For two decades and counting, Texans have relied on Texas Wildflowers to identify the common and rare flowers we see along the roadsides and in the pastures, fields, and forests of our state. Compiled by naturalists Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller, with the technical assistance of Lynn Sherrod, Texas Wildflowers is an authoritative field guide with a personal touch in the many notes the Loughmillers included about the plants they described and photographed.
This new edition of Texas Wildflowers retains the charm of the Loughmillers' book while emphasizing 61 additional species and bringing the plant taxonomy and nomenclature up to date. Like its predecessor, it includes all the features you need to identify the wildflowers of Texas:
- 381 full-color, close-up photos that show every wildflower in the book, including over 200 photos that are new to this edition.
- 370 species accounts that include the plant's scientific and common names, a description of its appearance, and its range, habitat, and blooming season.
- Descriptions of 73 wildflower families, from Acanthaceae to Zygophyllaceae.
- Indexes to help you identify flowers by their Latin name and common name.
- A guide to taxonomic updates in this edition.
- A map, glossary, illustrated glossary, and bibliography for further reading.
Lady Bird Johnson, author of the first edition's foreword, says of this new edition of Texas Wildflowers, "How delighted I am the University of Texas Press and the Wildflower Center are preserving Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller's legacy by revising and updating this beautiful and invaluable book about Texas wildflowers! Not only does it contain a wealth of knowledge, it also awakens our awareness of the splendor of nature and joyous lift of spirit it brings."
Welcome to the revised edition of Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide, by Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller. A lot can change in 22 years, not the least of which are the names we associate with the wildflowers in the first edition—but we will come to that shortly.
Since the Loughmillers' guide was first published in 1984, more than 155,000 copies of Texas Wildflowers have been sold, placing it among the top three bestsellers for the University of Texas Press. Those who subscribe to the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy might question the reasons for a new edition, especially one that departs so radically in appearance from the first. Let's start by judging the book by its cover, literally. The cover stock is made of a much more durable material to ensure longer life in the field, and the book is a bit narrower, to facilitate carrying it in a pack or pocket. These physical changes are all part of the University of Texas Press plan to develop a complete series of natural history field guides, covering everything that creeps, crawls, runs, swims, flies, or grows in our fair state. Texas Wildflowers is the second book published in this University of Texas Press natural history series.
Within the pages of this edition, great care was taken to preserve the spirit of the original text, including the original foreword written by Lady Bird Johnson. In it, she refers to the National Wildflower Research Center founded in 1982 on a farm-to-market road near Austin. In 1995, the National Wildflower Research Center moved to a 43-acre site off Loop 1 (MoPac) in south Austin. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to honor the center's co-founder and chairperson. Today, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's 279-acre site serves as a model native plant botanic garden with programs that protect, conserve, and restore our natural plant heritage. It is a must-see if you are ever in the Austin area.
One feature that made the first edition especially appealing was the abundance of personal observations found throughout the book's introduction and species descriptions. The Loughmillers' observations have been retained in the revised edition whenever possible, unless they conflicted with taxonomic revisions or described photographs not appearing in this edition. Sadly, Campbell Loughmiller passed away in 1992, and Lynn followed her husband in 2001. Pioneering conservationists, Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller will be remembered for their kindness, gentle humor, and humanitarian ideals.
Although, as Campbell Loughmiller noted in his introduction to the first edition, "it is not necessary to know the name of a flower in order to appreciate it," it is important to keep up to date and to be consistent in the application of scientific names. For example, in the first edition several plant families are referred to by their traditional family names (Umbelliferae, Compositae, Cruciferae, Leguminosae, and Labiatae). Under a rule of botanical nomenclature called nomina conservanda (conservation of names), tradition allows these family names to be used in place of their modern equivalents (Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Fabaceae, and Lamiaceae). In this edition, we opted to use the standardized family names (those ending in -aceae). Since the field guide is arranged alphabetically by plant family, that simple change had a cascading effect on the second edition's organization.
The most significant change in the second edition is the application of scientific names to plants. The goal of plant taxonomy is to develop a uniform, practical, and stable system of nomenclature (applying names to plants). These rules are set forth in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, and they facilitate international communication and sharing of information about plants. Though names can change if they are found to violate the code, the most significant source of name changes is a better understanding of the evolutionary relationships among plant species. Since modern-day classification is organized to reflect these relationships, new evidence, such as that from molecular genetic studies, can lead to changes in nomenclature.
Given the length of time between the first and second editions, 22 years, it is not surprising that some 20 percent (1 in 5) of the species have changed names. To help users of the field guide navigate these nomenclatural changes, taxonomic synonyms are published in parentheses immediately following the currently accepted names. These taxonomic revisions are based primarily on two widely accepted references, both published in 1999, well after the first edition: John T. Kartesz's "Synonymized Checklist" in Synthesis of the North American Flora, by Kartesz and Meacham, and Shinners and Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas, by Diggs, Lipscomb, and O'Kennon.
Special thanks go to Dr. Guy Nesom at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (www.brit.org), for his help in resolving taxonomic conflicts, and to Joe Marcus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (www.wildflower.org), for providing and identifying images for the new edition. I would also like to acknowledge the Wildflower Center for supporting my work on this project and to dedicate this edition to Lady Bird Johnson, whose visits to the Wildflower Center have been a personal inspiration to me.
A lot has changed since this book was first published in 1984, but one thing has remained the same: Texans have a deep and abiding appreciation for the wildflowers that grace our state. Go forth and enjoy.
Damon Waitt, Ph.D.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The wild petunia has flowers much like those of the cultivated petunia (genus Petunia, family Solanaceae). The plants are erect, 1-2 feet tall, with few branches. The leaves are opposite, 2-5 inches long, narrowed at the base, on short stems. At the top of the plant are several trumpet-shaped, purplish blossoms that are nearly 2 inches across at the opening. They open shortly after sunrise, lasting only one day. Common in open woods or prairies in East, Central, and South Texas. April-June. Perennial.