simplicifolium Gray, Greenthread (HS).

Tragopogon dubius Scop., Goat's-beard (C).

Tragopogon porrifolius L. Salsify, oyster plant (C).

Trixis californica Kell. var. californica, American trixis (HS).

Verbesina encelioides (Cav.) Gray, Cowpen daisy (HS).

Verbesina nana (Gray) Robins. & Greenm., Crown beard (HS, RR).

Vernonia marginata (Torr.) Raf., Plains ironweed (RR, R).

Viguiera stenoloba Blake, Resin-bush (HS).

Xanthisma texanum DC., Texas sleepy daisy (C).

Xanthocephalum sp. Willd., Snakeweed, Broomweed (HS).

Zinnia acerosa (DC.) Gray, Dwarf zinnia (HS).

Zinnia grandiflora Nutt., Prairie zinnia (RR, R).


Berberis trifoliata Moric., Algeritas, agarito (C).


Cryptantha angustifolia (Torr.) Greene, Frostweed, narrowleaf popcorn flower (HS).

Cryptantha cinerea (Greene) Cronquist var. jamesii A. Cronq., James catseye (HS).

Cryptantha crassisepala (T. & G.) Greene, Thick-sepal catseye (C).

Cryptantha mexicana (Brandeg.) I. M. Johnst., Mexican cryptantha (HS).

Cryptantha minima Rydb., Little cryptantha (HS).

Cryptantha palmeri (Gray) Payson, Palmer's grappling-hook (HS).

Lithospermum incisum Lehm. Gromwell, puccoon (HS).


Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medic., Shepherd's purse (HS).

Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb, Flixweed, herb sophia (C).

Dimorphocarpa candicans (Raf.) Roll., Palmer's spectaclepod (C).

Draba cuneifolia Nutt. ex T. & G., Wedge-leaf whitlow-grass (C).

Lepidium virginicum L., Lentejilla (C, R).

Lesquerella fendleri (Gray) Wats., Bladder pod (RR).

Lesquerella gordonii (Gray) Wats., Gordon's bladderpod (C).

Rapistrum rugosum (L.) All., Annual bastard cabbage (C).

Sisymbrium L., London rocket (HS).


Epithelantha micromeris (Engelm.) Weber, Button cactus (HS).

Mammillaria heyderi Muehlenpf., Pin-cushion cactus (HS).

Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyck., Engelmann's prickly pear (HS).

Opuntia imbricata (Haw.) DC., Tree cholla, coyonostle, tree cactus (HS).

Opuntia leptocaulis DC., Desert Christmas cactus (RR).

Opuntia macrorhiza Engelm. Plains prickly pear (HS, RR).


Paronychia jamesii T. & G., James's nailwort, whitlow-wort (C).


Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt., Saltbush (RR).

Chenopodium berlandieri Moq., Pitseed goosefoot (RR).

Chenopodium incanum (Wats.) Heller., Goosefoot, pigweed (C).

Chenopodium pratericola Rydb., Thickleaf goosefoot (C).

Kochia scoparia (L.) Roth, Belvedere (HS).


Convolvulus arvensis L., Field bindweed (C).

Convolvulus equitans Benth., Bindweed, possession vine (C, RR).

Evolvulus alsinoides (L.) L., Slender dwarf morning glory (HS).

Ipomoea leptophylla Torr., Bush morning glory (C).


Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai., Pie-melon (C).

Cucurbita foetidissima Kunth., Buffalo-gourd (RR).

Ibervillea tenuisecta (Gray) Small, Cutleaf globe berry (RR).


Cuscuta leptantha Engelm., Slender dodder, cuscuta (RR).


Croton dioicus Cav., Grassland croton (RR).

Croton pottsii (Kl.) Mull., Arg. Leather-weed (RR).

Euphorbia albomarginata T. & G., Spurge (C).

Euphorbia chaetocalyx (Boiss.) Tidest., Bristle cup sandmat (HS).

Euphorbia dentata Michx., Poinsettia, Spurge (C, RR).

Euphorbia lata Engelm., Hoary sandmat (RR).

Euphorbia longicruris Scheele, Spurge (RR).

Euphorbia wrightii T. & G., Spurge (C).

Tragia ramosa Torr., Noseburn (C).


Acacia greggii Gray var. wrightii (Benth.) Isely, Cat's claw, catclaw (HS).

Acacia roemeriana Scheele, Cat's claw (RR).

Astragalus lindheimeri Engelm. ex Gray, Milk-vetch, loco weed (HS).

Astragalus mollissimus Torr. var. coryi I. Tidestr., Woolly loco weed, Texas loco weed, Purple loco weed (RR).

Astragalus plattensis Nutt. ex T. & G.. Milk-vetch, Loco weed (HS).

Caesalpinia gilliesii (Hook.) Benth., Yellow bird of paradise, desert bird of paradise (C, R).

Dalea aurea Nutt., Golden dalea (HS).

Dalea candida Michx. ex Willd., Prairie clover, white prairie clover (C).

Dalea cylindriceps Barneby, Andean prairie clover (C).

Dalea formosa Torr., Feather plume, pea bush (C).

Dalea nana T. & G., Dwarf prairie clover (HS).

Desmanthus illinoensis (Michx.) MacM., Illinois bundleflower (C).

Desmanthus obtusus Wats., Bluntpod, bundleflower (RR).

Hoffmannseggia glauca (Ort.) Eifert, Rush-pea, hog-potato, mesquite weed (C).

Medicago minima (L.) L., Small bur-clover (C).

Medicago sativa L., Bur-clover (RR).

Mimosa aculeaticarpa Ort. var. biuncifera (Benth.) Barneby, Catclaw mimosa (C).

Mimosa borealis Gray, Pink mimosa, fragrant mimosa (RR).

Mimosa rupertiana B. L. Turner, Sensitive plant (C).

Pediomelum cuspidatum (Pursh) Rydb., Large bract Indian breadroot (HS).

Prosopis glandulosa Torr., Honey mesquite (C).

Senna roemeriana (Sheele) Irwin & Barneby, Two-leafed senna (C).

Sophora secundiflora (Ort.) DC., Texas mountain laurel (HS).


Quercus havardii Rydb. var. havardii, Sand shinnery oak (C).

Quercus mohriana Buckl., Mohr's oak, shin oak, scrub oak (HS).


Corydalis aurea Willd., Scrambled eggs (C).


Centaurium beyrichii (T. & G.) Robins, Mountain pink (C).

Centaurium calycosum (Buckl.) Fern., Buckley centaury, Arizona centaury, rosita (HS).


Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Her., Cranesbill, stork's-bill, pin clover (C, RR).

Erodium texanum Gray, Stork's-bill (HS).


Nama hispidum Gray, Rough nama, sandbells (C).

Phacelia congesta Hook, Blue-curls, spike phacelia, spider flower (RR).

Phacelia popei T. & G., Scorpion weed (HS).


Juglans microcarpa Berland., Little walnut (HS).


Krameria lanceolata Torr., Sandspur, trailing ratany (HS).


Brazoria scutellarioides Engelm. & Gray, Texas wisteria (HS).

Hedeoma drummondii Benth., Drummond false pennyroyal (HS).

Marrubium vulgare L., Common horehound, marrubio (C, RR).

Monarda citriodora Cerv. ex Lag., Lemon mint, wild bee balm (HS).

Monarda punctata L., Spotted bee balm, horsemint (C, RR).

Salvia farinacea Benth., Mealy blue sage (HS).

Salvia reflexa Hornem., Rocky mountain sage (C, RR).

Salvia texana (Sheele) Torr., Blue sage (HS).

Teucrium cubense Jacq. var. laevigatum. (Vahl) Shinners, Cutleaf germander (C, RR).


Linum berlandieri Hook, Flax (RR).

Linum compactum A. Nels., Wyoming flax (C).

Linum lewisii Pursh., Blue flax, prairie flax (RR).

Linum pratense (Nort.) Small, Blue flax, meadow flax (HS).

Linum rigidum Pursh., Stiff-stem yellow flax (HS).

Linum sulcatum Ridd., Yellow prairie flax (HS).


Mentzelia strictissima (Woot. & Standl.) Darl., Grassland blazingstar (HS).


Abutilon fruticosum Guill. & Perr., Texas Indian mallow (RR).

Callirhoe pedata (Nutt. ex Hook.) Gray, Poppy mallow (HS).

Rhynchosida physocalyx (Gray) Fryxell, Bladderpod sida (RR).

Sphaeralcea angustifolia (Cav.) G. Don, False mallow, globe mallow (RR).

Sphaeralcea coccinea (Nutt.) Rydb., Scarlet globe-mallow, red false mallow (HS).

Sphaeralcea hastulata Gray, Orange globe-mallow (RR).


Cocculus carolinus (L.) DC., Red-berried moonseed, snailseed (C, RR).


Acleisanthes longiflora Gray, Angel trumpets (C, RR).

Boerhavia linearifolia Gray, Spiderling (C).

Mirabilis linearis (Pursh) Heimerl., Umbrellawort, four-o'clock (C).

Nyctaginia capitata Choisy, Scarlet musk-flower (C).


Calylophus berlandieri Spach., Square-bud day-primrose (HS).

Calylophus hartwegii (Benth.) Raven, Evening primrose (C).

Calylophus serrulatus (Nutt.) Raven, Yellow sundrop, yellow evening primrose (C).

Gaura calcicola Raven & Gregory, Texas butterfly-weed (HS).

Gaura coccinea Pursh., Scarlet gaura (C).

Gaura parviflora Hook, Velvet weed, willow gaura (RR).

Gaura sinuata Ser., Wavy-leafed gaura (C).

Gaura suffulta Engelm. ex Gray, Bee blossom, wild honeysuckle, kisses (C, RR).

Gaura villosa Torr., Hairy gaura, woolly beeblossom (C).

Oenothera elata Kunth., Hooker's evening primrose (HS).

Oenothera engelmannii (Small) Munz., Engelmann's evening primrose (C, RR).

Oenothera grandis (Britton) Smyth., Showy evening primrose (C).

Oenothera macrocarpa Nutt., Big-fruit evening primrose (C).

Oenothera pubescens (Willd.) Munz., South American evening primrose (C).


Orobanche uniflora L., Naked broomrape (HS).


Argemone chisosensis G. Ownbey, Prickly poppy (C).

Argemone squarrosa Greene, Hedgehog pricklypoppy (HS).


Proboscidea louisianica (Mill.) Thell., Devil's claw (C).


Rivina humilis L., Pigeon-berry, rouge-plant, coralito (C, RR).


Plantago helleri Small, Cedar plantain (HS).

Plantago patagonica Jacq., Indianwheat, buckhorn plantain, woolly plantain (C).

Plantago rhodosperma Decne, Red-seeded plantain (C).

Plantago wrightiana Decne, Wright's plantain (HS).


Gilia rigidula Benth., Blue bowls (RR).


Polygala alba Nutt., White milkwort (C).

Polygala lindheimeri Gray, Shrubby milkwort (C).


Polygonum hydropiperoides Michx., Mild water pepper (C, R).

Rumex crispus L., Curley dock, yellow dock (RR).

Rumex hymenosepalus Torr., Wild rhubarb, dock (C, R).

Rumex pulcher L., Fiddle dock (C, R).


Anemone tuberosa Rydb., Tuber-anemone, desert-anemone (HS).

Clematis drummondii T. & G., Texas virgin's bower, barbas de chivato, old man's beard (C, RR).

Delphinium carolinianum Walt., Prairie larkspur, blue larkspur (HS).


Condalia ericoides (Gray) M. C. Johnst., Javelina bush (HS).

Ziziphus obtusifolia (T. & G.) Gray, Lotebush, gumdrop tree, clepe (RR).


Galium proliferum Gray, Limestone bedstraw (HS).

Hedyotis nigricans (Lam.) Fosb., Bluets (HS).

Hedyotis acerosa Gray, Bluets (RR).


Zanthoxylum hirsutum Buckl., Prickly ash, toothache tree, tickle-tongue (HS).


Salix amygdaloides Anderss., Peach-leaved willow (RR).

Salix nigra Marsh, Black willow (C).


Sapindus saponaria L. var. drummondii (H. & A.) L. Benson, Western soapberry, wild chinaberry (HS).

Ungnadia speciosa Endl., Mexican buckeye (HS).


Castilleja sessiliflora Pursh., Indian paintbrush (HS).

Penstemon jamesii Benth., Beard-tongue (RR).


Chamaesaracha sordida (Dun.) A. Gray, False nightshade (HS).

Lycium berlandieri Dun., Wolfberry (C).

Margaranthus solanaceus Schltdl., Netted globe-berry (C).

Physalis cinerascens (Dun.) Hitchc., Ground cherry (C).

Quincula lobata (Torr.) Raf., Purple ground cherry (RR).

Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav., Silver-leaf nightshade (C, RR).

Solanum rostratum Dun., Buffalo bur (RR).


Tamarix chinensis Lour., Salt cedar (C).


Celtis laevigata Willd. var. reticulata (Torr.) L. Benson, Netleaf hackberry, Texas sugarberry, palo blanco (C).


Aloysia gratissima (Gill. & Hook.) Tronc., Whitebrush (C).

Glandularia bipinnatifida (Nutt.) Nutt., Dakota-mock vervain, small-flowered verbena (RR).

Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene, Common frog fruit, cape weed, turkey tangle (C).

Verbena bracteata Lag. & Rodr., Prostrate vervain (C).

Verbena plicata Greene, Fanleaf vervain (RR).


Phoradendron tomentosum (DC.) Engelm. ex A. Gray, Mistletoe, injerto (RR).


Cissus incisa (Nutt.) Des Moul., Marine ivy, ivy treebind (C, RR).


Kallstroemia parviflora Nort., Hairy caltrop (RR).

Larrea tridentata (DC.) Cov., Creosote bush, gobernadora, hediondilla (RR, R).

Tribulus terrestris L., Goat head, puncture weed (C).



Yucca campestris McKelvey, Plain's yucca (HS).

Yucca glauca Nutt. var. glauca, Soap-weed, yucca (C).


Commelina erecta L., Widow's tears, hierba del pollo (C).

Tradescantia occidentalis (Britt.) Smyth., Prairie spiderwort (RR).


Carex sp. L., Sedge (R).

Cyperus retroflexus Buckl., Oneflower flatsedge (C, R).


Sisyrinchium scabrum Cham. & Schecht, Blue-eyed grass (HS).


Allium canadense L., Canada garlic (HS).

Allium drummondii Regel., Wild onion (HS).

Allium perdulce S. V. Fraser var. perdulce, Wild onion (HS).

Cooperia drummondii Herb., White rain lily (C, RR).

Nothoscordum bivalve (L.) Britt., Crow-poison, false garlic (C, RR).


Aristida purpurea Nutt., Purple three-awn (C, RR).

Arundo donax L., Giant reed, Georgia cane, carrizo (RR).

Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr., Side-oats grama (HS).

Bromus catharticus Vahl., Rescue grass (C, RR).

Cenchrus spinifex Cav., Grassbur, coast sandbur (C).

Digitaria cognata (Schult.) Pilg., Fall witchgrass, Carolina crabgrass (C).

Echinochloa colona (L.) Link, Jungle-rice (C).

Elymus canadensis L., Canada wild-rye (C, RR).

Elymus elymoides (Raf.) Swezey, Squirreltail (HS).

Eragostis lehmanniana Nees., Lehmann lovegrass (C).

Erioneuron pilosum (Buckley) Nash, Hairy tridens (C, RR).

Hesperostipa neomexicana (Thurb.) Barkworth, New Mexican feather-grass, Needlegrass (HS).

Hordeum murinum L., Barley grass (HS).

Hordeum pusillum Nutt., Little barley (C, RR, R).

Melica nitens (Scribn.) Piper, Three-flowered melic (HS).

Nassella leucotricha (Trin. & Rupr.) Pohl., Needlegrass, Speargrass (C).

Panicum antidotale Retz., Blue panicum (C).

Pleuraphis mutica Buckl., Tobosa (C, RR).

Poa sp. L., Bluegrass (C, RR, HS).

Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf., Rabbitfoot grass (C, R).

Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx) Nash., Little bluestem (HS).

Setaria leucopila (Scribn. & Merr.) Schum., Plains bristle-grass (HS).

Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers., Johnson grass (C).

Tridens albescens (Vasey) Woot. & Standl., White tridens, tule (HS).


Typha domingensis Pers., Southern cat-tail (RR).


At the conclusion of this study 307 species of vascular plants representing 202 genera and 61 families have been reported from Howard County, Texas. These totals represent the sum of all collecting reported by the authors of this paper and studies prior to March 2001 (Havard 1885; Reed 1978; Anon. 1992). The most common families include 81 Asteraceae (28%), 23 Fabaceae (8%) and 19 Poaceae (6%).

Of the 307 species of plants documented within Howard County, 12 species were determined to be significant range extensions. Range extensions were determined by using the distributional dot maps found in Turner et al. (2003). Only four of these species are verifiable with voucher specimens. Eight of the species determined to be significant range extensions were found only in the literature (Reed 1978; Anon. 1992) and where not verified by voucher specimens, but are still listed here for possible future investigators. Those specimens collected during this study from March 2001 to June 2004 are listed as specimens collected. Additional records list those specimens collected prior to this study. All voucher specimens listed may be found in the Sul Ross State University Collection (SRSC).

Epithelantha micromeris (Engelm.) Weber. -- Turner et al. (2003) record specimens 200 km to the southwest of Howard County from Reeves and Val Verde counties and to the southeast from Bandera County. King (1975) reports collecting this cactus in Coke County 70 km to the southeast.

Specimens collected. -- M. W. Nickell s.n. (SRSC).

Monarda citriodora Cerv. ex. Lag. -- Turner et al. (2003) report specimens only from southern Texas along the coast. The Howard County specimens reported are a 725 km extension. Reed (1978) had reported this species from his Coke County survey. Other reports of this plant are from Garza County (Hutchins 1968) to the north, Tom Green County (Eckhardt 1975) to the south and Winkler and Andrews counties (Collins 1966) to the west.

Specimens collected. -- C. N. Cerda 361 (SRSC).

Additional records. -- J. D. Reed 202, 236, 283, 302 (SRSC)

Calylophus hartwegii (Beth.) Raven. -- Reed (1978) reported this species during his Howard County survey. Turner et al. (2003) shows two varieties of this species, C. hartwegii hartwegii to the southwest of Howard County and C. hartwegii maccatii to the south. An overlap of the two varieties occur in Crocket and Val Verde counties. King (1975) also reports specimens form Coke County 70 km to the southeast. Collins (1966) collected C. hartwegii hartwegii and C. hartwegii fendleri in his study of the Concho Bluff Ecotone to the west. Hutchins (1966) reported C. h. fendleri from Garza County to the north of Howard County while Eckhardt (1975) reported C. hartwegii filifolius and C. hartwegii pubescens from Tom Green County to the south.

Specimens collected. -- J. D. Paredez 040; C. N. Cerda 069, 239, 308, 322, 347; V. Yanez 126, 129 (SRSC).

Additional specimens. -- J. D. Reed 43, 249 (SRSC).

Oenothera pubescens (Willd.) Munz. -- Turner et al. (2003) show this species occurring 300 km to the south and southwest of Howard County in Val Verde, Brewster, and Jeff Davis counties.

Specimens collected. -- V. Yanez 021, 050 (SRSC).

The following eight species are found only in the literature (Reed 1978; Anon. 1992). No voucher specimens of these species have been located, which suggest that they may have been misidentified at the time of reporting or reported without a specimen being collected from Howard County.

Erigeron strigosus Muhl ex Willd. -- Turner et al. (2003) show the nearest specimen of this species to be found in Taylor County, 200 km to the east of Howard County. Reed (1978) reported collecting specimens from Howard County prior to the current study but no voucher specimen was found.

Euthamia leptocephala (T. & G.) Greene. -- Turner et al. (2003) show a dividing line of records in eastern Texas ranging from Bowie County south through Lee County to the Gulf of Mexico in Victoria County. Specimens listed in the literature would be 650 km extensions.

Hymenopappus artemisiifolius DC. -- Turner et al. (2003) show a line of records reaching from Wise County south through Travis County to Jim Hogg County. Specimens listed from Howard County would be 300 km west of this line.

Machaeranthera gracillus (Nutt.) Shinners. -- Nearest records to Howard County shown by Turner et al. (2003) are from Jeff Davis and Brewster counties 300 km to the southwest. Reed (1978) had reported collecting this plant during his study. It is possible that a specimen of Marchaeranthera pinnatifida var. pinnatifida, J. D. Reed 34 (SRSC), collected by him may have been misidentified.

Trixis californica Kell. -- Turner et al. (2003) show numerous records from Brewster, Jeff Davis and Culberson counties, to the southwest of Howard County. Specimens listed in literature prior to this study would be 300 km extensions.

Cryptantha angustifolia (Torr.) Greene. -- Turner et al. (2003) record specimens from Brewster and Culberson counties, 300 km to the southwest of Howard County.

Centrurium beyrichii (T. & G.) Robins. -- Turner et al. (2003) show a north-south line of records 350 km to the east of Howard County. King (1975) reported collecting two specimens from Coke County 70 km to the southeast.

Linum sulcatum Ridd. -- Turner et al. (2003) show specimens for Jack and Burnet counties 425 km to the east of Howard County.


We acknowledge the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and the Howard County Master Gardeners for their funding and support of this project. We wish to thank Drs. Billie L. Turner and Tom Wendt for their encouragement to do this project and for sharing their expertise of the plants in the study area. We appreciate Justin Allison for his assistance at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. Thanks to Candice Cerda, Dora Lozano, Raul Marquez, Jr., Ricky Yanez and Vanessa Yanez for helping collect and process plants. We are grateful to Dr. Gary Grant, Michael Nickell, and Julia Trevino for reviewing this paper.

It is with deepest gratitude that we wish to thank Dr. A. Michael Powell and his staff at the Sul Ross State University Herbarium, without whose help this study would not have been possible.


Anonymous. 1992. Big Spring State Park, Scenic Mountain trail: A self-guided walking tour. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas, 22 pp.

Anonymous. 1995. General highway map Howard County, Texas. Texas Department of Transportation, Austin, Texas.

Anonymous. 2004. Texas almanac, 2004-05. Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, 672 pp.

Collins, L. T. 1966. Vascular flora of the Concho Bluff Ecotone. Unpublished M. S. thesis, Texas Technological College, Lubbock, Texas, 85 pp.

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Eckhardt, R. F. 1975. Vascular flora of Tom Green County, Texas. Unpublished M. S. thesis, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas, 123 pp.

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King, W. N. 1975. The vascular flora of Coke County, Texas. Unpublished M. S. thesis, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas, 94 pp.

Reed, J. B., Jr. 1978. A spring flora of Howard County, Texas. Unpublished M. S. thesis, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas, 45 + 32 pp.

Simpson, L. A. & C. N. Cerda. 2004. The mammals of Howard County, Texas. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University, 238:1-19.

Stoner, H. R., N. D. Mitchell, W. D. Mitchell, K. G. Brock & H. E. Mitchell. 1969. Soil survey of Howard County, Texas. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, 68 pp.

Turner, B. L., H. Nichols, G. Denny & O. Doron. 2003. Atlas of the vascular plants of Texas. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, 1: x + 648 and 2:649-888.

USDA, NRCS. 2004. The plant database, version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Yanez, J. D. & L. A. Simpson. 2001. Noteworthy records of mammals from Howard County, Texas. Texas Journal of Science, 53(2):195-198.

JDP at:

Jessica D. Paredez, Sandra L. Woods, and Lynn A. Simpson

University of Texas at Austin Herbarium, Austin, Texas 78712

Department of Biology, Howard College

Big Spring, Texas 79720

Department of Biology, Navarro Community College

South Campus, Mexia, Texas 76667
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Author:Paredez, Jessica D.; Woods, Sandra L.; Simpson, Lynn A.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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