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Common Woody Plants and Cacti of South Texas

Common Woody Plants and Cacti of South Texas
A Field Guide

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.

Series: Texas Natural History Guides™, Texas Natural History Guides

August 2014
223 pages | 4.5 x 7.25 |

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.

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Historical Perspectives
  • Brush Management
  • Habitat Appraisal
  • Plant Quick Key
  • Thorned Plants
    • Straight Thorned
      • Granjeno
      • Texas ebony
      • Texas palo verde
      • Honey mesquite
      • Huisache
      • Blackbrush acacia
      • Twisted acacia
      • Allthorn
      • Brasil
      • Knifeleaf condalia
      • Green condalia
      • Lotebush
      • Coma
      • Amargosa
      • Wolfberry
    • Curved Thorned
      • Fragrant mimosa
      • Retama
      • Guajillo
      • Catclaw acacia
      • Roemer acacia
      • Lime pricklyash
  • Thornless Plants
    • Four-wing saltbush
    • Littleleaf sumac
    • Agarito
    • Wild olive
    • Anaqua
    • Sugar hackberry
    • Desert yaupon
    • Texas persimmon
    • Vine ephedra
    • Southwest bernardia
    • False mesquite
    • Texas kidneywood
    • Mountain laurel
    • Live oak
    • Pecan
    • Shrubby blue sage
    • Narrowleaf forestiera
    • Hogplum
    • Coyotillo
    • Cenizo
    • Cedar elm
    • Whitebrush
    • Lantana
    • Guayacan
    • Creosotebush
  • Cacti, Succulents, and Yucca
    • Spanish dagger
    • Pricklypear
    • Tasajillo
    • Leatherstem
  • 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
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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.



“This book should attract a wide array of readers. . . It is easy to understand and use, with a simple identification key.”
C. Wayne Hanselka, Professor and Extension Range Specialist Emeritus, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University, and coauthor of Brush Management: Past, Present, and Future

“A very significant contribution to the field. I know of no other treatment that includes such great detail on characteristics, historical uses, and current uses of these plants; and the inclusion of wildlife values and protein contents is excellent.”
D. Lynn Drawe, Professor Emeritus, Ranching and Wildlife Management, Texas A&M University–Kingsville, and coauthor of Trees, Shrubs, and Cacti of South Texas