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Remarkable Plants of Texas

Remarkable Plants of Texas
Uncommon Accounts of Our Common Natives

Going well beyond typical field guides, this extensively illustrated book presents the remarkable natural and cultural history of eighty of Texas’s most fascinating native plants.

Series: Corrie Herring Hooks Endowment

January 2009
352 pages | 7 x 9 7/8 | 101 color illus., 1 map |

With some 6,000 species of plants, Texas has extraordinary botanical wealth and diversity. Learning to identify plants is the first step in understanding their vital role in nature, and many field guides have been published for that purpose. But to fully appreciate how Texas's native plants have sustained people and animals from prehistoric times to the present, you need Remarkable Plants of Texas.

In this intriguing book, Matt Warnock Turner explores the little-known facts—be they archaeological, historical, material, medicinal, culinary, or cultural—behind our familiar botanical landscape. In sixty-five entries that cover over eighty of our most common native plants from trees, shrubs, and wildflowers to grasses, cacti, vines, and aquatics, he traces our vast array of connections with plants. Turner looks at how people have used plants for food, shelter, medicine, and economic subsistence; how plants have figured in the historical record and in Texas folklore; how plants nourish wildlife; and how some plants have unusual ecological or biological characteristics. Illustrated with over one hundred color photos and organized for easy reference, Remarkable Plants of Texas can function as a guide to individual species as well as an enjoyable natural history of our most fascinating native plants.


Carroll Abbott Memorial Award

  • Medical Disclaimer
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Map: Native American Tribes in Texas, ca. 1700 to present
  • Trees
    • Acacia farnesiana (Huisache)
    • Arbutus xalapensis (Texas Madrone)
    • Carya illinoinensis (Pecan)
    • Celtis spp. (Hackberry)
    • Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
    • Diospyros texana (Texas Persimmon)
    • Diospyros virginiana (Common Persimmon)
    • Juglans spp. (Black Walnut and Texas Black Walnut)
    • Juniperus spp. (Eastern Red-Cedar and Ashe Juniper)
    • Maclura pomifera (Osage Orange)
    • Morus spp. (Red Mulberry and Little-leaf Mulberry)
    • Pinus spp. (Loblolly Pine and Longleaf Pine)
    • Populus deltoides (Cottonwood)
    • Prosopis glandulosa (Mesquite)
    • Prunus spp. (Wild Plum and Black Cherry)
    • Quercus stellata (Post Oak)
    • Quercus virginiana (Live Oak)
    • Sabal mexicana (Sabal Palm)
    • Salix nigra (Black Willow)
    • Sapindus saponaria (Soapberry)
    • Sassafras albidum (Sassafras)
    • Taxodium distichum (Bald Cypress)
  • Shrubs
    • Agave lechuguilla (Lechuguilla)
    • Berberis trifoliolata (Agarita)
    • Dasylirion spp. (Sotol)
    • Ephedra antisyphilitica (Mormon Tea)
    • Euphorbia antisyphilitica (Candelilla)
    • Fouquieria splendens (Ocotillo)
    • Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)
    • Larrea tridentata (Creosote Bush)
    • Rhus aromatica (Fragrant Sumac)
    • Rhus spp. (Sumac)
    • Sophora secundiflora (Texas Mountain Laurel)
    • Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican Buckeye)
    • Yucca spp. (Yucca)
  • Herbaceous Plants, Cacti, Grasses, Vines, and Aquatics
    • Allium spp. (Wild Onion)
    • Amaranthus spp. (Amaranth)
    • Argemone spp. (White Prickly Poppy)
    • Artemisia ludoviciana (White Sagebrush)
    • Bouteloua spp. (Blue Grama and Sideoats Grama)
    • Capsicum annuum (Chiltepín)
    • Chenopodium spp. (Goosefoot)
    • Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains Coreopsis)
    • Cucurbita foetidissima (Buffalo Gourd)
    • Datura spp. (Jimsonweed)
    • Echinacea angustifolia (Purple Coneflower)
    • Equisetum spp. (Horsetail)
    • Eryngium yuccifolium (Rattlesnake Master)
    • Gaillardia pulchella (Indian Blanket)
    • Helianthus annuus (Sunflower)
    • Hoffmannseggia glauca (Indian Rush-Pea)
    • Lophophora williamsii (Peyote)
    • Lupinus texensis (Texas Bluebonnet)
    • Monarda spp. (Horsemint)
    • Nelumbo lutea (Yellow Lotus)
    • Opuntia spp. (Prickly Pear)
    • Opuntia leptocaulis (Tasajillo)
    • Phoradendron tomentosum (Mistletoe)
    • Phytolacca americana (Pokeberry)
    • Smilax spp. (Greenbrier)
    • Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silverleaf Nightshade)
    • Tillandsia spp. (Spanish Moss and Ball Moss)
    • Typha spp. (Cattail)
    • Verbesina virginica (Frostweed)
    • Vitis spp. (Wild Grape)
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Matt Warnock Turner is a naturalist, teacher, and freelance writer who works at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business. An active member of the Native Plant Society of Texas, he has written articles and given lectures on botanical topics, as well as conducted nature walks at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.


“No single existing publication includes the kind of information featured in this book.”
A. Michael Powell, Professor of Biology Emeritus and Director of the Herbarium, Sul Ross State University