Common Woody Plants and Cacti of South Texas

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Common Woody Plants and Cacti of South Texas

A Field Guide

By Richard B. Taylor with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

With seven new species, new photographs, and a quick plant identification key, here is a completely updated and expanded edition of A Field Guide to Common South Texas Shrubs, which has sold over 10,000 copies.

Texas Natural History Guides

August 2014


33% website discount price


4.5 x 7.25 | 152 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-75652-6

Woody plants and cacti are vital staple foods for cattle, deer, and other wildlife in drought-prone South Texas. Ranchers, hunters, and land managers who need to identify these plants relied on A Field Guide to Common South Texas Shrubs (published by Texas Parks & Wildlife Press and distributed by UT Press), which is no longer in print. Responding to ongoing demand for the book, Richard B. Taylor has completely updated and expanded it with seven new species, new photographs, and a quick plant identification key.

Common Woody Plants and Cacti of South Texas is an easy-to-use plant identification field guide to fifty species that comprise an estimated 90 percent of the region’s woody canopy cover north of the Rio Grande Valley. The species accounts include photographs, descriptions, values to livestock and wildlife, and nutritional information. The book also provides historical perspectives and information on brush management techniques and strategies, as well as habitat appraisal. All of these resources will enable readers to analyze stocking rates for deer and cattle, evaluate a prospective hunting lease, or buy property.


Historical Perspectives
Brush Management
Habitat Appraisal
Plant Quick Key

Thorned Plants
Straight Thorned
    Texas ebony
    Texas palo verde
    Honey mesquite
    Blackbrush acacia
    Twisted acacia
    Knifeleaf condalia
    Green condalia

Curved Thorned
    Fragrant mimosa
    Catclaw acacia
    Roemer acacia
    Lime pricklyash

Thornless Plants
    Four-wing saltbush
    Littleleaf sumac
    Wild olive
    Sugar hackberry
    Desert yaupon
    Texas persimmon
    Vine ephedra
    Southwest bernardia
    False mesquite
    Texas kidneywood
    Mountain laurel
    Live oak
    Shrubby blue sage
    Narrowleaf forestiera
    Cedar elm

Cacti, Succulents, and Yucca
    Spanish dagger

Appendix I. Benefits of Plants to Various Classes of Wildlife
Appendix II. Palatability Index of White-tailed Browse Plants in South Texas
Appendix III. Nutritional Value of Plants
Appendix IV. Common Scientific Names of Plants and Animals Mentioned in Text
Illustrated Glossary

Richard B. Taylor is a certified wildlife biologist with over thirty years’ experience in natural resource management. He provides technical assistance with white-tailed deer and other game species management, game bird management, non-game wildlife management, livestock management, water management, habitat management, and prescribed burns. He lives in Uvalde, Texas.