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The vascular flora of the Palo Alto National Battlefield Historic Site, Cameron County, Texas.

Abstract. -- A checklist is provided of the vascular plant taxa of the 1,376 ha Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site (PABNHS) in Cameron County of south Texas. PABNHS consists of four plant communities: resacas and tanks, salt flats, brush-grasslands and coastal marshes. Vascular plants of disturbed sites are noted. Two hundred forty-three taxa in 66 families are documented and their community affiliations are given. Three families, Poaceae, Asteraceae and Fabaceae contain 37.5% of the species richness at PABNHS.


The southernmost extension of prairie in the United States is located in the Gulf Prairies and Marshes vegetation area of Texas (Schuster & Hatch 1990). Saline sites in the prairie in southern Texas that are flooded intermittently are usually dominated by Spartina spartinae (gulf cordgrass), often to the exclusion of other species (Oefinger & Scifres 1977; Scifres et al. 1980; Smiens et al. 1991). Kuchler (1964) combined upland Andropogon/Schizachyrium and/or Bothriochloa prairies with S. spartinae marshes and referred to the entity as a Southern Cordgrass Prairie, and Diamond et al. (1987) referred to this community as a Gulf Cordgrass Series. Turner (1959), the only investigator using quantitative methods, mapped most of south Texas in the Tamaulipan ecoregion (MacRoberts & MacRoberts 2003).

Johnston (1955; 1963) stated that the poorly drained flats near the coast in Cameron County support a salt prairie. He reported that the area is dominated by halophytic subshrubs including Batis maritima, Salicornia virginica, Suaeda sp., Borrichia frutescens and the matforming grass, Monanthochloe littoralis. Low-lying saline, sometimes water-logged clays at elevations from 0 m to 3 m above sea level are referred to as "Borrichia flats" (Johnston 1955; 1963). Lonard et al. (1991) partitioned the natural vegetation of the lower Rio Grande Valley into four major habitats (1) Rio Grande floodplain, (2) coastal prairies and marshes, (3) barrier islands and (4) brush-grasslands, and they provided brief descriptions of these habitats.

The U.S. National Park Service proposes to restore the battlefield landscape at the Palo Alto National Battlefield National Historic Site (PANBHS) to the putative conditions at the time of the first battle of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). U. S. Grant noted in his war diary that the grass (S. spartinae) that dominated the wet battlefield ... "was tall, reaching the shoulders of the men, very stiff, and each stock pointed at the tip, and hard, almost as sharp as a darning needle" (Sanchez 1985). The restoration will include the highly disturbed core battlefield site in the coastal marsh formerly dominated by gulf cordgrass and the adjacent resaca (remnant shallow, abandoned river channel of the historic floodplain of the lower Rio Grande) that provided water for the combatants.

Little is known about the extant vascular plant species richness of this National Historic Site. Only one unpublished checklist of vascular plants is available (Richard & Richardson 1993) for the site. Thus there has been no comprehensive study of the flora of PANBHS. The purpose of this paper is to identify the vascular flora of this segment of the Rio Grande Delta.


A broad delta has been formed by the Rio Grande on the Texas mainland where the river approaches the Gulf of Mexico. The delta fronts the coastline from 25[degrees] 30' to 26[degrees] 30' N latitude between Port Mansfield in Willacy County and the mouth of the Rio Grande in Cameron County. At least three major Holocene lobes were formed by the Rio Grande fluvial-deltaic system (Brown et al. 1980). The study site, characterized by numerous resacas, is located in the Del Tigre intermediate sub-delta where the river shifted into Mexico. The northwestern extension of the delta is 67 km upstream from the Gulf of Mexico and includes all of Cameron County (Clover 1937; Brown et al. 1980; Judd & Lonard 2002).

PANBHS about 16.1 km north of the Rio Grande is located at the intersection of two roads, F.M. 511 and F.M. 1487, in Cameron County, Texas. The 1,376 ha National Park Unit is in a broad, undeveloped prairie interspersed with stands of mixed brush and several lengthy resacas. The area is in the Matamoros district of the Tamaulipan Biotic Province (Blair 1950).

All soils at PANBHS are saline clays or clay loams (Table 1) (Williams et al. 1977). The highly saline Lomalta Clay is the predominant soil series. It includes the substrate of the core battlefield site and resaca systems. Vegetation zones that occur here are coastal marshes (S. spartinae community), salt flats and resacas and tanks. The less saline Chargo Silty Clay and Laredo Silty Clay Loam Series (18.9%) of the area occur at elevations greater than 4.6 m above sea level and support brush-grassland vegetation (Table 1). The topography is flat, and the elevation is 2.96 m to 6.37 m above sea level. The water table typically ranges from 45 to 91 cm below the soil surface (Williams et al. 1977).

The climate of the area is semi-arid (Thornthwaite 1948) with an annual precipitation of about 66 cm (Lonard et al. 1991). Rainfall peaks are in September and October. The mean frost free period is 330 days, and frequently an entire winter will pass without freezing temperatures (Lonard et al. 1991).

Although the site retains some of its original integrity, most of PANBHS has been disturbed. Resaca channels have been excavated or blocked to form small tanks. Grazing, farming, road building and excavation of drainage canals have altered landscape features. Abandoned cultivated fields, established in the 1940's, occupy the core battlefield area, and secondary succession has not resulted in the return of a S. spartinae community.


Data reported here are based primarily on collections made by Richardson and Richard in 1992 and 1993 and by Richardson in 1991. Lonard conducted monthly surveys between June and November 2001 and from December 2002 to June 2003. Vouchers were deposited in the University of Texas-Pan American Herbarium (PAUH). Nomenclature including common names follows Jones & Wipff (2003). Abbreviations are used to refer to vegetation zones or sites recognized in Lonard et al. (1991). A category, disturbed sites, has been added to include areas altered by farming, grazing, or road construction. Abbreviations and vegetation zones and sites are:

RT -- Resacas and tanks

SF -- Salt flats

CM -- Coastal marshes

BG -- Brush-grasslands

DS -- Disturbed sites

I -- Introduced


This study reports the presence of 243 species of vascular plants representing 188 genera and 66 families from PANBHS (Table 2). The three most common families are Poaceae (16.5%), Asteraceae (15.2%) and Fabaceae (5.8%). Thirty families are represented by a single species, and 20 species have been introduced.

The flora of PANBHS represents about one-fourth (24.2%) of the total flora (1,004 species) of the Rio Grande Delta and the lower Rio Grande Valley. Seven hundred thirty-two species of dicots representing 410 genera and 92 families were catalogued by Richardson (1995) in the Rio Grande Delta. The Asteraceae (115 species), Fabaceae (74 species), and Euphorbiaceae (47 species) are the most common families, and they represent almost one-third (32.2%) of the species richness. Richardson (1995) and Lonard (1993) listed 17 families, 99 genera and 269 species of monocots. The Poaceae (188 species) and Cyperaceae (41 species) account for 85.1% of the species richness of monocots in the area.

No rare, threatened, or endangered species were catalogued. However, Tillandsia baileyi, epiphytic on Chloroleucon ebano in an upland brush thicket, is listed as a category V "watch list" plant by the Texas Organization for Endangered Species. Britton & Morton (1989) listed Lycium carolinianum var. quadrifidum only along bayshores in Texas. However, it was common in resaca basins and salt flats.

Several introduced potentially invasive grasses including Dichanthium annulatum, Dichanthium aristatum, Pennisetum ciliare, Urochloa maxima and Urochloa panicoides, occur in the core battlefield site and in disturbed sites along roads and trails. Urochloa panicoides is a federally listed noxious weed. No plans have been formulated to eliminate these species. Kalanchoe delagoensis is confined to a small area near a parking lot and could be removed by hand.

Historical accounts indicate that S. spartinae was the most important species in the core battlefield in 1846 (Sanchez 1985). Optimal development of a Gulf Cordgrass community occurs in saline, hydric soils where water levels range from 30 cm below the soil surface to 4 cm above ground level (Oefinger & Scifres 1977; Scifres et al. 1980). Periodic flooding of the Rio Grande has been eliminated by dams and drainage projects. Only occasional flooding occurs at PANBHS as a result of rainfall rather than flooding from the river. Implementation of a plan to restore S. spartinae at the battlefield site will require removal of excess sediment from resaca channels, and cyclic flooding will be a prerequisite to restore hydrologic processes. Therefore, it is doubtful that the core battlefield can be restored to a landscape similar to conditions that prevailed in 1846.
Table 1. Soil series and vegetation zones at Palo Alto National
Battlefield Historic Site. RT = resacas and tanks, SF = salt flats,
CM = coastal marshes and BG = brush-grasslands.

Soil Series Percent of Area Vegetation Zones

Lomalta clay 62.6 RT, SF, CM
Chargo silty clay 12.9 BG
Laredo silty clay loam, saline 8.4 RT margins, SF, CM
Laredo silty clay loam 6.0 BG
Sejita silty clay loam 5.0 CM, SF
Latina sandy clay 2.9 SF, CM
Benito clay 2.2 CM, SF

Table 2. Summary of the vascular flora of Palo Alto Battlefield National
Historic Site, Cameron County, Texas.

 Polypodiopsida Magnoliopsida Liliopsida Total

Families 1 54 11 66
Genera 1 148 39 188
Species 1 182 60 243
Native species 1 170 52 223
Introduced species 0 12 8 20


The authors thank the staff at the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site for granting permission to conduct this study. We are indebted to Glennis Lonard for assistance in the collection of field data and technical support.




Marsilea macropoda (G. Engelmann ex A. Braun) A. Gray. Water-clover, (RT).



Dyschoriste crenulata C. Kobuski. Crenate-leaf snake-herb, (BG).

Elytraria bromoides A. Oersted. Wheat-spike scaly-stem, (BG).

Justicia pilosella (C. Nees von Esenbeck) R. Hilsenbeck. Tube-tongue, (BG).

Ruellia nudiflora (G. Engelmann ex A. Gray) I. Urban var. runyonii (B. Tharp & F. Barkley) B.L. Turner. Runyon's violet wild-petunia, (BG).

Stenandrium dulce (A. Cavanilles) C. Nees von Esenbeck. Sweet shaggy-tuft, (BG).


Phaulothamnus spinescens A. Gray. Snake-eyes, (BG).


Sesuvium verrucosum C. Rafinesque-Schmaltz. Winged sea-purslane, (RT, DS, SF).

Trianthema portulacastrum C. Linnaeus. Desert horse purslane, (DS).


Alternanthera paronychioides A. de Saint-Hilaire. Smooth joy weed, (RT).

Amaranthus blitoides S. Watson. Prostrate pigweed, (DS, I).

Celosia nitida M. H. Vahl. West Indian cock's-comb, albahaca, (BG).


Cyclospermum leptophyllum (C. Persoon) T.A. Sprague ex N. Britton & Percy Wilson. Slim-lobe celery, (DS, I).

Eryngium nasturtiifolium A.L. de Jussieu ex F. Delaroche. Hierba del sapo, (RT, DS).


Cynanchyum barbigerum (G. Scheele) L. Shinners. Swallow-wort, (BG, DS).

ASTERACEAE (Compositae)

Acourtia runcinata (M. Lagasca y Segura ex D. Don) B.L. Turner. Stemless desert peonia, (BG).

Aphanostephus ramosissimus A. P. de Candolle. Plains lazy-daisy, (DS).

Ambrosia psilostachya A. P. de Candolle. Western ragweed, (DS).

Baccharis neglecta N. Britton. Roosevelt weed, (DS).

Bidens laevis (C. Linnaeus) N. Britton, E. Sterns & J. Poggenbery. Smooth beggar-ticks, (RT).

Borrichia frutescens (C. Linnaeus) A.P. de Candolle. Sea-ox-eye daisy, (RT, SF, CM, DS).

Calyptocarpus vialis C. Lessing. Straggler daisy, (DS).

Chromolaena odorata (C. Linnaeus) R. King & B. Robinson. Crucita, (BG, DS).

Cirsium texanum S. Buckley. Southern thistle, (DS).

Clappia suaedifolia A. Gray, Fleshy-leaf clappia, (SF, DS).

Coreopsis tinctoria T. Nuttall. Golden wave, (RT, DS).

Dyssodia pentachaeta (A.P. de Candolle) B. Robinson. Parralena, (BG, DS).

Dyssodia tenuiloba (A.P. de Candolle) B. Robinson var. treculii (A. Gray) J. Strother. Bristleleaf dyssodia, (BG, DS).

Eclipta prostrata (C. Linnaeus) C. Linnaeus. Yerba de tago, (RT).

Erigeron tenellus A.P. de Candolle. Fleabane, (DS).

Evax verna C. Rafinesque-Schmaltz. Spring evax, (DS).

Fleishmannia incarnata (T. Walter) R. King & H. Robinson. Flesh-pink fleishmannia, (BG, DS).

Florestina tripteris A. P. de Candolle. Three-lobed florestina, (DS).

Gamochaeta falcata (J. de Lamarck) A. Cabrera. Sickle cudweed, (DS, I).

Gamochaeta pensilvanica (C. von Wildenow) A. Cabrera. Purple cudweed, (DS).

Gutierrezia texana (A. P. de Candolle) J. Torrey & A. Gray. Texas snakeweed, (DS).

Helenium microcephalum A.P. de Candolle var. ooclinum (A. Gray) M. Bierner. Sneeze-weed, (RT).

Helianthus annuus C. Linnaeus. Sunflower, (DS).

Isocoma drummondii (J. Torrey & A. Gray) Greene. Drummond's jimmyweed, (BG, DS).

Machaeranthera phyllocephala (A. P. de Candolle) L. Shinners. Camphor tansy-aster, (SF, DS).

Packera tampicana (A. P. de Candolle) C. Jeffrey. Tampico butterweed, (RT, DS).

Parthenium hysterophorus C. Linnaeus. Ragweed parthenium, false ragweed, (DS).

Pluchea purpurascens (O. Swartz) A. P. de Candolle. Purple marsh-fleabane, (RT).

Senecio ampullaceus W. Hooker. Groundsel, (BG, Texas endemic).

Simsia calva (G. Engelmann & A. Gray) A. Gray. Bush sunflower, (BG).

Sonchus asper (C. Linnaeus) J. Hill. Rough sow thistle, (DS, I).

Sonchus oleraceus C. Linnaeus. Common sow thistle, (DS, I).

Symphyotrichum divaricatum (T. Nuttall) G. Nesom. Wireweed, salt-marsh aster, (DS, RT).

Trichocoronis wrightii (J. Torrey & A. Gray) A. Gray. Wright's bugheal, (RT, CM).

Verbesina encelioides (A. Cavanilles) G. Bentham & J. Hooker ex A. Gray. Cowpen daisy, (DS).

Verbesina microptera A.P. de Candolle. Capitana crownbeard, (BG, DS).

Wedelia texana (A. Gray) B. L. Turner. Texas wedelia, (BG).


Batis maritima C. Linnaeus. Maritime saltwort, vidrillos, (RT, SF, CM).


Heliotropium angiospermum J. Murray. Taper-leaf heliotrope, (DS, RT).

Heliotropium curassavicum C. Linnaeus. Seaside heliotrope, (RT, SF, CM, DS).


Lepidium austrinum J. K. Small. Southern pepperwort, (DS).

Lepidium lasiocarpum T. Nuttall ex J. Torrey & A. Gray var. wrightii (A. Gray) C. Hitchcock. Wright's woolly-fruit pepperwort, (DS).

Lesquerella argyraea (A. Gray) S. Watson. Narrow-leaf bladderpod, (DS).

Lesquerella lasiocarpa (W. Hooker ex A. Gray) S. Watson var. berlandieri (A. Gray) E. Payson. Berlandier's woolly-pod bladderpod, (DS).

Sisymbrium irio C. Linnaeus. London rocket, (DS, I).


Acanthocereus tetragonus (C. Linnaeus) E. Hummel. Barb-wire cereus, (BG).

Cylindroopuntia leptocaulis (A.P. de Candolle) K. Kunth. Tasajillo, desert Christmas cactus, (BG, DS).

Echinocactus texensis C. Hopffer. Devil's head, (BG).

Echinocereus pentalophus (A. P. de Candolle) C. Lemaire. Lady-finger hedge-hog cactus, (BG).

Mammillaria heyderi F. Muhlenpfordt. Heyder's pinchusion cactus, (BG).

Opuntia engelmannii J. Salm-Reifferscheid-Dyck. Engelmann's prickly pear, (BG, DS).

Telocactus setispinus (G. Engelmann) E. Anderson. Miniature barrel cactus, (BG).


Lobelia berlandieri A. L. de Candolle. Lobelia, (DS).


Koeberlinia spinosa J. Zuccarini. Allthorn, crucifixion-thorn, (BG).


Maytenus phyllanthoides G. Bentham. Mangle-dulce, (BG, SF, DS).

Schaefferia cuneifolia A. Gray. Desert yaupon, (BG).


Atriplex matamorensis A. Nelson. Matamoros saltbush, (SF, DS).

Atriplex pentandra (N. von Jacquin) P. Standley. Quelite saltbush, (SF, DS).

Chenopodium berlandieri C. Moquin-Tandon. Goosefoot, (DS).

Chenopodium murale C. Linnaeus. Nettle-leaf goosefoot, (DS, I).

Salicornia virginica C. Linnaeus. Perennial saltwort, (SF).

Suaeda linearis (S. Elliott) C. Moquin-Tandon. Annual seepweed, (SF, DS).

Suaeda tampicensis (P. Standley) P. Standley. Tampico seepweed, (SF, DS).


Hypericum pauciflorum K. Kunth. Few-flowered St. John's wort, (BG, DS).


Dichondra micrantha I. Urban. Small-flowered pony foot, (BG, DS).

Evolvulus alsinoides (C. Linnaeus) C. Linnaeus var. angustifolius J. Torrey. Ojo de vibora, (BG, DS).

Evolvulus sericeus O. Swartz. Silky dwarf morning glory, (DS).


Kalanchoe delagoensis C. Ecklon & C. Zeyher. Kalanchoe, (DS, I).

Lenophyllum texanum (J. G. Smith) J. Rose. Texas stonecrop, (BG).


Ibervillea lindheimeri (A. Gray) E. Greene. Lindheimer's globeberry, (BG, DS).

Melothria pendula C. Linnaeus. Drooping melonette, (DS).


Chamaesyce serpens (K. Kunth) J.K. Small. Matted sand-mat, (DS).

Croton capitatus A. Michaux var. lindheimeri (G. Engelmann & A. Gray) J. Muller of Aargau. Lindheimer's hogwort croton, (DS).

Croton leucophyllus J. Muller of Aargau. Croton, (DS).

Ditaxis humilus (G. Engelmann & A. Gray) F. Pax. Low-growing silverbush, (DS).

Jatropha cathartica M. Teran & J. Berlandier. Geranium-flowered jatropha, (BG).

Jatropha dioica M. Sesse y Lacasta ex V. de Cervantes. Leather-stem, (BG).

Phyllanthus polygonoides T. Nuttall ex K. Sprengel. Knot weed leaf flower, (DS).

FABACEAE (Leguminosae)

Acacia farnesiana (C. Linnaeus) C. von Willdenow. Huisache, (CM, RT, DS).

Chloroleucon ebano (J. Berlandier) L. Rico. Texas ebany, (BG).

Dalea pogonothera A. Gray var. walkerae (B. Tharp & T. Barkley) B.L. Turner. Bearded dalea, (DS).

Dalea scandens (P. Miller) R. Clausen var. paucifolia (J. Coulter) R. Barneby. Low dalea, (BG).

Desmanthus virgatus (C. Linnaeus) C. von Willdenow var. depressus (F. von Humboldt & A. Bonpland) ex C. von Willdenow) B. L. Turner. Bundleflower, (DS).

Leucaena pulverulenta (D. von Schlechtendal) G. Bentham. Tepeguaje, (BG).

Melilotus albus F. Medikus. White sweetclover, (DS, I).

Mimosa asperata C. Linnaeus. Black mimosa, (RT).

Mimosa strigillosa J. Torrey & A. Gray. Pink sensitivebrier, (DS).

Parkinsonia aculeata C. Linnaeus. Retama, (BG, RT, CM, DS).

Prosopis glandulosa J. Torrey. Mesquite, (BG, CM, RT, DS).

Prosopis reptans G. Bentham var. cinerascens (A. Gray) A. Burkhart. Creeping mesquite, tornillo, (RT, SF, CM, DS).

Sesbania drummondii (P. Rydberg) V. Cory. Drummond's rattlebush, poison bean, (RT).

Sesbania herbacea (P. Miller) R. McVaugh. Large-fruited rattlebush, (RT).


Eustoma exaltatum (C. Linnaeus) A. Salisbury ex G. Don. Tall prairie gentian, bluebell gentian, (RT, DS).


Nama hispidum A. Gray. Rough nama, (DS).

Nama jamaicense C. Linnaeus. Jamaican nama, (DS).


Micromeria brownei (O. Swartz) G. Bentham var. pilosiuscula A. Gray. Browne's savory, (RT).

Salvia coccinea P. Buc'hoz ex A. Etlinger. Scarlet sage, (BG, RT).

Teucrium cubense N. von Jacquin. Germander, (BG, DS).


Lythrum alatum F. Pursh var. lanceolatum (S. Elliott) J. Torrey & A. Gray ex J. Rothrock. Lance-leaf loosestrife, (RT, DS).

Lythrum californicum J. Torrey & A. Gray. California loosestrife, (RT, DS).


Abutilon trisulcatum (N. von Jacquin) I. Urban. Anglestem abutilon, (BG, DS).

Anoda pentaschista A. Gray. Field anoda, (DS).

Bastardia viscosa (C. Linnaeus) K. Kunth. Viscid bastardia, (BG).

Billieturnera helleri (J. Rose ex A. A. Heller) P. Fryxell. Coppery false fanpetals, (DS).

Malvastrum americanum (C. Linnaeus) J. Torrey. Rio Grande falsemallow, malva loca, (DS, RT).

Malvastrum coromandelianum (C. Linnaeus) C. Garcke. Three-lobe false-mallow, (DS, RT).

Rhynchosida physocalyx (A. Gray) P. Fryxell. Spear-leaf beaked fanpetals, (DS).

Sida abutifolia P. Miller. Spreading fanpetals, (DS).

Sida spinosa C. Linnaeus. Prickly fanpetals, (DS).


Acleisanthes obtusa (J. Choisy) P. Standley. Berlandier's trumpets, vine four o'clock, (BG).


Nymphaea elegans W. J. Hooker. Blue waterlily, (RT).


Forestiera angustifolia J. Torrey. Narrow-leaf elbowbush, desert olive, panalero, (BG).


Oenothera speciosa T. Nuttall. Showy evening-primrose, amapola del campo, (DS).


Oxalis dichondrifolia A. Gray. Ponyfoot-leaf woodsorrel, (TB, DS).

Oxalis stricta C. Linnaeus. Common yellow woodsorrel, (DS).


Passiflora foetida C. Linnaeus var. gossypifolia (N. Desvaux ex W. Hamilton) M.T. Masters. Cotton-leaf passionflower vine, corona de cristo, (DS).


Rivina humilis C. Linnaeus. Rouge-plant, pigeonberry, (BG).


Plantago rhodosperma J. Decaisne. Redseed plantain, (DS).


Limonium carolinianum (T. Walter) N. Britton. Sea-lavender, marsh-rosemary, (SF, CM).


Rumex chrysocarpus G. Moris. Amnastla dock, (RT).


Portulaca oleracea C. Linnaeus. Purslane, (DS).

Portulaca pilosa C. Linnaeus. Chisme, (DS).

Portulaca umbraticola K. Kunth. Crowned wingpod purslane, (DS).

Talinum aurantiacum G. Engelmann. Orange flameflower, (BG).


Anagallis arvensis C. Linnaeus. Scarlet pimpernel, (DS, I).

Samolus ebracteatus K. Kunth subsp. cuneatus (J.K. Small) R. Kunth. Wedge-leaf brookweed, (RT).


Clematis drummondii J. Torrey & A. Gray. Barbas de chivato, old man's-beard, (DS).


Condalia hookeri M. C. Johnston. Brasil, (BG).

Karwinskia humboldtiana (J. A. Schultes) J. Zuccarini. Coyotillo, (BG).

Ziziphus obtusifolia (W. J. Hooker ex J. Torrey & A. Gray) A. Gray. Lotebush, (BG).


Spermacoce glabra A. Michaux. Smooth false buttonweed, (RT).


Zanthoxylum fagara (C. Linnaeus) C. Sargent. Colima, lime pricklyash, (BG).


Salix nigra H. Marshall. Black willow, (RT).


Sideroxylon celastrinum (K. Kunth) T. Pennington. La coma, (BG).


Bacopa monnieri (C. Linnaeus) F. Pennell. Coastal water-hyssop, (RT).

Leucophyllum frutescens (J. Berlandier) I. M. Johnston. Cenizo, (BG).

Mecardonia procumbens (P. Miller) J. K. Small. Yellow-flowered mecardonia, (RT).

Veronica peregrina C. Linnaeus subsp. xalapensis (K. Kunth) F. Pennell. Purslane speedwell, (RT).


Castela erecta P. Turpin subsp. texana (J. Torrey & A. Gray) J. Rose. All-thorn goatbush, amargosa, (BG).


Calibrachoa parviflora (A. L. de Jussieu) W. D'Arcy. Wild petunia, (DS, I).

Capsicum annuum C. Linnaeus var. aviculare (J. Dierbach) W. D'Arcy & W. Eshbaugh. Chilipiquin, (BG).

Chamaesaracha coronopus (M. Dunal) A. Gray. False nightshade, (DS).

Lycium berlandieri M. Dunal. Berlandier's wolfberry, (BG).

Lycium carolinianum T. Walter var. quadrifidum (M. Dunal) C. Hitchcock. Coastal wolfberry, (RT, SF, CM).

Margaranthus solanaceus D. von Schlechtendal. Netted globeberry, (DS).

Physalis cinerascens (M. Dunal) A. Hitchcock var. cinerascens Ground cherry, (DS).

Physalis pubescens C. Linnaeus. Downy groundcherry, (DS).

Solanum americanum P. Miller. American black nightshade, (RT, DS).

Solanum campechiense C. Linnaeus. Red-berry nightshade, (RT).

Solanum elaeagnifolium A. Cavanilles. Silver-leaf nightshade, trompillo, (DS).

Solanum triquetrum A. Cavanilles. Texas nightshade, (DS).


Melochia pyramidata C. Linnaeus. Angle-pod broomweed, (BG, RT).


Tamarix aphylla (C. Linnaeus) G. Karsten. Athel tamarisk, (DS, I).


Celtis pallida J. Torrey. Spiny hackberry, granjeno, (BG).


Parietaria pensylvanica G. H. Muhlenberg ex C. von Willdenow. Pellitory, (DS).

Urtica chamaedryoides F. Pursh. Heart-leaf stinging nettle, (RT, DS).


Aloysia gratissima (J. Gillies & W.J. Hooker) N. Troncoso. White brush, (BG).

Glandularia bipinnatifida (T. Nuttall) T. Nuttall. Dakota mock vervain, (DS).

Glandularia quadrangulata (A.A. Heller) R. Umber. Gulf coast mock vervain, (DS).

Lantana achyranthifolia R. Desfontaines. Desert lantana, (BG).

Lantana urticoides A. von Hayek. Texas lantana, (BG, DS).

Phyla nodiflora (C. Linnaeus) E. Greene. Texas frog-fruit, (RT, DS).

Verbena brasiliensis J. Velloso de Miranda. Brazilian vervain, (DS, I).

Verbena canescens K. Kunth. Gray vervain, (DS).

Verbena halei J.K. Small. Texas vervain, (DS).

Verbena runyonii H. Moldenke. Runyon's vervain, (DS).


Phoradendron tomentosum (A.P. de Candolle) G. Engelmann ex A. Gray. Mistletoe, (BG).


Cissus incisa C. Des Moulins. Possumgrape, (DS).



Agave americana C. Linnaeus. Century plant, (DS).

Yucca treculeana E. Carriere. Spanish dagger, palma pita, (BG).


Echinodorus beteroi (K. Sprengel) N. Fasset. Beaked burhead, (RT).

Sagittaria longiloba G. Engelmann ex J. Torrey. Long-lobe arrowhead, (RT).


Nothoscordum bivalve (C. Linnaeus) N. Britton. Crow-poison, (BG, DS).


Cooperia sp. Rainlily, (BG, DS).


Tillandsia baileyi J. Rose ex J.K. Small. Bailey's ball moss, (BG, TOES V. Watch list).

Tillandsia recurvata (C. Linnaeus) C. Linnaeus. Ball moss, (BG).


Callisia micrantha (J. Torrey) D. Hunt. Small-flowered roseling, (BG).

Commelina erecta C. Linnaeus var. angustifolia (A. Michaux) M. Fernald. Widow's tears, (DS).


Bolboschoenus maritimus (C. Linnaeus) E. Palla subsp. paludosus (A. Nelson) T. Koyama. Prairie bulrush, (RT).

Cyperus articulatus C. Linnaeus. Jointed flat-sedge, (RT).

Cyperus esculentus C. Linnaeus. Yellow nutgrass, (RT).

Cyperus retroflexus S. Buckley. Backward-flexed flat-sedge, (DS).

Cyperus sp. Flat-sedge, (DS).

Eleocharis acicularis (C. Linnaeus) J.J. Roemer & J.A. Schultes. Needle spikerush, (RT).

Eleocharis austrotexana M.C. Johnston. South Texas spikerush, (RT).


Lemna minuta K. Kunth. Least duckweed, (RT).

POACEAE (Gramineae)

Aristida purpurea T. Nuttall var. longiseta (E. von Steudel) G. Vasey. Red threeawn, (DS).

Bothriochloa laguroides (A.P. de Candolle) W. Herter subsp. torreyana (E. von Steudel) K. Allred & F. Gould. Torrey's silver beard-grass, (BG).

Bouteloua trifida G. Thurber. Red grama, (BG).

Buchloe dactyloides (T. Nuttall) G. Engelmann. Buffalo-grass, (BG).

Chloris barbata O. Swartz. Bearded windmill-grass, (DS).

Chloris ciliata O. Swartz. Fringed windmill-grass, (DS).

Chloris x subdolichostachya J.K.A. Muller. Nash's windmill-grass, (BG, DS).

Cynodon dactylon (C. Linnaeus) C. Persoon. Bermuda-grass, (DS, I).

Dichanthium annulatum (P. Forsskal) O. Stapf. Kleberg's bluestem, (DS, I).

Dichanthium aristatum (J. Poiret) C. Hubbard. Angleton bluestem, (DS, I).

Dichanthium sericeum (R. Brown) A. Camus. Silky bluestem, (DS, I).

Digitaria californica (G. Bentham) J. Henrard. California cottontop, (BG).

Digitaria pubiflora (G. Vasey) J. Wipff. Carolina crab-grass, (BG).

Enteropogon chlorideus (J. Presl) W. Clayton. Bury-seed umbrella-grass, (BG).

Eragrostis reptans (A. Michaux) C. Nees von Esenbeck. Creeping love-grass, (RT).

Eriochloa pseudoacrotricha (O. Stapf ex Thellung) C. Hubbard ex S.T. Blake. Mock hairy-end cupgrass, (RT, DS, I).

Eriochloa punctata (C. Linnaeus) N. Desvaux ex W. Hamilton. Spotted cup-grass, (RT).

Leptochloa dubia (K. Kunth) C. Nees von Esenbeck. Green sprangletop, (BG).

Leptochloa fusca (C. Linnaeus) K. Kunth subsp. uninervia (J. Presl) N. Snow. Mexican sprangletop, (RT).

Leptochloa nealleyi G. Vasey. Neally's sprangletop, (RT).

Leptochloa panicea (A. Retzius) J. Ohwi subsp. brachiata (E. von Steudel) N. Snow. Sprangletop, (DS).

Monanthochloe littoralis G. Englemann. Shore-grass, (SF, CM).

Panicum hallii G. Vasey var. filipes (L. Lamson-Scribner) F. Waller. Filly panicum, (BG).

Pappophorum vaginatum S. Buckley. Whip-lash pappus-grass, (BG).

Paspalidium geminatum (P. Forsskal) O. Stapf. Egyptian paspalidium, (RT).

Paspalum denticulatum K. von Trinius. Long-tom, (RT).

Paspalum pubiflorum F. Ruprecht ex E. Fournier. Hairyseed paspalum, (DS).

Pennisetum ciliare (C. Linnaeus) J. Link. Buffel-grass, (DS, I).

Setaria leucopila (F. Lamson-Scribner & E. Merrill) K. Schumann. Plains bristle-grass, (BG).

Spartina spartinae (K. von Trinius) E. Merrill ex A. S. Hitchcock. Gulf cord-grass, (CM).

Sporobolus pyramidatus (J. de Lamarck) A.S. Hitchcock. Whorled drop-seed, (DS, SF).

Sporobolus virginicus (C. Linnaeus) K. Kunth. Sea-shore drop-seed, (SF, CM).

Trichloris pluriflora E. Fournier. Multi-flowered false Rhode's-grass, (BG).

Tridens albescens (G. Vasey) E. Wooton & P. Standley. White tridens, (BG).

Tridens eragrostoides (G. Vasey) & F. Lamson-Scribner) G. Nash. Love-grass tridens, (BG).

Tridens texanus (S. Watson) G. Nash. Texas tridens, (BG).

Urochloa fasciculata (O. Swartz) R.D. Webster. Brown-top liver-seed grass, (DS).

Urochloa maxima (N. von Jacquin) R.E. Webster. Guinea grass, (DS, I).

Urochloa panicoides A. Palisot de Beauvois. Panic liver-seed grass, (A federally listed noxious weed, DS, I).

Urochloa texana (S. Buckley) R. D. Webster. Texas millet, (DS).


Heteranthera dubia (N. von Jacquin) C. MacMillan. Water stargrass, (RT).


Typha domingensis C. Persoon. Narrow-leaf cat-tail, (RT).


Blair, W. F. 1950. The biotic provinces of Texas. Texas J. Sci., 2(1):93-117.

Britton, J. C. & B. Morton. 1989. Shore Ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, 387 pp.

Brown, L. F., Jr., J. L. Brewton, T.J. Evans, J.H. McGovern, W. A. White, C. G. Groat & W. L. Fisher. 1980. Environmental geological atlas of the Texas coastal zone-Brownsville-Harlingen area. Univ. of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, 140 pp.

Clover, E. U. 1937. Vegetational survey of the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Madrono, 4(1,2):41-72, 77-100.

Diamond, D. D., D. H. Riskind & S. L. Orzell. 1987. A framework for plant community classification and conservation in Texas. Texas J. Sci., 39 (3):203-221.

Johnston, M. C. 1955. Vegetation of the Aeolian Plain and associated features of southern Texas. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation., Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, 167 pp.

Johnston, M. C. 1963. Past and present grasslands of southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. Ecology, 44(3):456-466.

Jones, S.D. & J. K. Wipff. 2003. A 2003 Updated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Texas. Botanical Research Center, Bryan, TX, 712 pp. (CD-ROM).

Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Potential Natural Vegetation of the Conterminous United States. Special Publication 36. American Geographical Society, New York, 116 pp.

Lonard, R. I., J. H. Everitt & F. W. Judd. 1991. Woody Plants of Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Misc. Publ. No. 7. Texas Memorial Museum. Univ. Texas at Austin, 179 pp.

Lonard, R. I. 1993. Guide to Grasses of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Univ. of Texas-Pan American Press, Edinburg, 240 pp.

Lonard, R. I. & F. W. Judd. 2002. Riparian vegetation of the lower Rio Grande. Southwestern Nat., 47(3):420-432.

MacRoberts, M. H. & B. R. MacRoberts. 2003. West Gulf Coast Plain ecoregions. Sida, 20(3):1247-1276.

Oefinger, R. D. & C. J. Scifres. 1977. Gulf cordgrass production, utilization and nutritional values following burning. Texas Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 1176, 19 pp.

Richardson, A. 1995. Plants of the Rio Grande Delta. Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, 332 pp.

Sanchez, J. P. 1985. General Mariano Arista at the Battle of Palo Alto, Texas 1846: Military realist or failure? Journal of the West, 24(1): 8-21.

Schuster, J. L. & S. L. Hatch. 1990. Texas plants-an ecological summary. Pp. 6-16, in Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Texas. S. L. Hatch, K.N. Gandhi & L. E. Brown. Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, College Station, MP-1655, 157 pp.

Scifres, C. J., J. W. McAtee & D.L. Drawe. 1980. Botanical, edaphic, and water relationships of gulf cordgrass (Spartina spartinae {Trin.} Hitchc.) and associated communities. Southwestern Nat., 25(3):397-410.

Smiens, F. E., D. D. Diamond & C. W. Hanselka. 1991. Coastal prairie. Pp. 269-290, in Ecosystems of the World 8A. Natural grasslands: Introduction and Western Hemisphere. R.T. Coupland (ed.). Elsevier, Amsterdam, London, New York, and Tokyo, 469 pp.

Thornthwaite, C. W. 1948. An approach toward a rational classification of climate. Geogr. Rev., 38:55-94.

Turner, B. L. 1959. The legumes of Texas. Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, 284 pp.

Williams, D., C. M. Thompson & J. L. Jacobs. 1977. Soil survey of Cameron County, Texas. U.S. Dept. Agric. Soil Conserv. Serv., 92 pp.

Robert I. Lonard*, Alfred T. Richardson and N. L. Richard

Department of Biology, University of Texas-Pan American Edinburg, Texas 78541-2999* and Department of Biology, University of Texas at Brownsville Brownsville, Texas 78520

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Author:Lonard, Robert I.; Richardson, Alfred T.; Richard, N.L.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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