Waterwort Family

Smallish annual or perennial herbs of damp or wet places. Stems creeping to ascending, sometimes rooting at the nodes, sometimes herbage resinous or glandular pubescent. Leaves opposite (whorled), simple, entire to toothed. Stipules small, membranous, paired. Flowers small, axillary, solitary or in cymes, perfect, regular, hypogynous. Calyx and corolla each 2 to 5(6), free (sometimes connate), imbricate, persistent or macrescent. Stamens as many as or twice as many as the petals. Gynoecium of 2 to 5 fused carpels, styles distinct, placentae axile, but in some species of Bergia the partitions not reaching the apex of the ovary. Fruit a 2- to 5-valved capsule, the partitions usually breaking away from the axis at maturity. Seeds few to many, commonly reticulate or pitted.

Two genera and ca. 35 species of temperate to tropical regions; 2 genera and 3 species in TX; 2 genera and 2 species here.

1. Plants less than 10 cm long or tall, prostrate, glabrous; flowers sessile, 3-merous. ...............

. ...................................................................................................................................1. Elatine

1. Plants more than 10 cm long or tall, ascending, glandular-puberulent; flowers short-

pedicelled, 5-merous..... ............................................................................................2. Bergia


Small annuals of wet areas. Stems erect to prostrate, commonly rooting at the nodes. Leaves simple, sessile or petiolate, glabrous. Flowers sessile (as ours) or pedicellate, 1 or 2 per node, 2-,3-, or 4-merous. Sepals equal or unequal, sometimes macrescent. Petals imbricate in bud, membranous, closely appressed to the ovary in aquatic plants and spreading in terrestrial plants, sometimes absent. Stamens as many as or twice as many as the petals. Ovary 2- to 5- celled, with as many styles or stigmas, placentation axile. Capsule thin-walled, with 2 to 4 locules and valves, the septa remaining attached to the axis or disintegrating. Seeds several to many, usually with a diagnostic patterning of the surface.

About 20 species of temperate and sub-tropical regions; 2 in TX; 1 here.

A few species are grown as aquarium plants (Mabberley 1978).

1. E. brachysperma Gray Shortseed Waterwort. Small plant, forming mats to ca. 5 cm in diameter, individual branches prostrate to ascending. Leaves obovate to slenderly oblong-obovate or sometimes linear-spatulate, to 6 mm long and 2 mm broad. Flowers usually solitary in the axils, sessile. Sepals 2 or sometimes a reduced third present; petals 3, pinkish or greenish; stamens 3; stigmas 3. Capsule depressed-globose, 3-celled. Seeds oblong-ellipsoid, with pits in rows of 9 to 15, separated by acute cross-ribs. Rare on mud around seasonal pools, ponds, ditches, etc. Cen. TX; known from Madison Co.; OH and IL, W. to OR, S. to TX, AZ, and CA. Mar.-Oct. [E. triandra Schkuhr. var. brachysperma (Gray) Fassett.].


About 20 species of tropical and subtropical regions. We have the one species found in Texas.

1. Bergia texana (Hook.) Walp. Texas Bergia. Taprooted annual herb, diffusely branched from the base; stems ascending, 1 to 2.5(4) dm tall, often reddish, herbage more or less glandular puberulent. Leaves elliptic-oblong or oblong-oblanceolate, tapered to the base, apex acute, margin serrulate, to 3 cm long and 1.5 cm broad but often smaller, the uppermost pairs sometimes crowded and thus appearing whorled; stipules scarious, lanceolate, serrate, to ca. 1 mm long. Flowers short-pedicellate, 1 to 3 in the axils. Sepals 5, acuminate, to 3 to 4 mm long, the midrib greenish, thickened, and roughened, margins scarious; petals 5, white, oblong, shorter than the sepals; stamens 5 or 10. Capsule subglobose, 2 to 3 mm in diam., firm, 5-carpellate; seeds elliptic-oblong, curved, glossy light brown, only obscurely reticulate. Swamps, marshes, ditches, and on mud of ponds and banks. S. TX; IL to ND, W. to WA, S. to S. CA, TX, and AR. June-Oct., fruiting specimens collected into Nov. [Elatine texana Hook.

CLUSIACEAE(GUTTIFERAE)--Including Hypericaceae

Mangosteen or St. John's-wort Family

Ours annual or perennial herbs, subshrubs, or shrubs. Stems simple to branched, bark sometimes exfoliating; herbage generally glabrous; sap, in ours, often clear and resinous (in trees of other regions, resin white, yellow, or green). Leaves in ours opposite, sessile to petiolate, simple, entire, exstipulate, generally with translucent or black secretory cavities and/or canals evident as punctations or lines. Flowers in ours perfect (unisexual in Clusia), regular, hypogynous, in simple or compound cymose inflorescences or sometimes solitary. Sepals in ours 2, 4, or 5, imbricate in bud, equal or unequal, free, persistent. Petals 4 or 5, free, yellow or pinkish-flesh color (sometimes greenish), usually asymmetrical, convolute or imbricate in bud. Stamens many to few, sometimes grouped in fascicles, staminodes sometimes present. Gynoecium of (1)2 to 5(20+) united carpels with as many styles as carpels, styles free or basally united or sometimes only intertwined, usually persistent; placentation axile or parietal. Our fruits capsular, septicidally dehiscent, with few to many seeds.

About 50 genera and 1,350 species of the tropics and north temperate region; 2 genera and 25 species in TX; 2 genera and 9 species here.

The Clusiaceae as treated here includes plants treated by Correll and Johnston (1970) in the Hypericaceae. These plants (which form the whole of our species) can be considered to form the subfamily Hypericoideae. There is no argument about which plants belong in this group, only opinions about what rank it should receive (Cronquist 1981; Wood and Adams 1976).

There have also been some realignments at genus level. In Texas, there is an obvious and useful distinction between plants with 4-petaled flowers and plants with 5-petaled flowers, traditionally treated as Ascyrum and Hypericum, respectively. However, as pointed out by Adams and Robson (1961) and Robson (1980), when the group as a whole is considered throughout its range the distinction cannot be maintained. For example, 4-petaled flowers are found not to be exclusive to species assigned to Ascyrum; the unequal sepals traditionally associated with Ascyrum are likewise to be found in species of Hypericum. I have been persuaded by the literature that, while perhaps less convenient, combining the two genera seems logical. Some manuals continue to maintain Ascyrum. Hatch, et al. (1990) retained one Texas species in Ascyrum and listed the other as Hypericum.

In addition, the removal from Hypericum to Triadenum of species with flesh-colored flowers and an androecium consisting of 3 staminodia alternating with 3 fascicles of 3 stamens each is in keeping with recent treatments and checklists (Hatch, et al. 1990; GPlFA 1986; Wood and Adams 1976; Adams 1956).

The family is not of great economic importance. Several Hypericum species and some hybrids are cultivated for ornament. H. perforatum, Klamath weed, is native to Europe and has become a pest in western N. America and Australia. It is toxic to livestock. Mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana and Mamee Apple, Mammea americana, are tropical species with edible fruits (Wood and Adams 1976). Some of the tree genera provide timber (Mabberley 1987).

1. Petals yellow, convolute in bud; stamens many, free or fascicled in groups unequal in number; herbs and shrubs ................................................................................1. Hypericum

1. Petals flesh-color, purplish, or greenish, imbricate in bud; stamens in 3 groups of 3, the groups alternate with 3 staminodia or orange glands ......................................2. Triadenum


Shrubs, subshrubs, or annual or perennial herbs, stems simple or branched, usually erect, herbage generally glabrous, bark of woody species often exfoliating. Leaves opposite (in ours), sessile or clasping, with or without an articulation at the base, elliptic, cordate, or oblanceolate to linear or needle-like, often with translucent or black punctations or lines. Flowers perfect, solitary or in simple or compound cymes, pedicellate, in some species subtended by two bractlets. Sepals (3)4 or 5(6), unequal or subequal, persistent or falling when the capsule dehisces. Petals (3)4 or 5(6), yellow, convolute in bud, either falling soon after anthesis or withering and persisting. Stamens 5 to 10 or many, either free, in 3 or 5 fascicles with unequal numbers of stamens, or all filaments united basally into a short, shallow ring or band, persistent or deciduous, staminodia present or absent. Gynoecium of 2 or 5 (3 or 4) united carpels, ovary ovoid, styles 3 to 5(6), free or basally connate, usually persistent or at least the base persistent as a beak. Fruit a globose, ovoid, or conical capsule, unilocular or partially divided by 3 to 5 protruding parietal placentae or else completely 3- to 5-celled and the placentation axile. Seeds numerous, short-cylindrical, often reticulate.

About 300 species of the highland tropics, subtropics, and warmer parts of the temperate zone; 21 in TX; 7 here.

H. calycinum, H. androsaemum, and several Hypericum cultivars are grown as shrubs or ground covers for their showy flowers. The European Klamath Weed, H. perforatum, is a noxious weed of western North America and Australia (Mabberley 1987). It is harmful to livestock if eaten, producing photosensitization in white parts of the body. This plant can be biologically controlled by introducing European species of Chrysolina beetles which feed on the foliage (Wood and Adams 1976).

1. Sepals 4, the outer 2 much larger than the inner; petals 4; stamens many, free ................2

1. Sepals 5, subequal; petals 5; stamens many to few, often in 3 to 5 fascicles ......................3

2(1) Leaves oblong-elliptic, basally subcordate-clasping; outer sepals ovate to suborbicular, to 1.5(2) cm long, inner sepals lanceolate and nearly as long; styles 3 or 4 ...............................


2. Leaves linear to oblong-oblanceolate, narrowed at the base; outer sepals ovate to elliptic, to 12 mm long, much longer than the reduced or minute inner sepals; styles 2 ....................


3(1) Largest leaves greater than 2 cm long and 1.5 cm broad; petals (and often leaves and stems) black-punctate ...3.H.punctatum

3. Largest leaves less than 2 cm long and 1.5 cm broad; plants not black-punctate (may be pale-punctate) ...........................................................................................................................4

4(3) Leaves linear, 1-nerved; subshrubs or perennials with woody or tough lower stems ...........5

4. Leaves ovate or cordate to elliptic, 5- to 7-nerved; herbs with non- woody stems ................6

5(4) Leaves strictly 2 per node, erect or ascending; flowers solitary in the axils of the upper leaves; perennial ...4.H.drummondii

5. Leaves commonly appearing clustered due to the presence of leaves on short axillary shoots, spreading to ascending; flowers axillary and terminal, solitary or in cymes; small shrub, woody at least at the base ...5.H.fasciculatum

6(4) Lowermost inflorescence branches usually arising from the axils of the uppermost, unreduced stem leaves; upper and middle leaves ovate-oblong to short-elliptic, rounded to obtuse; sepals linear-oblanceolate to linear; capsules 2 to 4 mm long, ovoid to

ellipsoid, apically rounded ...6.H.mutilum

6. Lowermost inflorescence branches usually well above the uppermost stem leaves; upper and middle leaves ovate-triangular, acute to obtuse; sepals lanceolate, acuminate; capsules 4 to 5 mm long, ellipsoid-conical, pointed ...7.H.gymnanthum

NOTE: H. nudiflorum Michx. has been reported from our area, but the author has seen no specimens. Both TAMU and TAES had sheets labeled H. nudiflorum which proved to be specimens of Triadenum. H. nudiflorum is a small shrub with 5-merous flowers in terminal compound cymes.

1.H. crux-andreaeCLUSIACEAE HYPERICUM crux-andreae (L.) Crantz St. Peter's-wort. Small, essentially evergreen shrub 3 to 10 dm tall, not colonial; stems erect or suberect, lower portions with reddish brown bark exfoliating in thin shreds or strips, younger stems often 2-angled or -winged. Leaves oblong-elliptic to lanceolate, oblanceolate, or oval, the larger ones to 2 to 3 cm long and 1.5 cm broad, somewhat coriaceous, glandular punctate, basally rounded or slightly cordate, often slightly clasping, apically obtuse to rounded, margins (at least in dried material) revolute. Flowers solitary and axillary or terminal or in small cymes on the branchlets; pedicels to ca. 1 cm long, with 2 very small lanceolate bractlets ca. 3 to 5 mm below the calyx. Sepals 4, glandular punctate on both sides, the outer 2 widely ovate to suborbicular, 1 to 1.5(2) cm long and about as wide, basally cordate, apically rounded to obtuse or acute, inner sepals lanceolate, 7 to 14 mm long, to ca. 4 mm broad, apically acute; petals 4, showy, yellow, obliquely obovate, 10 to 18 mm long, to ca. 15 mm broad, usually exceeding the calyx; stamens many, free; styles 3(4), diverging. Capsule exserted from the calyx at maturity, narrowly ovoid to obovoid or varying to subglobose, 7 to 10 mm long; seeds oblong, ca. 0.8 mm long, reticulate, brown, somewhat shiny. Swampy woods, bogs, wet grassy areas, or sometimes on well-drained sandy soils of upland woods, ours usually associated with wet areas. E. TX; FL W. to TX and E. Mex., N. to NJ, NY, PA, KY, TN, MO AR, and OK. June-Sept., occasionally as late as Oct.-Nov. [Ascyrum stans Michx.; Hypericum stans (Michx.) Adams & Robson; A. cuneifolium Chapm.; A. crux-andreae L.]. Robson (1980) has thoroughly researched the correct name and typification of this species.

2.H. hypericoidesCLUSIACEAE HYPERICUM hypericoides (L.) Crantz St. Andrew's Cross.

Two subspecies, both present in our area. This species has been treated in TX keys and checklists as having 3 varieties (Correl & Johnston 1970; Hatch, et al. 1990) but work by specialists in the genus (Adams & Robson 1961; Adams 1962, 1973; Robson 1977, 1980) seems to indicate that there is reason to treat H. hypericoides as one highly variable species, separating only decumbent plants to subsp. stragalum.

subsp. hypericoides Small, more or less evergreen shrub (3)5 to 7(12) dm tall; stems erect, freely branched above, bark reddish brown, exfoliating in thin shreds or strips, young stems often 2-angled or -winged. Leaves opposite or sometimes appearing whorled where short axillary branches arise, variable in shape, linear to linear-oblong or oblanceolate, to ca. 3 cm long and 8 mm broad, generally widest near the middle, tapered to a sessile base, apex obtuse or rounded, both surfaces punctate, somewhat glaucescent beneath, margins revolute. Flowers solitary above the terminal pair of leaves on a branchlet, branchlets often in cyme-like arrangements; pedicels erect, 2 to 6 mm long, with 2 very small subulate bractlets borne at or near the apex. Sepals usually 4, outer pair ovate to broadly elliptic or subcordate, 5 to 12 mm long, 4 to 10 mm broad, apically obtuse to acute, punctate on both surfaces, inner sepals much smaller than the outer, minute or even obsolete and apparently wanting; petals 4, usually forming a cross with 2 acute and 2 obtuse angles, pale yellow, narrowly oblong-elliptic, generally 8 to 10 mm long and 4 mm broad, equalling or only slightly longer than the outer sepals; stamens many, free; styles 2. Capsule included or exserted from the calyx, ovoid to ellipsoid, 4 to 9 mm long; seeds oblong, ca. 1 mm long, reticulate, black. Usually in light, acid, sandy soil in open pine or hardwood forests, bogs, thickets, grasslands, etc.; in our area often in Post Oak woodlands on basic soils. E. 1/3 of TX; FL W. to TX and E. Mex.; N. to OK, KS, GA, VA, KY, MO, and into N.Eng.; also W.I. and S. to Hond. May-Nov. [Ascyrum hypericoides L., incl. var. hypericoides and var. oblongifolium (Spach) Fern.; A. oblongifolium Spach; A. linifolium Spach, etc.].

subsp. multicaule (Michx. ex Willd.) Robson Very similar to subsp. hypericoides, above except the plants decumbent, having several prostrate stems arising from the rootstock at ground level, each of these stems with many erect branchlets 1 to 2(3) dm tall, the plant as a whole forming a mat 3 to 4 dm in diameter. Leaves generally uniform, usually oblanceolate, broadest above the middle. Other characters as described above. Dry rocky slopes, embankments, and moist, rich woods. MA S. to NC, SC, and GA, W. to AR, TX, OK, MS, IL, IN, and OH. Apparently rare in our area, but we are at the SW edge of its range (Adams 1957). July-Aug.? [A. stragalum Adams & Robson; A. multicaule Michx. (non H. multicaule Lam.); A. spathulatum Spach; A. helianthemifolium Spach].

The only real difference between this plant and subsp. hypericoides is habit. The two have been observed to grow side by side without intergradation. The decumbent habit appears in subsp. stragalum in the seedling stage (Adams 1962).

3.H. punctatumCLUSIACEAE HYPERICUM punctatum Lam. Spotted St. John's-wort. Herbaceous perennial from a somewhat woody rhizome; stems usually simple below the inflorescence, smooth, with conspicuous black and pellucid dots. Leaves sessile to nearly clasping, oblong to oblong-elliptic or ovate-oblong, sometimes oblanceolate, 2 to 7 cm long, 4 to 20 mm broad, reduced upwards, apically rounded to obtuse, acute, or retuse, underside conspicuously black punctate. Inflorescences rather dense terminal cymes, these leafy-bracted and flat-topped to rounded. Flowers to 1.5 cm broad, perianth often persistent in fruit; sepals with numerous black dots and lines, ovate-oblong to triangular-lanceolate, obtuse to acute, 2.5 to 4 mm long; petals pale yellow, strongly black-dotted, 4 to 7.5 mm long; stamens many, free; styles 2 to 4 mm long, commonly persistent. Capsule ovoid, 4 to 8 mm long, usually (much) longer than the calyx, sprinkled with amber-colored glands; seeds less than 1 mm long. Open wooded hills, thickets, margins of woods and fields, especially where damp. NE. and Cen. TX, known in our area at least from Robertson Co.; FL W. to E. TX, N. to SE. MN and Que. June-July (Aug.). [Includes H. subpetiolatum Bickn.].

Very closely resembles H. pseudomaculatum Bush. Some sources include H. pseudomaculatum within H. punctatum or reduce it to a variety thereof.

4.H. drummondiiCLUSIACEAE HYPERICUM drummondii (Grev. & Hook.) T. & G. Nits-and-lice. Taprooted annual; stems erect, simple or branched above, to 8 dm tall, bark of lower stem red-brown, exfoliating in thin strips, branches alternate, ascending to erect, somewhat wing-angled; herbage punctate. Leaves linear to linear-subulate, 6 to 20 mm long, to 2 mm broad, strongly ascending to erect but not appressed, 1-nerved, glabrous, punctate below, not much reduced above. Flowers alternate and usually solitary in the axils of the upper leaves, pedicels short, ca. 2 mm long. Perianth often persistent; sepals narrowly lanceolate, acute, 3 to 6 mm long, exceeding the petals, marked with dots and lines on the back, lower midrib raised and somewhat decurrent on the petiole; petals orange-yellow, 2.5 to 4.5 mm long, often withering before noon; stamens 10 to 20, free' styles 3, free, ca. 0.5 to 1.3 mm long. Capsules ovoid, 3 to 5(7) mm long, equalling or slightly exceeding the calyx; seeds dark brown, oval, ribbed and or rugose or reticulate, ca. 1 mm long. Dry sandy or gravelly soils, fallow fields, woods, clearings, etc., sometimes also in seasonally wet places such as shores or swales. Cen. and E. TX; MD and VA to OH, W. to IA and KS, S. to TX and N. FL. July-Sept. [Sarothra drummondii Grev. & Hook.].

5.H. fasciculatumCLUSIACEAE HYPERICUM fasciculatum Lam. Sand Weed. Small, more-or-less evergreen shrub 8 to 15(20) dm tall, well-branched above, older stems with bark corky or spongy and freely exfoliating in very thin sheets to reveal a cinnamon- or buff-colored layer below, youngest stems 2-ridged or -winged. Leaves opposite but appearing verticillate or fasciculate due to crowding by leaves from axillary buds, spreading to ascending, linear or linear-subulate, the largest 13 to 26 mm long, 0.7 to 2 mm broad, basally sessile and with an articulation at the point of attachment to the stem, apically acute, coriaceous, revolute, punctate above and on the revolute margins beneath. Flowers axillary and terminal, solitary or in cymes, pedicellate. Sepals 5, 3 to 7 mm long, linear, similar to the leaves; petals 5, 6 to 9 mm long, bright yellow, obovate and with a tooth to one side of the tip (obliquely apiculate); stamens many; styles 3, ca. 4 mm long, often connivent at maturity but usually free in the fruit. Ovary 3-celled, capsule ovoid or ovoid-conic, depressed along the sutures, 3 to 5 mm long, dark reddish brown, styles usually broken off by full maturity; seeds ca. 0.4 mm long, oblong, finely alveolate-reticulate, alveolae roundish, not in definite rows. Ponds and lake shores in low pinewoods, along streams, sometimes in water. SE. TX, known in our area at least from Leon Co.; NC S. to FL, W. to TX. June-Aug. [H. aspalathoides Willd.; H. galioides Lam. var. fasciculatum (Lam.) Svens.].

Very similar to H. galioides.

6.H. mutilumCLUSIACEAE HYPERICUM mutilum L. Dwarf St. John's-wort. Annual or perennial, plants sometimes forming colonies; stems slender, erect to ascending or somewhat decumbent at the base, solitary to numerous from the base, (1)1.5 to 7(9) dm tall, 2- to 4-angled, usually well-branched but sometimes simple below the inflorescence, branches smooth and slender. Lower leaves smaller than midstem and upper leaves, the latter ovate to elliptic or lanceolate or narrowly oblong, sessile and usually at least partially clasping, apically blunt or rounded occasionally nearly acute, 3- to 5-nerved, glabrous, more or less glaucous beneath, finely punctate below or on both surfaces, to 4 cm long and 1.5 broad, on small plants often less than 1 cm long, smaller lower leaves commonly narrower and more pointed. Cymes usually diffuse and many-flowered, the lowermost floriferous branches (at least) arising from the axils of unreduced leaves, the whole inflorescence often with a leafy appearance but the uppermost floral bracts small and setaceous. Flowers 3 to 4(5) mm broad; sepals 5, more or less spreading, variable in length and shape, ca. 1.5 to 3 mm long, linear to linear-lanceolate or elliptic-oblanceolate, often obtuse but sometimes acute to acuminate, oil vessels evident as dots or lines; petals 5, bright yellow, 2 to 3 mm long; stamens ca. 6 to 12, free; styles 3, 0.5 to 1 mm long, free, persistent. Capsules ovoid to ellipsoid, generally obtuse or rounded but sometimes acute apically, ca. 2 to 4 mm long, equalling or longer than the calyx, unilocular; seeds light brown to yellow, oblong, faintly reticulate, 0.4 to 0.5 mm long. Wet places--at edges and in shallow water of streams, ponds, bogs, swamps, ditches, etc. Cen. and E. TX; Newf. and Que. W. to Man., S. to FL and TX. Apr.-Oct.

Very similar to the following species and difficult to differentiate using most keys. The presence of well-developed leaves subtending the lower inflorescence branches, the linear-oblong sepals, and the bluntish capsules are better identifying characters than the leaf shape and branched stem usually cited.

7.H. gymnanthumCLUSIACEAE HYPERICUM gymnanthum Engelm. & Gray Perennial, stem usually solitary from the base (sometimes 2 to several simple stems present), erect, slender, usually simple below the inflorescence, 1 to 6(9) dm tall, usually in the smaller part of this range. Leaves sessile, usually clasping, generally ovate-triangular to deltoid-cordate, pointed, apically acute to obtuse, 5- to 7-nerved, finely punctate, usually on both surfaces, larger midstem leaves to ca. 1.5(2.5) cm long and 1 cm broad, lower leaves much smaller. Cymes open, somewhat elongate and few-flowered, the lowest floriferous branches well above the last pair of well-developed stem leaves, the floral bracts reduced and subulate, the cymes thus appearing "naked" (in contrast to H. mutilum above). Flowers ca. 3 to 4 mm broad; sepals 5, lanceolate, long acute to acuminate, thickish and erect, 3 to 5 mm long, oil tubes showing as lines, sepals of dry specimens often with a ribbed appearance; petals 5, pale yellow, 2 to 6 mm long; stamens ca. 10 to 12; styles 3, free, 0.5 to 1 mm long, persistent. Capsules conical-ellipsoid, pointed, 3 to 4 mm long, equalling or slightly longer than the calyx, unilocular; seeds oblong, yellowish to buff, ca. 0.3 to 0.4 mm long, very faintly reticulate. Sandy soils of low

grounds, barrens, sometimes also in savannahs and wet areas such as bogs, depressions, swales, etc. S. Cen. and SE. TX; FL to TX, N. to NY, NJ, PA, WV, TN OH, IL, MO, and E. KS. June-July (later?).

Very similar to the preceding species--see the note at H. mutilum above--but apparently much less common locally.


Perennial, rhizomatous herbs. Stems erect, herbage glabrous. Leaves opposite, petiolate or sessile, without an articulation at the base, lower surface dotted with clear glands which may darken on drying (glands absent in T. tubulosum). Flowers in terminal and/or axillary cymes, perfect, floral bracts minute. Sepals 5, often unequal in size. Petals 5, imbricate in bud, flesh-color to mauve-purple or greenish, soon deciduous. Stamens in 3 fascicles of 3 each, the fascicles alternating with 3 orange staminodial glands. Ovary 3-locular, placentation axile; styles 3, free, spreading, stigmas capitate. Seeds reticulate-pitted.

Three species of the SE. U.S., all of which are present in TX; 2 here. Formerly included in Hypericum.

1. Leaves sessile, widest at the base, cordate to subcordate, often clasping; filaments in each fascicle united only near the base ...1.T.virginicum

1. Leaves cuneate or tapered below, at least the lower ones with a short petiole; filaments in each fascicle united to above the middle ...2.T.walteri

1.T. virginicumCLUSIACEAE TRIADENUM virginicum (L.) Raf. Marsh St. John's-wort. Rhizomatous perennial ca. 4 to 7 dm tall; stems usually simple below, smooth and reddish brown, well branched above, branches ascending. Scars from a pair of leaves more or less encircling the stem, leaves sessile, basally cordate, subcordate, or clasping, widest at the base, ovate to oblong or oblong-elliptic, apically rounded or sometimes retuse, emarginate, or apiculate, 2 to 7(9) cm long, 6 to 25(30) mm wide, but rather variable, lower surface paler than upper, somewhat glaucous, with clear punctations that darken on drying. Flowers pedicellate in peduncled axillary and terminal cymules, axillary cymules occasionally reduced to a single flower. Sepals 5, linear-elliptic to oblong or oblong-elliptic, acute or obtuse to acuminate, 4 to 7 mm long; petals 5, flesh color to mauve, obovate to oblanceolate or elliptic, 7 to 10 mm long; stamens persistent, filaments in each fascicle united only near the base; styles 2 to 3.5 mm long, persistent. Capsule narrowly ellipsoid or conical-ovoid, tapered to the apex (7)8 to 10(10.5) mm long; seeds 0.5 to 0.8 mm long, tan to dark brown, short- or elliptic-oblong, very shallowly reticulate-pitted. At edges or in shallow water of bogs, streams, swamps, seeps, etc. E. TX; FL to TX, N. to NE, MN, Ont., N.S., N.Eng., NY; coastal plain inland to OH, IN, IL, TN, WV. Aug.-Oct. [Hypericum virginicum L., incl. var. fraseri (Spach.) Fern.; T. fraseri (Spach.) Gl.--some sources, e.g. GPFA (1986), treat T. fraseri as a separate species.].

2.T. walteriCLUSIACEAE TRIADENUM walteri (Gmel.) Gl. Stemmed St. John's-wort, Marsh St. John's-wort. Perennial from creeping rhizomes, in aspect similar to T. virginicum above, but larger and more branched; stems to 1 m tall, bark of lower stems with shallow ridges and furrows. Leaves oblong to oblong-oblanceolate or -elliptic (or ovate), to 15 cm long and 3.5(5) cm broad, usually smaller, at least the lower and sometimes all the leaves with short petioles to 15 mm long, basally cuneate, apically rounded, lower surface paler and somewhat glaucous, with pale punctations that darken on drying. Flowers pedicellate in sessile to peduncled mostly axillary cymules, occasionally cymules reduced and the flowers apparently solitary in the axils. Sepals 5, oblong to elliptic or linear-elliptic, rounded to obtuse, 3 to 5 mm long, often unequal; petals 5, reddish or pinkish, narrowly obovate, 4 to 7 mm long; stamens persistent, filaments in each fascicle united to the middle or above; styles 1.5 to 3 mm long, persistent. Capsule narrowly ellipsoid-cylindric or long-ovoid, 7 to 11 mm long, apex tapered or rounded; seeds brown, ca. 1 mm long, oblong, shallowly reticulate-pitted, somewhat lustrous or even slightly iridescent. At edges or in shallow water of creeks, bogs, swamps, etc., sometimes on cypress knees or logs, or on seepage slopes or moist sandy soil of wooded slopes. E. TX, in our area at least in Leon and Robertson Cos.; FL to TX, on the coastal plain N. to MD, inland to WV, IN, MO, IL, KY, AR, and OK. Aug.-Oct. [Hypericum walteri Gmel.; H. tubulosum Walt. var. walteri (Gmel.) Lott.; T. petiolatum (Walt.) Britton.].


Linden Family

Trees or shrubs (some, but not ours, herbs), herbage commonly stellate- or branched-pubescent or with peltate scales. Leaves stipulate, alternate (rarely opposite), simple, sometimes lobed, often serrate, usually palmately veined. Flowers usually perfect, regular, solitary or in panicles or cymes. Epicalyx sometimes present. Sepals (3-)5, free or sometimes united at the base, valvate. Petals as many as the sepals, valvate (imbricate or convolute); nectaries sometimes represented by tufts of glandular hairs. Stamens (10-)many, free or basally united in 5 or 10 groups, sometimes 5 or more staminodia present. Ovary usually superior, (10-)many-celled or occasionally 1-celled by abortion and with incomplete partitions; style 1; ovules (1)2 to several per cell. Fruit drupe-like or dry, dehiscent or indehiscent.

About 50 genera and 450 to 725 species, depending upon interpretation, nearly worldwide. There are 2 genera and 3 species in Texas; 1 genus and 2 species here.

Several genera, including Tilia (Lime, Linden, Basswood), provide cultivated ornamental trees and soft, pale woods used for cabinetry, modeling, papermaking, excelsior, etc. (Elias 1980; Mabberly 1987). Many species have tough phloem fibers. Corchorus, an herbaceous species, is the source of jute fiber (Mabberley 1987).

TILIACEAE TILIAL1. TILIAL. Basswood, Lime, Linden

Trees with soft, pale wood and tough phloem fibers in the inner bark. Herbage hairs simple to stellate. Leaves alternate, petiolate, generally cordate and serrate, basally often oblique, more or less palmately veined, stipules deciduous. Flowers white to yellow, fragrant, in axillary cymes, the peduncle adnate about half its length to a subtending bract, this membranous, strap-shaped, petiolate to subsessile. Sepals and petals each 5, petals oblong-spatulate. Stamens many, free or united in 5 bunches opposite the petals. Fruit with 1 or 2 seeds, indehiscent, nutlike, often grayish and tomentose.

Roughly 25 to 45 species of N. Temperate regions; 2 in TX, both of which we have.

T. americana and T. heterophylla are important timber trees in the U.S. The flowers of some species are a source of fragrant oils used in perfumery. Basswood flower honey is considered to be some of the finest (Elias 1980). Linden-flower tea has been used as a mouthwash and is reported to have some medicinal properties (Mabberly 1987). The seeds, buds, and twigs are a minor source of food for wildlife (Elias 1980).

NOTE: The Tilia species of the SE. U.S. are separable only by such variable characteristics as degree of pubescence. There is some logic in treating them all as one highly variable species, T. americana L. Some sources already do so, e.g. GPFA (1986) and Kartesz (1998).

1. Leaves glabrous to sparsely pubescent with usually simple hairs; pedicels and peduncles glabrous ...1.T.americana

1. Leaves stellate-pubescent when young, in age stellate-tomentose to glabrescent with simple and stellate hairs; pedicels and peduncles pubescent to glabrous .............................


1.T. americanaTILIACEAE TILIAL americana L. American Basswood. Medium to tall tree to 40 m tall, trunk straight, crown spreading; bark smooth, furrowed on older trees, light brown; branchlets glabrous. Petioles glabrous, to 3 to 5 cm long; blades ovate to nearly orbicular, to 20 cm long, base obliquely cordate to truncate, apex abruptly short-acuminate, margins sharply serrate, glabrous or sparingly pubescent with usually simple hairs, paler beneath and often with tufts of hairs in the axils of the major veins. Flowers in groups of 6 to 15 in slender, pendulous cymes, peduncles and pedicels glabrous, buds stellate pubescent; inflorescence bract usually petiolate or sometimes sessile, tapered toward the base, glabrous, to 12.5 cm long and 3 cm broad, adherent to the peduncle for ca. 1/2 its length. Corolla ca. 15 mm broad; stamens shorter than the petals, staminodia present; ovary pubescent. Fruit pubescent, ellipsoid to subglobose, to 1.2 cm long, unribbed, with a thickish shell. Moist but well-drained rich soils of riverbottoms and bottomlands. NE. TX; ME and Que. W. to Man. and NE, S. to VA, AL, KS and NE. TX. Late spring-early summer. If the Tilia species of the SE. U.S. are combined under T. americana, these plants become var. americana.

2.T. carolinianaTILIACEAE TILIAL caroliniana P. Mill. Carolina Basswood, Florida Basswood, Kendall Basswood. Small to medium trees to 30 m tall, trunk straight or leaning, crown somewhat irregular; bark gray to gray-brown, at maturity furrowed into flat-topped interlacing ridges; branchlets pubescent at least the first season. Petioles glabrous to slightly pubescent, to 3.5 cm long; blades to 13 cm long, broadly ovate to oval, basally obliquely-truncate or -cordate, apically short acuminate, margins coarsely dentate to serrate, teeth sometimes obviously gland-tipped, dark green above, usually paler below and tomentose with whitish to rusty stellate and simple hairs and sometimes glaucous when young, sometimes glabrescent with age. Flowers in pendulous groups of few to ca. 20, pedicels and peduncles glabrous to pubescent, buds stellate pubescent; inflorescence bract more or less glabrous to somewhat pubescent, petiolate, to 10 to 15 cm long and 2 cm broad, oblong-spatulate, basally rounded or more or less oblique, adherent to the peduncle for ca. 1/3 to 1/2 its length. Sepals lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, ca. 3 to 3.5 mm long; corolla ca. 5 to 12 mm long, petals linear to linear-spatulate; staminodia present, little shorter than the petals. Fruit pubescent, grayish-brown, globose to ellipsoid, 5 to 12 mm in diameter, hard and more or less woody. Rich woods, especially along streams in bottomlands. E. and Cen. TX; FL to TX, N. to VA, IN, IL, MO, and AR., also NE. Mex. Late spring-summer, ca. Apr.-June. [Includes var. rhoophila Sarg.; T. phanera Sarg.].

The species as treated here includes Florida Basswood, T. floridana Small, considered a heterotypic synonym by Kartesz (1998). [T. nuda Sarg.; T. leucocarpa Ashe]. Both T. caroliniana and T. floridana were reported from our area and were nearly impossible to distinguish. Combining the two has made dealing with the local Tilia much less difficult.

If this species is placed under T. americana L., it becomes var. caroliniana (P. Mill.) Castigl.


Mallow Family

Herbs, shrubs, or some (but not ours) small trees, often with mucilaginous sap; herbage usually with stellate hairs, sometimes with other types of hairs. Leaves alternate, petiolate, simple, entire to deeply lobed, usually palmately veined, stipulate. Flowers perfect (in ours; some others rarely dioecious or polygamous), regular, solitary and axillary or in cymose inflorescences resembling racemes, spikes, panicles, etc. Calyx often subtended by an epicalyx, an involucre of free or united bracts. Sepals 5, free or fused, tufts of glandular, nectariferous hairs often present at the inner base. Petals 5, free but often adnate to the base of the filament tube. Stamens (5-)numerous, monadelphous, united for most of the filaments' length, outer stamens sometimes staminodial; anthers 1-celled, longitudinally dehiscent. Gynoecium of (1)2 to many carpels, usually 3 or more in ours, with as many locules and styles (in ours); styles distinct or typically connate at least below; placentation axile, ovules 1 to many per locule. Fruit a loculicidal capsule, schizocarp, or rarely berry-like (in some, but not ours, a samara.) Seeds often pubescent; embryo straight or curved, endosperm usually present.

About 116 genera and 1550 species (Mabberly 1987), cosmopolitan but more abundant in the tropics and scarce in very cold regions; 28 genera and 88 species listed for TX (Hatch, et al. 1990); 11 genera and 22 species here.

The family is quite important. Cotton fibers and many useful byproducts are obtained from species of Gossypium. The family includes many ornamentals, including Hibiscus, Alcea (Hollyhock), Abutilon (Indian Mallow), Malva (Mallow), etc. Okra, Abelmoschus esculentus, is cultivated primarily in the southern U.S. for its edible immature fruit. Some tropical woody genera are used for timber Mabberley 1987).

1. Epicalyx absent beneath each flower ......................................................................................2

1. Epicalyx present beneath each flower .....................................................................................5

2(1) Flowers in clusters, clusters subtended by ovate bracts which are whitish with green vein

................................................................................................................................1. Malachra

2. Flowers not in bracted clusters ................................................................................................3

3(2) Flowers maroon, purple, or occasionally pink or white; leaves deeply 5- to 7-lobed or parted .....................................................................................................................2. Callirhoë

3. Flowers pale yellow or white to yellow or orange (or rose); leaves unlobed .........................4

4(3) Ovules and seeds one per locule; leaves usually broadest above the base: linear,

rhombic, lanceolate, oblanceolate, etc .........................................................................3. Sida

4. Ovules and seeds two or more per locule; leaves broadest at the base: orbicular, cordate, or ovate ....................................................................................................................4. Abutilon

5(1) Plants gland-dotted or glandular-punctate; bracts ovate, laciniate, 1.5 cm broad or wider ....

............................................................................................................................5. Gossypium

5. Plants not glandular; bracts linear to spatulate or ovate; if ovate then less than 1 cm broad or long, not lacerate ..................................................................................................................6

6(5) Petals more than 5 cm long; sepals more than 2 cm long ..................................6. Hibiscus

6. Petals less than 5 cm long; sepals less than 2 cm long .........................................................7

7(6) Leaves deeply 5- to 7-parted or divided ...................................................................................8

7. Leaves entire, angled, or shallowly lobed ...............................................................................9

8(7) Corolla maroon to purple (occasionally pink or white), 2 to 3 cm long ...............2. Callirhoë

8. Corolla salmon to orange, less than 2 cm long .....................................................7. Modiola

9(7) Flowers red; fruit red, berry-like; shrubs .........................................................8. Malvaviscus

9. Flowers yellow, rose, or white to bluish; fruit brownish or greenish, not berry-like;

herbaceous perennials ...........................................................................................................10

10(9) Flowers yellow; longest petioles less than 3 cm long .....................................9. Malvastrum

10. Flowers white to bluish or rose; longest petioles often surpassing 3 cm. ............................11

11(10) Corolla rose; fruit a capsule .........................................................................10. Kosteletzkya

11. Corolla white to blue-white (occasionally tinged with pink, purple, or red); fruit a schizocarp

...................................................................................................................................11. Malva


About 6 to 9 species of tropical and subtropical America; we have the 1 species found in TX.

1. M. capitata (L.) L. Malva de Caballo. Perennial herb; stems to 1.5 m tall, usually branched; herbage loosely to velvety stellate pubescent and often with scattered whitish hairs to 2 mm long. Leaves, at least the larger ones, long-petiolate; blades orbicular to suborbicular in overall outline, commonly with 3 to 5 shallow to deep lobes, dentate, lower leaves to 12 cm long and 9.5 cm broad, upper leaves smaller; stipules to 1.5 cm long, subulate. Flowers in clusters or heads of few to several, mostly on axillary peduncles, clusters subtended by bracts; outer bracts (1.5)2 to 2.5 cm long, ovate, conduplicate or pleated, apically rounded to acute, serrate-dentate, green-margined and with a conspicuous network of green veins on a whitish body, velvety, inner bracts smaller, ovate. Epicalyx absent; flowers subtended by narrow, stipule-like bracts and often attached to them, perfect, regular. Calyx 6 to 8 mm long, with 5 ovate-lanceolate lobes; petals 5, ca. 1 cm long, asymmetrical, yellow or orange; staminal column shorter than petals, 5-toothed at apex, bearing 15 to 30 filaments near the middle; styles 10, stigmas capitate or discoid. Fruit a schizocarp, carpels 5, obtuse, convex, reticulate, almost glabrous, 2.5 to 3 mm long, 1-seeded, more or less indehiscent. Fields, palm groves, thickets, roadsides, cultivated ground, resaca banks, waste areas, etc. S. TX to Cen. Amer. and W.I. Collected near the Navasota River in the 1940's; not much seen since. Flowering all year; our collections from Sept. and Oct.

According to Mabberley (1987), a jute-like fiber is obtainable from the plants.

MALVACEAE CALLIRHO2. CALLIRHOË Nutt. Poppy-mallow, Winecup

Perennial herbs from stout taproots or annuals (only occasionally biennial) from slender roots. Stems decumbent to erect; herbage with simple and branched hairs or glabrous. Leaf blades crenate to palmately or pedately 3- to 10-parted, the lobes entire to toothed, lobed, incised, etc. Stipules paired, ciliate, sometimes deciduous. Flowers showy, red to purple, wine, or sometimes pink or white, in our species racemose or occasionally somewhat corymbose or umbellate. Some species gynodioecious, with perfect and smaller male-sterile flowers. Epicalyx of (1-)3 bracts present or absent. Calyx deeply 5-lobed, each lobe usually with 3 to 5 conspicuous nerves. Petals 5, cuneate, truncate and erose to fimbriate, clawed bases with white hairs along the margins. Stamen tube filamentiferous along upper 1/2 to 4/5 the length. Style branches as many as the carpels, filiform, longitudinally stigmatic. Fruit a schizocarp; mature carpels 9 to 23(28), indehiscent or partially 2-valved, each with a sterile upper cell or beak, this small and angular to large and prominent, often reticulate and/or rugose, glabrous or pubescent, sometimes with a "collar" subtending the base of the beak, unilocular, 1-seeded.

Nine species in the U.S. and N. Mex.; 6 in TX; 5 here.

Some species are cultivated for their flowers. Others have edible roots or medicinal uses (Mabberley 1987).

To assure positive identification, it is desirable to have a specimen with entire or long-sectioned root and mature carpels. It is also helpful to note the color of the fresh corolla, as the color often changes substantially upon drying. The genus is often misspelled Callirrhoë.

1. Calyx subtended by an epicalyx of 3 bracts (epicalyx rarely absent in C. papaver) ..............2

1. Calyx not subtended by an epicalyx .........................................................................................3

2(1) Bracts of epicalyx separated from the calyx, with at least one 1 to 3 mm away; sepal tips valvate in bud, forming a point; upper leaves with lobes mostly entire; petals without white basal spot ...1.C.papaver

2. Bracts of epicalyx immediately below calyx; sepal tips divergent in bud, not forming a point; upper leaves with lobes mostly toothed, lobed, incised, etc.; petals with a white basal spot ..


3(1) Plant annual from a slender taproot; back of carpel prolonged into a white, 3-lobed, chartaceous collar which subtends the base of the beak; stipules auriculate .........................


3. Plant perennial from an oblong, fusiform, or napiform taproot; back of mature carpel with an inconspicuous 2-lobed collar or collarless; stipules linear-lanceolate to ovate-

lanceolate, not auriculate .........................................................................................................4

4(3) Corolla white, pink, or mauve, never wine or red; inflorescence racemose but appearing corymbose or sub-umbellate at anthesis; stipules often fused to petiole base, lanceolate to ovate, acute to rounded; mericarps rather densely strigose, beaks large, ovate to pointed, collars well-developed, 2-lobed, not white or conspicuous ...4.C.alcaeoides

4. Corolla wine or deep red, rarely pink or white; inflorescence racemose; stipules not fused to petiole base, linear-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate or subulate, acuminate; in most TX material carpels usually glabrous and beaks small and rectangular ...5.C.pedata

1.C. papaverMALVACEAE CALLIRHO papaver (Cav.) A. Gray Woods Poppy-mallow. Perennial from a narrow woody taproot to 20 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter; stems ascending to erect or else decumbent, 3 to 6(9.7) dm long, with sparse, appressed, 4-rayed hairs and often also pilose to some degree, especially below, sometimes glabrate. Petioles about equalling to many times longer than the blades, becoming shorter up the stem; blades hastate, cordate, triangular, or ovate in overall outline, 3 to 10 cm long, 4.5 to 13 cm broad, deeply palmately or pedately 3- to 5-(7-)lobed or cleft, upper leaves often less deeply divided than lower, cauline leaves usually wider than long, lobes or divisions ovate-lanceolate, lance-falcate, linear-falcate, oblong, or linear-oblong, entire or occasionally sinuate-toothed, uppermost leaves sometimes reduced to a single lobe; stipules 4 to 10(12) mm long, 1.4 to 6.3 mm broad, ovate to ovate-rhombic or oblong, often somewhat auriculate. Pedicels elongate, slender, usually 2 to 3 times longer than the subtending leaves. Epicalyx bracts (0-2)3, 1 or 2 of them usually (0.5)1 to 3 mm below the calyx, usually narrowly linear, ca. 1/2 as long as the calyx. Flowers perfect; calyx 1 to 2.5 cm long, united for 1/5 to 1/4 its length, in bud with lobes valvate, forming a point, lobes lanceolate, more or less attenuate, margins and bases from slightly to densely hispid with simple hairs 1.5 to 3 mm long; petals red to wine-colored, without a white basal spot, drying more or less purple, 2.2 to 4 cm long, apex broad and erose-denticulate. Schizocarp 7.7 to 11.2 mm broad; carpels about 12 to 19(21), 2.8 to 4.2 mm tall at maturity, 2.1 to 3.5 mm broad, backs and upper side margins rugose, sides reticulate, backs glabrous, beaks lightly strigose. Open pine-oak woods, caliche out-crops, grassy banks, ravines, etc. E. TX; FL to TX, N. to GA, MO, and KS; known from our area but very infrequent. Mar.-July.

2.C. involucrataMALVACEAE CALLIRHO involucrata (T. & G.) A. Gray Winecup, Purple Poppy-mallow. Perennial from a woody, elongate to napiform or fusiform root; stems decumbent, procumbent, or ascending, to 7(8) dm long, with 4-rayed hairs and also strigose to hirsute to some degree, sometimes glabrate. Petioles equal to longer than the leaf blades; blades rounded or ovate in outline, palmately or pedately 5- or 7-cleft or divided, each division cuneate at the base and in turn incised, lobed, or parted, ultimate divisions linear to lanceolate or oblong, main cauline leaves (1.5)2.5 to 5(9) cm long, (1.5)3 to 6 (12) cm broad; stipules persistent, ovate to ovate-rhombic or ovate-lanceolate, cordate to somewhat auriculate, 2.5 to 15(23) mm long, 1.5 to 12(16) mm broad. Flowers racemose, pedicels secund, 3 to 21(29) cm long, usually longer than the subtending leaves; plants with flowers perfect or male-sterile. Epicalyx bracts (0)3, immediately below the calyx or less than 1 mm distant from it, bracts 4 to 17.5 mm long, linear, linear-lanceolate, oblanceolate, or narrowly ovate-rhombic. Calyx more or less sparsely pilose, 1 to 2.3 cm long, lobed nearly to the base, in bud with sepal tips divergent, not forming a point, lobes 6 to 18.5 mm long, 3-(to 5-)nerved, generally lanceolate but sometimes to ovate-rhombic and attenuate; corolla (2)3 to 6 cm in diameter, petals usually wine or maroon with a white spot at the base, varying from red to purple, occasionally pink, white, or white with a broad pink band down the middle, all the darker colors generally drying purple, cuneate to cuneate-obovate, 1.4 to 3.5(4) cm long in perfect flowers, apically truncate to slightly rounded, erose-denticulate to slightly fimbriate. Schizocarp 2 to 5.5 mm tall, 8 to 10 mm broad; carpels 9 to 23(28), backs and upper side margins rugose, sides reticulate, strigose, sometimes glabrous toward the apex, indehiscent, beaks short, truncate to incurved, 0.7 to 2.1 mm tall. Sandy or gravelly soils of open woods, rocky hills, scrubland, thickets, roadsides, vacant lots, lawns, prairies, etc. Throughout TX except the Trans Pecos; MN to ND, WY, and UT, S. to MO, OK, TX, NM, and Mex.; adventitious eastward to OH. Feb.-June with a few stragglers later. [Authority often listed as (Torr.) Gray or (Nutt.) Gray in older works.]

Our most abundant Callirhoë. Two varieties are listed for TX (Dorr 1990), both of which we have.

var. involucrata Low Poppy-mallow, Buffalo Rose, Winecup. Sinuses of leaf blades extending to within 5 to 15 mm of the petiole; stipules 5 to 15 mm long, (3.5)5.5 to 10(16) mm broad; carpels strigose.

var. lineariloba (T. & G.) Gray Slimlobe Poppy-mallow, Geranium Poppy-mallow. Sinuses of leaf blades extending to within 2 to 4 mm of the petiole; stipules 2.5 to 11.5 mm long, 1.5 to 7.8(9) mm broad; carpels glabrous or more or less strigose. [C. lineariloba (T. & G.) A. Gray; C. geranioides Small].

The Plains Indians made use of the edible roots. The leaves are also edible and are useful for thickening soups and such, having the same mucilaginous properties as okra (Kindscher 1987). The dried root was used by the Sioux in smoke treatments for colds and in teas for pain relief (drunk or applied externally) (Kindscher 1992). Tull (1987) reports orange to gray dyes from the petals, but these have only fair light-fastness.

3.C. leiocarpaMALVACEAE CALLIRHO leiocarpa Martin Tall Poppy-mallow. Annual, taproot usually slender or sometimes rather stout, but not oblong-thickened or napiform; stems 1 to 7(9), slender, erect to weakly erect, 0.5 to 9.5(12) dm tall, glabrous and somewhat glaucous or sparsely pubescent with 4-rayed hairs. Petioles of lowermost leaves to ca. 3 times as long as the blades, upwards becoming shorter than the blades; blades reniform-cordate to ovate or suborbicular in outline, 1 to 7(9) cm long, 1 to 9.5 cm broad, palmately to pedately 3- to 7-parted or divided, segments cuneate, oblong, or oblanceolate, to linear, entire or lobed, upper leaves usually more deeply divided and with narrower divisions than the lower; stipules persistent, lance-ovate and lobed or auricled basally, 4 to 7.5(12) mm long and 1.5 to 9.5(11) mm broad, acute. Plants with perfect or male-sterile flowers; flowers racemose, pedicels many, 2 to 13(20) cm long, in fruit divergent from the upper part of the stem. Epicalyx absent. Sepals valvate in bud, united in the lower 1/4 to 1/3, lobes of perfect flowers 4.5 to 11 mm long, 2 to 3.3 mm broad, lanceolate, acuminate-attenuate, strongly veined; petals of perfect flowers to ca. 23(35) mm long, light pink to red-purple with a white spot at the base, finely and regularly denticulate-erose to fimbriate. Schizocarp 2.8 to 4.3 mm tall, 5.8 to 7 mm broad; carpels 10 to 14, rounded to ovate, glabrous, backs and upper side margins smooth to slightly rugose, sides slightly reticulate beak relatively large, hollow, round or pointed, 1 to 3 mm long, usually protruding above the body of the mature carpel and forming ca. 1/3 of the upper part of the fruit as seen from the side, dehiscent, back of carpel prolonged into a conspicuous, whitish, 3-lobed, chartaceous collar ca. 1 mm long which subtends the base of the beak. Woods, mesquite groves, prairies, plains, etc., known at least from limey sandstone outcrops in our area. Cen. and S. TX; KS to OK and TX. Mar.-Aug. [C. pedata sensu Gray (incorrectly applied, see Note 1 at C. pedata, below; not C. pedata (Nutt. ex Hook.) A. Gray, but C. pedata (Nutt. ex Hook.) A. Gray var. minor A. Gray and var. compacta Spreng.].

4.C. alcaeoidesMALVACEAE CALLIRHO alcaeoides (Michx.) A. Gray Plains Poppy-mallow, Light Poppy-mallow, Clustered Poppy-mallow. Perennial from a fusiform or commonly napiform (turnip-shaped) taproot; stems (1 to) several, branched at the base, weakly erect to ascending, to 8.5 dm tall, strigose with 4-rayed hairs to glabrate. Petioles of lower leaves mostly longer than the blades, those of midstem leaves shorter than the blades, uppermost leaves short-petiolate to subsessile; blades 2 to 10(16) cm long, 3 to 9.5 cm broad, cordate to triangular-cordate or ovate in overall outline, 5- to 7-parted, incised, or cleft, the divisions laciniate-cleft, ultimate divisions linear to oblong, basal leaves sometimes merely crenate; stipules persistent, 5 to 9(12)mm long, 1.3 to 5(7.5) mm wide, ovate to lanceolate, often fused to the base of the petiole. Inflorescence more or less corymbose at anthesis, elongating after, flowers occasionally solitary; pedicels to 10.5 cm long at anthesis, strigose-pubescent; plants with flowers perfect or male-sterile. Epicalyx lacking. Sepals united in the lower 1/3 to 1/2, lobes of perfect flowers 5 to 9(11) mm long, 2 to 4 mm broad, triangular to lanceolate, acute to attenuate, 3-nerved, lobes of male-sterile flowers (2.5)3.5 to 5.5(8) mm long, 1.8 to 3(4) mm broad, deltoid-oblong, acute to rounded, veins inconspicuous; corolla 1.5 to 4 cm broad, petals rose, pink, or white, often drying lavender, 15 to 25 mm long in perfect flowers, erose-dentate to minutely fimbriate, rarely incised. Schizocarp 6 to 9 mm broad, 4 to 5.8 mm tall, the protruding carpel beaks forming 1/3 to 1/4 the height; carpels 12 to 16, indehiscent, backs and upper side margins rugose, sides reticulate, strigose-pubescent at least on the beaks, beaks large, ovate to pointed, collars well-developed, bifid, not white; seed ca. 2 mm long, smooth, dark. Prairies and plains, usually in dry or sandy soils. N. Cen. TX, S. to our area; KY, IL, IA, NE and SD, S. to TN, AL, MO, OK, and TX; introduced to ID. Mar.-May. [C. triangulata of some auth., not C. triangulata (Leavenw.) A. Gray].

5.C. pedataMALVACEAE CALLIRHO pedata (Nutt. ex Hook) A. Gray Finger Poppy-mallow, Fringed Poppy-mallow, Heart-leaved Nuttallia. Perennial from a napiform or fusiform root; stems erect to reclining, 2.5 to 9 dm tall or long, in our plants usually glabrous and glaucous. Lower petioles mostly 15 to 25 cm long, often sparsely pilose-strigose, cauline petioles shorter, uppermost leaves short petiolate to subsessile; blades to 8(16) cm long, 8(14) cm broad, cordate to ovate or suborbicular in outline, palmately or pedately 3- to 5-parted, some of the segments again parted, ultimate divisions linear to oblong, oblanceolate, or linear-lanceolate, basal leaves sometimes only cuneate; stipules persistent,4.2 to 12.5(15) mm long, 1 to 3.5 (5) mm broad, linear- to ovate-lanceolate or subulate. Pedicels 2.5 to 17.5(23) cm long at anthesis, flowers racemose, perfect. Epicalyx absent. Sepals valvate in bud, united in the lower ca. 1/4 to 1/2, lobes (4.6)7 to 11(15) mm long, 2.5 to 5 mm broad, lanceolate, acuminate to attenuate, strongly veined; petals red to purple, without a white spot at the base, occasionally white or pink, the darker colors drying purple, 1.6 to 3.2 cm long, erose-denticulate to fimbriate. Schizocarp 2.7 to 3(5?) mm tall, 6 to 7.5(10) mm broad; carpels 10 to 16, rounded to subovate or subreniform, backs and upper side margins rugose, sides reticulate or alveolate, in our plants usually glabrous, indehiscent, carpels beaks not or only slightly visible above the body of the schizocarp when viewed from the side, collar absent or weakly developed. Open mesquite, oak, or oak and pine woods, prairies, grassy slopes, roadsides, etc., often on calcareous soils, sometimes on outcrops. Prairie and Ed. Plat. regions of TX; SW. and Cen. AR to S. and Cen. OK and TX. Mar.-June. [C. digitata sensu A. Gray, non Nuttall; C. digitata Nutt. var. stipulata Waterfall and forma alba Waterfall].

NOTE 1: The name C. pedata was for years erroneously applied to the annual C. leiocarpa (above). Also, for many years and in most manuals covering the TX flora, this plant was treated as a variety of C. digitata. The true C. digitata is absent from TX, being distributed on Ozark plateaus. C. digitata has more dissected, (3-)5- to 10-cleft leaves, caducous stipules, and a paniculate inflorescence. Dorr (1990) discusses the problem thoroughly. The first two common names listed above apply properly to C. digitata, but because of the confusion have come into use for our plant as well.

NOTE 2: Most TX populations have glabrous and glaucous stems, glabrous mericarps, and small rectangular beaks and grow in open areas. In AR and OK the stems tend to be strigose with 4-rayed hairs, carpels are strigose with simple hairs, and beaks are almost as large as those of C. alcaeoides. Leaves of these plants are also larger than those of typical TX plants. In the northern part of its range, therefore, it is often difficult to distinguish C. pedata and C. alcaeoides, but this is seldom a problem here.

The roots of C. digitata sensu A Gray are said to be edible (Kindscher 1987), but whether this applies to C. pedata as well is unclear.


Annual or perennial herbs, sometimes suffrutescent at the base or with ligneous rootstocks, more or less pubescent with stellate, forked, or scale-like hairs, but never silvery-lepidote. Stems prostrate to erect. Leaf blades variously shaped, symmetrical, palmately (rarely pinnately) veined, in our species unlobed. Flowers axillary, solitary or in small fascicles or cymes or sometimes forming a terminal leafy panicle, pedicel shorter than to longer than the calyx. Epicalyx usually absent. Calyx 10-ribbed at the base, enclosing the fruit at maturity. Petals variously colored, glabrous or sometimes with a ciliate claw, usually oblique, entire. Staminal column antheriferous to the summit. Style branches filiform, as many as the carpels. Carpels 5 to 15 around a central axis, separating at maturity. Schizocarp ovoid to disklike; mericarps glabrous to minutely pubescent, sides often reticulate or rugose, body with a lower, 1-seeded, indehiscent cell triangular in cross-section and an upper, sterile, dehiscent cell often with 2 apical spines, lower portion separated dorsally from the upper portion by a shoulder.

About 150 to 250 species of warm regions, especially Latin America; 10 listed for TX (Hatch, et al. 1990); 5 here. Many species have long and complex synonymies. This treatment is based on Fryxell (1985)

Fibers are obtained from a few species, including our S. rhombifolia (Mabberley 1987). Tull (1987) says that the young green fruits are edible.

1. Plants more or less prostrate ...................................................................................................2

1. Plants erect to ascending .........................................................................................................3

2(1) Pedicel shorter than the calyx, adnate to the subtending petiole; leaves with petiole usually shorter than the blade ...1.S.ciliaris

2. Pedicel many times longer than the calyx, not adnate to the subtending petiole; leaves relatively long-petioled ...2.S.abutifolia

3(1) Carpels 5; leaves narrowly lanceolate to ovate, fully toothed, basally more or less cordate or rounded; calyx ribs obscure; pedicel shorter than the subtending petiole ...3.S.spinosa

3. Carpels 7 to 11; leaves linear, elliptic, or rhombic, fully toothed or half entire, basally truncate to cuneate (or rounded); calyx ribs prominent; pedicel as long as or slightly shorter than the subtending leaf ..............................................................................................4

4(3) Leaves usually 1/3 to 1/2 entire rhombic ...4.S.rhombifolia

4. Leaves fully toothed, elliptic to linear ...5.S.lindheimeri

1.S. ciliarisMALVACEAE SIDAL ciliaris L. Bracted Sida. Perennial herbs or subshrub; stems many from the base, mostly prostrate and spreading, to ca. 30 cm long; herbage stellate-strigose or -pubescent. Petiole usually shorter than the blade; blades to ca. 2.5 cm long, variable in shape, in our area mostly linear to linear-lanceolate or oblanceolate (elsewhere ovate to suborbicular), basally rounded to cordate, apically obtuse to truncate or retuse and often with a cusp, serrate in the upper 1/2, upper surface glabrous, appressed stellate-pubescent beneath; stipules filiform or linear-spatulate, the uppermost and the petioles hirsute-ciliate or barbate. Flowers crowded with stipules and leaves at the tips of the branches; pedicels adnate to the petioles, commonly shorter than the calyx and the flowers subsessile. Calyx 5 to 7 mm long, lobes ovate-triangular, usually with both appressed and long, spreading hairs; petals 5 to 11(13) mm long, white to yellow or commonly rose. Mericarps 5 to 8, plump at maturity, strongly rugose-reticulate and back tuberculate or muriculate, apex with 1 or 2 sharp points (our plants with 1). Sandy soils of pastures, roadsides, scrub oak and mesquite thickets, clay flats, etc. S. TX; FL, TX, W.I., Cen. and S. Amer., Afr., SE. Asia, and Fiji; in places common and weedy. Present but not much collected in our area. Flowering more or less throughout the year. [S. muricata Cav., etc.].

Fryxell (1985) maintains--and I agree--that variability in this species is continuous and chooses to recognize one highly variable taxon. If varieties are recognized, our plants are var. mexicana (Moric.) Shinners, with leaves linear to linear-lanceolate and carpels with 1 aristate tip.

2.S. abutifoliaMALVACEAE SIDAL abutifolia P. Mill. Spreading Sida. Annual from a slender but woody root; stems branched from the base, prostrate and spreading, to 5 dm or more long; herbage with stellate hairs and usually also long (to 2 mm), simple hairs. Petioles slender, about as long as the blades or a little shorter; blades oblong to narrowly ovate or lanceolate, basally cordate or nearly truncate, apically rounded to bluntly obtuse, crenate-dentate along the whole margin, to 3.5 cm long but mostly shorter; stipules minute, subulate. Flowers solitary in the axils; pedicels slender, elongate, several to many times the length of the calyx. Calyx somewhat angulate-turbinate, ca. 5 mm long, lobes ovate-acuminate, not very strongly ribbed; petals orange-yellow or yellow, much longer than the calyx, to ca. 8 mm long. Carpels strictly 5, varying from merely apiculate to having 2 prominent stout points, apically dehiscent. Open rocky hills, sandy or rocky open woods, on ledges, and in waste areas. N. Cen. to S. TX, W. to Trans Pecos; FL Keys, TX to AZ, through Mex., Cen. Amer., and W.I. to N. S. America. Not common in our area, but known at least from calcareous outcrops in Grimes Co. Mar.-Sept. [S. filicaulis T. & G. and var. setosa Gray; S. filiformis Moric.; S. procumbens Swartz; S. diffusa H.B.K.].

3.S. spinosaMALVACEAE SIDAL spinosa L. Prickly Sida, Prickly Mallow. Annual; stems erect, branched, to ca. 7 dm tall; herbage minutely and softly stellate pubescent. Petioles to ca. 3 cm long, generally shorter than the blades, those of well-developed leaves often with a spine-like tubercle at the base dorsally, but this often inconspicuous or absent and not useful as a keying character; blades narrowly ovate to lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, to ca. 5.5 cm long and 3 cm broad, rounded to cordate or occasionally truncate basally, apically obtuse to subacute, margins completely crenate to serrate, glabrous above, glabrous to sparsely pubescent below; stipules subulate, usually 1-nerved. Flowers usually solitary in the axils; pedicels shorter than the subtending petioles, flowers often subsessile. Calyx 5 to 7 mm long, lobes triangular acute or acuminate, ribs inconspicuous, slightly accrescent in fruit; corolla 1 to 1.5 cm broad, petals pale yellow or pale orange-yellow, to ca. 8 mm long, slightly exceeding the calyx. Carpels strictly 5. Mericarps 4 mm long, rugose on the back, dehiscing apically into 2 prominent beaks, these pubescent; seeds 1.7 to 1.8 mm long. Waste areas, especially in disturbed soils, often weedy. S. and E. half of TX; MA to MI and NE, S. through KY, TN, NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, FL, and TX; S. to Cen. Argent; also known from the Old World--in some of these places naturalized and not strictly native. Flowering throughout the year. [S. angustifolia Mill.; S. angustifolia Lam.; S. heterocarpa Engelm. ex Gray; etc.].

4.S. rhombifoliaMALVACEAE SIDAL rhombifolia L. Arrowleaf Sida, Axocatzin, Broomjute Sida. Usually annual in the temperate zone, herbaceous to somewhat shrubby; stems erect, to ca. 2 m tall but often shorter; herbage minutely and densely stellate-pubescent. Leaves very short-petiolate, petioles much shorter than the blades; blades rhombic to sometimes ovate-cuneate or oblanceolate, to 8 cm long and 4 cm wide, basally cuneate to rounded, often minutely cordate at the extreme base, apically rounded to obtuse or subacute, green and nearly glabrous above, below paler and cinereous and minutely stellate-tomentose, margin basally entire, distally crenate-serrate; stipules setaceous, 2 to 6 mm long, 1-(3-)veined. Flowers solitary in the axils; pedicels elongate, to 3 cm long, several to many times longer than the calyx. Calyx 5 to 7 mm long, minutely cinereous-puberulent, at maturity with 5 to 10 prominent ribs, lobes ovate, acuminate; petals cream or pale yellow to orange-yellow, usually without red at the base, ca. 6(10) mm long. Mericarps (7)10(11), little or not reticulate on the back, with 2 apical, subulate awns or else merely acute. Sandy clay or clay loam soils of brushlands, meadows, open woods; also alluvial soils. E. 1/3 TX; NC to FL and TX; essentially pantropical, reaching temperate zones as an annual. Flowering more or less throughout the year.

This is one of the species with usable fibers in the stem (Mabberley 1987).

5.S. lindheimeriMALVACEAE SIDAL lindheimeri Engelm. & Gray Showy Sida. Perennial; stems erect to sprawling but not prostrate, woody at the base, to ca. 9 dm tall; herbage cinereous-puberulent with stellate hairs. Petioles short, 1 cm long or shorter; blades linear to narrowly or broadly elliptic or lanceolate, 1.5 to 4 cm long, basally truncate to rounded, apically obtuse to acute, margins serrate along entire length, often purplish, lower surface densely and minutely stellate-pubescent; stipules lanceolate to subulate, to ca. 5 mm long. Flowers axillary; pedicels slender, 2 to 6 cm long, often as long as the subtending leaf. Calyx 7 to 10 mm long, lobes broadly ovate, acute to acuminate, ribs prominent, margins often purplish; petals yellow to salmon, 12 to 15 mm long. Carpels (5)8 to 11, densely puberulent or glabrate, apex bidentate, the 2 cusps ca. 1 mm long. Sandy soils of open woods, thickets, and scrubland. Cen. TX, also on beaches in coastal and S. TX; reported for the Trans Pecos by Hatch, et al. (1990); also LA and sporadically in Mex. Apr.-Oct. [S. texana (T. & G.) Small; S. elliottii T. & G. var. texana T. & G.].

MALVACEAE ABUTILON4. ABUTILON P. Mill. Indian Mallow, Abutilon

Herbs, subshrubs, or small trees (ours not arborescent), ours with herbage pubescent with stellate hairs or hirsute with long simple hairs, other species sometimes glabrous or glandular pubescent. Leaves stipulate, alternate, ours unlobed or only slightly lobed, usually palmately veined, blades generally ovate or cordate, usually crenate or serrate. Flowers solitary in the axils or less commonly aggregated into panicles, racemes, etc. Epicalyx absent. Sepals 5, usually united below, persistent. Petals 5, usually yellow or orange in ours. Stamen column filamentous at apex. Styles as many as carpels, stigmas capitate. Fruit a truncate-cylindric or ovoid schizocarp of 5 to many carpels united in a ring around a central column, mericarps usually 1-celled with 2 or more seeds (in some species the carpel divided in 2 by an endoglossum), apically rounded or acute to acuminate or spinescent, usually smooth-sided, dorsally dehiscent nearly to the base. Seeds glabrous or slightly pubescent.

About 200 species of the tropics and subtropics of Amer., Afr., Asia, and Austr.; 13 in TX; 2 here. This treatment follows J. Fryxell (1983) and P. Fryxell (1988).

Some species are cultivated for ornament or use in medicine. Some are fiber plants, notably A. theophrasti Medic. (Mabberly 1987). The flowers of A. esculentum of Brazil are edible (Mabberly 1987).

1. Carpels 10 to 15, ca. 10 to 18 mm long, with divergent beaks 2 to 5 mm long .......................

........................................................................................................................1A. theophrasti

1. Carpels 6 to 9, ca. 8 to 9 mm long, apically acute or apiculate ...2.A.fruticosum

1.A. theophrastiMALVACEAE ABUTILON theophrasti Medik. Chingma, Velvet-leaf Butterprint, Velvet-leaf, Chinese Jute or Hemp, Manchurian Jute, Indian Mallow. Annual; stem stout and sparingly branched, 2 to 20 dm tall; herbage velvety cinereous stellate pubescent. Petioles usually equalling or slightly exceeding the blades; blades cordate or ovate to nearly orbicular, to 15 cm long, cordate basally, usually abruptly acuminate apically, margin crenate to dentate, often only slightly so; stipules deciduous. Flowers axillary, peduncles shorter than the subtending petioles, commonly with a joint or articulation at or above the middle. Calyx accrescent, 5-parted nearly to the base, 8 to 14 mm long, lobes ovate, acuminate to cuspidate; corolla yellow, ca. 1.5 to 2.5 cm broad, petals ca. 6 mm long, truncate to retuse. Schizocarp 1 to 2 cm broad, mericarps usually 10 to 15 (or more), 10 to 17 mm long, ca. twice as long as the calyx at maturity, villous, apically truncate or retuse with a slender, divergent awn or beak 2 to 5 mm long; seeds 3 to 4 mm long, rounded-triangular, flattened, black, ca. 2 to 9 per mericarp. Waste ground and cultivated areas, an introduced weed; occasional in our area, more common in the High Plains; native of Eurasia and weedy in much of N. Amer.: Can. S. to TX & FL. Spring-fall.

The stems yield a usable fiber. The plant is an important crop in China (Mabberly 1987).

2.A. fruticosumMALVACEAE ABUTILON fruticosum Guill. & Perr. Pelotazo. Perennial subshrub to 1 to 1.5 m tall, rootstock often large; stems erect or nearly so, terete, stellate-tomentose. Petioles 1/2 to 3/4 as long as the blades; blades ovate to cordate or triangular, 2 to 10 cm long but commonly smaller, basally cordate, apically acute to acuminate, somewhat irregularly serrate, densely tomentulose and often paler beneath; stipules subulate, ca. 2 mm long, sometimes deciduous. Flowers solitary and axillary or more or less grouped in terminal panicles, peduncles 0.5 to 2(3) cm long, with an articulation 2 to 5 mm below the calyx. Calyx 3 to 5 mm long, lobed to about the middle, lobes lance-ovate, acute to acuminate, erect in flower and usually reflexed in fruit; petals yellow to pale orange, 5 to 10 mm long, margins of claw glabrous. Carpels (5)6 to 9. Schizocarp 8 to 9 mm long and about as broad, cask-shaped, carpels 6 to 9 mm long, tomentulose, apically acute or apiculate, 3-seeded; seeds ca. 2 mm long, rounded-triangular, flattened, blackish, appearing glabrous but minutely pubescent. Dry areas of slopes, cliffs, prairies, open woods, and chaparral in the W. 1/2 of TX; OK, AR, and TX, S. to NE Mex.; also N. Afr. and parts of the Mediterranean basin. Flowering more or less throughout the year.

This plant was treated by Correll and Johnston as (1970) A. incanum (Link) Sweet. Hatch, et al. (1990) erroneously listed A. incanum as a synonym of A. fruticosum. A. incanum is a valid species which occurs in Baja California, NW. Mex., AZ, and disjunctly in Hawaii. It is very similar but has strictly 5 carpels. GPFA (1986) lists only A. incanum with the characters and ranges of both species more or less combined. It is unclear to which species the specimens it cites for CO and NM belong; plants cited for TX are probably A. fruticosum while those cited for AZ are likely A. incanum.


Coarse annual herbs, shrubs, or small trees (in tropical regions). Herbage usually punctate and irregularly dotted with black glands. Leaves palmately veined, entire or more commonly palmately lobed or parted. Flowers axillary, conspicuous. Epicalyx or "square" of 3 to 7 bracts, these free or united, entire to lacerate. Sepals united, calyx truncate to 5-lobed. Petals convolute, white to yellow or purple, often purplish-red near the base or changing color after opening, longer than the stamen tube. Fruit a loculicidal capsule, each of the 3 to 5 cells with 2 to several seeds covered with a dense tomentulum (fuzz) and sometimes also loose woolly hairs (lint).

About 39 species in tropical and warm temperate regions. We have the one species found in TX as a waif from cultivation.

The seed fibers are the cotton of commerce. G. hirsutum L. and G. barbadense L. are the two most widely grown species in the U.S. In addition to fiber, the seeds provide oil and high-protein flour or meal, the latter an important ingredient in cattle feed. Only glandless cultivars which do not produce toxic gossypol yield seed meal edible by humans. The flowers are used in India in yellow dyes, and waste products from fiber, oil, and meal processing are used in various ways (Mabberly 1987).

1. G. hirsutum L. Upland Cotton, Algodón. Annual or perennial herbs or shrubs, cultivated as annuals; stems to a maximum of ca. 1.5 m tall; herbage gland-dotted. Leaves to ca. 15 cm long and about as broad, 3- or 5-lobed above the middle or sometimes unlobed, long petioled. Involucral bracts usually 3, broadly ovate, to ca. 6 cm long, lacerate with about 7 to 13 slender teeth. Corolla whitish to yellowish, often pinkish or purplish with age, petals ca. 3 to 5 cm long, asymmetrical, longer than the staminal column; filaments loosely arranged on the column and of varying lengths. Carpels and styles 3 to 5. Fruit ca. 4 cm long, ovoid, beaked, smooth, with a few oil glands, 3- to 5-celled with 5 to 11 seeds per cell; seeds with abundant fuzz and lint. Natural tetraploid of Cent. Amer.; many races and varieties in most cotton-growing regions of the world. An occasional waif in cotton-producing regions of TX. Flowering in summer. [G. mexicanum Tod.].

Some locally cultivated varieties have maroon foliage or are glandless--it is possible these might also be found as waifs.


Annual or more commonly perennial (as in ours) herbs, often shrubby, usually with some stellate pubescence. Leaves crenate or dentate to pedately or palmately cleft, lobed, or dissected, usually long-petioled. Stipules present but usually caducous. Flowers solitary in the axils or sometimes racemose, peduncles and pedicels present or the peduncles obsolete. Epicalyx usually present, of (7)12(15) free or united, usually linear bracts. Calyx of 5 sepals more or less united, often enlarged in fruit. Petals (in ours at least) usually 2 cm or more long, oblanceolate to obovate, showy. Staminal column anther-iferous along the sides, truncate or 5-toothed apically. Style with 5 short, more or less divergent branches, stigmas 5, peltate or capitate; carpels 5, permanently united, essentially glabrous to long hairy. Fruit a subglobose to ovoid or prismatic, loculicidal capsule enclosed or subtended by the accrescent calyx. Seeds several per capsule, without lint.

About 200 species of warm temperate and tropical regions; 12 in TX; 2 here.

Many species are cultivated for their showy flowers, including H. rosa-sinensis L. (China Rose), H. syriacus L. (Rose-of-Sharon), and many cultivars of mixed descent, often with one of the above named species in the lineage. Several species are sources of fiber for products such as rope, hats, mats, sails, etc. The flowers and/or leaves of some species are edible; hibiscus blossoms are a common ingredient in herbal teas. A few species are woody enough to supply timber for various uses (Mabberly 1987).

1. Leaves and stems essentially glabrous; some leaves usually triangular-hastate; capsule glabrous to puberulent ...1.H.laevis

1. Leaves and stems pubescent; leaves ovate to obscurely lobed but not hastate; capsule densely villous-hirsute ...2.H.moscheutos

subsp. lasiocarpos

1.H. laevisMALVACEAE HIBISCUS laevis All. Halberd-leaved Rose-mallow, Scarlet Rose-mallow. Herbaceous perennial, often tinged with red; stems few to many, to 25 dm tall, entire plant essentially glabrous. Petioles slender, to 10 cm or more long; blades triangular, ovate, or broadly lanceolate in overall outline, commonly hastately 3- to 5-lobed, basal lobes (if present) widely divergent, middle lobe long-acuminate and 2 to 6 times as long as the body of the leaf, margins serrate, base rounded to cordate or truncate, both surfaces green, often with some red coloration along the margins and/or major veins; stipules deciduous. Flowers solitary in the upper axils, peduncles (0.3)1 to 4 cm long; pedicels 0.5 to 2 cm long at anthesis. Bracts of epicalyx 9 to 10, linear-setaceous, filiform at the tip, 1.5 to 3 cm long. Calyx glabrous or essentially so, herbaceous, lobes ovate or broadly triangular, 8 to 10 mm long at anthesis, longer in fruit, acuminate, calyx in age not inflated but somewhat accrescent, becoming oblong-campanulate and at length ovoid; petals white to light or dark pink with a purplish or dark red spot at the base, drying pale yellow, obovate (4)5 to 8 cm long; staminal column 5-toothed apically; style well-exserted, stigmas peltate. Capsule puberulent to glabrous, ovoid, 1.5 to 3.5 cm long, with an abrupt apical point; seeds ovoid, slightly triangular, 3 to 3.2 mm long, densely pubescent with stiff, reddish-brown hairs. Marshes, in shallow water along rivers, streams, etc. E. and N. Cen. TX, reported from Panhandle; FL to TX, N. to OH, PA, WV, IL, MN and NE. May-Nov., our collections primarily June-July. [H. militaris Cav.].

2.H. moscheutosMALVACEAE HIBISCUS moscheutos L. subsp. lasiocarpos (Cav.) O. J. Blanchard Woolly Rose-mallow. Herbaceous perennial; stems to ca. 2 m, pubescent. Petioles to ca. 10 cm long; blades broadly to narrowly ovate or occasionally some leaves slightly angled or slightly 3-lobed, upper leaves sometimes ovate-lanceolate, 10 to 20 cm long, velvety-pubescent on both surfaces--upper surface with many simple or nearly simple hairs, lower surface somewhat paler, with loose, somewhat coarse stellate hairs, margins crenate-dentate, base cordate to subcordate, apically acute to acuminate. Flowers solitary in the axils, sometimes crowded toward the top of the plant. Epicalyx of linear-subulate bracts to ca. 3 cm long, more or less ciliate and villous or hirsute. Calyx united below for 1/3 to 1/3 its length, to ca. 5 cm long at anthesis, lobes acute to acuminate, densely pubescent, herbaceous and not inflated at maturity, but filled by the capsule, prominently 5- to 7-nerved; petals 7.5 to 10 cm long, white or pale rose with a crimson or deep purple spot at the base, drying pale yellow; staminal column 5-toothed apically, style well-exserted, stigmas peltate. Capsule subcylindric, subtruncate or rounded apically (occasionally short-beaked?), densely villous-hirsute. Marshes, ditches, floodplains, along streams and rivers, in wet soil or water. E. to NW. TX; KY, IN, IL, and MO, S. through the Miss. basin to FL and TX. June-Sept., our collections primarily June-July. [H. lasiocarpos Cav.; Includes H. leucophyllus Shiller].


A monotypic genus of the W. Hemis.

1. M. caroliniana (L.) G. Don Carolina Modiola. Perennial herb; stems low, procumbent or creeping, rooting at the nodes, suffruticose at the base, to 6 dm or more long; herbage stellate-pubescent and/or hirsute with simple or geminate (paired) hairs. Petioles 2 to 7 cm long, often equalling or longer than the blades; blades shallowly to deeply palmately 3-to 5-lobed and/or incised, toothed, 2 to 7 cm long, to 4 cm wide; stipules 3 to 5 mm long, lanceolate to lance-ovate. Flowers solitary and axillary; pedicels 5 to 25 mm long, commonly filiform, in fruit to 6 cm long, equalling or longer than the subtending petiole. Epicalyx of 3 persistent, foliaceous bracts. Calyx 2.5 to 5 mm long in flower, 4.5 to 7 mm long in fruit, lobes triangular to more or less ovate, pubescent with mostly simple hairs; petals 4 to 6 mm long, little longer than the calyx, apically rounded, salmon-color to purplish-red or orange red, sometimes with dark or purplish-red bases, corolla open only during sunlit hours; stamens 10 to 20 or 30; styles 15 to 30, stigmas capitate. Fruit depressed-globose, carpels 15 to 30, separate at maturity, thin-coriaceous, reniform, much flattened, hirsute or pubescent, with 2 spreading apical awns or cusps, eventually falling from the axis and opening at the apex, becoming glabrate; seeds 1 per carpel, 1 to 1.3 mm long, smooth, dark brown. Lawns, waste grounds, disturbed areas, salt marshes, etc. In TX primarily in the S., but occurring elsewhere; FL to TX, N. to NC and VA, S. to Arg. Mar.-May, occasionally also in the fall.


From about 3 to 20 species, depending upon interpretation, native to warm and tropical America. We have one variety of the one species found in TX.

1. M. arboreus Dill. ex Cav. var. drummondii (T. & G.) Schery Drummond Wax-Mallow, Texas-Mallow, Turk's-cap. Shrub to 3 m tall, usually shorter, well-branched; herbage tomentose to tomentulose with stellate hairs. Petioles to ca. 7 cm long, shorter than the blades; blades essentially cordate or suborbicular-ovate, usually shallowly 3-lobed or -angled, 4 to 9 cm long and about as broad, margins crenate-dentate, base deeply cordate; stipules caducous. Flowers axillary or racemose, pedunculate. Bracts of epicalyx 5 to 16, linear-spatulate, to ca. 1.3 cm long, persistent. Calyx campanulate, 5-lobed above the middle, lobes triangular-lanceolate; corolla 2 to 3.5 cm long, bright red to scarlet, contorted, tubelike, petals 5, erect and connivent or only the apices spreading, cuneate-obovate, emarginate, basally auriculate on one side; staminal column exserted, 5-parted at the apex, with filaments crowded toward the apex; style branches 10, stigmas capitate to discoid. Fruit at first fleshy and berry-like, to ca. 2 cm broad, red, 5-celled, each cell 1-seeded; 1 carpels indehiscent at maturity, dry and stony, usually eventually separating from one another. Thickets, limestone ledges and slopes, wooded gullies, along streams, and in palm groves; also persisting where cultivated. From S. Ed. Plat. S. and E. to FL, also NE. Mex. and Cuba. Flowering throughout the year in its range; in our area usually summer to fall. [M. drummondii T. & G.].

Tull (1987) lists a number of uses. The fruits are edible raw or cooked and can be used to make jelly or syrup. The flowers can be used like Hibiscus flowers in herbal teas. The leaves may be eaten raw or cooked, though some find them tough and the pubescence unpleasant. Peach, mauve, and tan dyes can be obtained from the leaves and flowers.


Annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs. Stems erect; herbage with stellate hairs, these sometimes appressed or somewhat scale-like. Leaves alternate, petiolate, usually simple (as in ours), blades ovate to lanceolate or orbicular, crenate or dentate to palmately cleft; stipules commonly linear to falcate. Flowers axillary or in terminal racemes or spikes. Epicalyx usually of 3 bracts. Calyx 5-lobed. Corolla yellow to orangey (some, but not ours, with a red center) or purple. Staminal column antheriferous at apex. Styles usually as many as the carpels, (5)8-18(20), stigmas capitate. Fruit a schizocarp; mericarps usually pubescent or setose, indehiscent, more or less horseshoe-shaped with a ventral notch, compressed or sometimes turgid, sometimes tuberculate, aristate, or cuspidate, 1-seeded. Seeds glabrous.

A genus of 14 species of the tropics and warm temperate zones, primarily in the Americas; 3 species in TX; 1 here.

1. M. aurantiacum (Scheele) Walp. Wright False Mallow. Perennial from a woody root; stems 1 to several from the base, erect or reclining, sparingly branched, to ca. 6 cm tall, stems and branches stellate-lepidote. Petioles slender, slightly shorter than to about equalling the blades; blades ovate to cordate-ovate or oblong, to 6.5 cm long and 3.5 cm broad, basally rounded to broadly cuneate or truncate, apically obtuse to rounded, crenate to serrate, upper surface sparsely and lower surface more densely stellate pubescent; stipules lanceolate, to ca. 3 mm long. Flowers mostly solitary in the axils. Bracts of epicalyx 3, ovate to subcordate, acute to acuminate, adnate to but much shorter than the calyx. Calyx ca. 9 to 12 mm long at anthesis, lobes ovate-acuminate, epicalyx and calyx more or less densely stellate-tomentose; petals yellow to orange, sometimes drying pale pink, ca. 13 mm long. Mericarps 15 to 20, ca. 5 mm long, firm-coriaceous, smooth, reniform, much-compressed, reddish brown with a lighter patch near the point of attachment to the central column, the back narrow, flat, and with acute angles, apex gibbous or humped and hirsute, ventral surface aristate or pointed. Rare in Cen. and S. TX, infrequently collected in our area; also perhaps in Mex. adjacent to Cameron Co. Apr.-Oct. [M. wrightii Gray].


About 30 species of N. Amer., tropical and S. Afr., and Madag. We have the 1 species found in TX.

1. K. virginica (L.) K. Presl ex Gray Perennial herb to ca. 15 dm tall; stems branched or sometimes unbranched in small individuals; herbage stellate-hirsute or -tomentose, somewhat rough, greenish to somewhat cinereous. Lower leaves cordate-suborbicular to -ovate and angled, coarsely toothed to dentate, upper leaves and bracteal leaves mostly lanceolate, with or without 3(5) divergent lobes in the basal half, dentate to double-dentate or coarsely toothed, to ca. 8 cm long, petioles from shorter than to longer than the blades. Flowers axillary, pedicels from shorter than to equalling or exceeding the subtending bracteal leaves. Bracts of epicalyx (5-)7(8), linear subulate, 6 to 10 mm long. Calyx at anthesis 8 to 13 mm long, 5-lobed to below the middle, lobes lanceolate, minutely puberulent; petals 5, rose or pink, (2.5)3 to 4.5 cm long, 2 to 3 cm broad; column, including styles, 15 to 25 mm long, staminal tube usually not filamentiferous at the apex; styles 5, divergent, stigmas capitate. Capsule strongly 5-angled, depressed-globose, carpels densely and stiffly hirsute-villous with hairs 1.5 to 2 mm long; seeds 1 per cell, smooth. Brackish or nearly-fresh marshes, also shores and swamps. Coastal TX; FL to TX, N. to VA and DE; also Cuba. Known in our area from the R. D. Anderson Arboretum in College Station. June-Oct.

If varieties are recognized, our plants are var. althaefolia Chapm. with stems and calyces densely pubescent [K. althaefolia (Chapm.) Gray].

MALVACEAE MALVA11. MALVA L. Mallow, Cheese-weed, Cheeses

Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs. Stems trailing or procumbent to ascending or erect, glabrescent to sparsely pubescent, often with stellate hairs. Leaves alternate, long petiolate; blades orbicular or reniform in outline, crenate, dentate, or serrate to shallowly or deeply palmately 5- or 7-lobed, some (not ours) deeply dissected. Stipules persistent, ciliate, asymmetrically ovate. Flowers solitary or clustered in the axils, sometimes grouped in terminal inflorescences. Epicalyx of (2)3 distinct bracts, these subulate or linear to ovate or obovate, persistent. Calyx 5-lobed, lobes filiform to linear or lance-ovate, often spreading and accrescent in fruit. Petals white to pink, purple, or blue-white, truncate to obcordate or apically notched. Staminal column included, antheriferous only at the apex. Styles as many as the carpels, 8 to 15(20), filiform, stigmatic surface introrsely decurrent. Fruit a schizocarp, disk-like, depressed in the center, pubescent to glabrous. Mericarps round-reniform, compressed, beakless, smooth to rugose or reticulate, indehiscent, 1-seeded.

About 100 species of Eur., Afr., and the Mid. East, several of which are naturalized in the New World; 4 found in TX; 2 here.

Some are cultivated for ornament, e.g. M. moschata (Musk Mallow), as leaf vegetables, e.g. M. verticillata and M. parviflora, or for their edible fruit, e.g. M. sylvestris. Some are used in herbal medicines. The common names "Cheeses" and "Cheese-weed" refer to the shape of the fruit (Mabberly 1987).

1. Mericarps definitely rugose or reticulate, usually with dorsal angles more or less winged; petals 4 to 5 mm long, little if at all longer than the calyx; pedicels shorter than the calyx .....


1. Mericarps smooth or faintly reticulate, not winged; petals 6 to 12 mm long, longer than the calyx; pedicels longer than the calyx ...2.M.neglecta

NOTE 1: M. rotundifolia L. (Common Mallow, Roundleaf Mallow) occurs in the Cross Timbers and Prairie regions of TX. The author has seen one sheet dated 1926 labelled only "campus"--possibly referring to Texas A&M. It is also possible that this specimen was misidentified. M. rotundifolia is similar to M. neglecta, having reticulate mericarps which are unwinged and calyx lobes narrowly triangular to triangular rather than broadly ovate. It has been introduced from Europe and may yet be found in our area.

NOTE 2: M. sylvestris L. (High Mallow) is an introduction from Eurasia. It escapes cultivation, but is not known outside of cultivation in our area. As it tends to be weedy, it may someday be found escaped here. It has red-purple flowers to 2.5 cm broad and is an erect plant.

1.M. parvifloraMALVACEAE MALVA parviflora L. Small-fruited Mallow. Annual herb, taproot sometimes large; stems usually several to many from the base, trailing to ascending or somewhat erect, branched, to ca. 2 m long; herbage glabrous to sparsely pubescent with stellate hairs and sometimes also simple hairs. Petioles slender, 2 to 3(4) times as long as the blades; blades reniform to orbicular, often shallowly palmately 5- to 7-lobed or undulate, 2 to 7 cm long and usually wider than long, crenate to dentate, basally cordate to subcordate; stipules 4 to 5 mm long, 2 to 3 mm broad, linear to triangular, ciliate. Flowers solitary or in fascicles of up to 4 in the axils; pedicels shorter than the calyx. Bracts of epicalyx filiform to linear or linear-lanceolate, ca. 0.5 mm broad. Calyx veiny-reticulate, 3 to 4 mm long at anthesis, lobes broadly ovate, mucronate, calyx in fruit to 7 to 8 mm long, wide-spreading or accrescent; petals white or bluish-white to lavender or pinkish, 4 to 5 mm long, scarcely longer than the calyx, claws glabrous; staminal column glabrous. Fruit 6 to 7 mm in diameter with a circular outline; mericarps about 10, glabrous or puberulent, dorsally rugose or reticulate and usually denticulate-winged on the dorsal angles. Roadsides, waste grounds, cultivated areas, and thickets. Naturalized throughout much of TX except parts of the N. and E.; Que. to B.C., S. to NJ, MO, TX, NM, and Mex.; native of Europe, and occurring from Spain and N. Afr. to India. Flowering about Mar.-July in TX; throughout the year further S.

This plant has the potential to be weedy as the seeds remain viable for up to 200 years (Fryxell 1988). It is grown as a forage crop in Mexico (Fryxell 1988) and the young leaves are edible as a potherb (Tull 1987).

2.M. neglectaMALVACEAE MALVA neglecta Wallr. Common Mallow. Annual or perennial herb from a deep, thick root; stems usually branched from the base, procumbent to somewhat ascending, central stem sometimes erect, to ca. 1 m long; herbage more or less pubescent with both stellate and simple hairs, the simple hairs persisting on older stems. Petioles of larger leaves 2 to 5 times the length of the blades; blades reniform to orbicular (1.5)3 to 6(7.5) cm wide, wider than long, unlobed or weakly palmately 5- to 7-(9-)lobed, base cordate to subcordate, margins crenate to dentate or serrate; stipules narrowly lanceolate to ovate, 3 to 6 mm long, 2 to 3 mm wide. Flowers 2 to 6 in the axils; pedicels slender, usually several times as long as the calyx, to ca. 3(5) cm long, sometimes reflexed in fruit. Bracts of epicalyx linear to lanceolate or oblong, ca. 3 to 5 mm long, ca. 1 mm broad. Calyx united to near the middle, 4 to 7 mm long, neither reticulate nor accrescent, lobes ovate to triangular, in fruit curled over the mericarps; petals 6 to 12(14) mm long, ca. twice as long as the calyx, white or slightly tinged with pink, purple, or blue, apically notched, claws ciliate; staminal column pubescent. Fruit 4 to 7 mm in diameter, crenate in outline, mericarps (10)12 to 15, smooth or only faintly reticulate, dorsally rounded and unwinged, usually puberulent. Waste places, cultivated areas, etc. Native to Europe and Asia, naturalized in various places in TX; widely naturalized in temperate regions of N. Amer. Flowering Apr.-July.

Medve and Medve (1990) gave recipes for a Cheeses soup and a confection using this species. They mention that the plant's mucilaginous properties make it useful as a skin softener.

GPFA (1986) lists M. rotundifolia L. as a synonym, but that is a separate, valid species.


Pitcher Plant Family

Perennial insectivorous plants. Leaves tubiform or pitcher-like, partially filled with digestive liquid. Insects attracted by nectar glands and prevented from escaping by the very smooth lower interior and a zone of stiff, retrorse hairs below the pitcher rim. Flowers usually solitary, regular, hypogynous, perfect. Fruit capsular.

Three genera and 15 species of W. and E. N.A. and E. S.Amer.; we have the one Sarracenia species found in TX; there are 8 in the U.S. and parts of Canada. Where species are sympatric, hybrids occur, but this is not a problem in our area.

The family is not of economic importance. Species of Sarracenia (Pitcher Plant) and Darlingtonia (Cobra Lily) are grown in acid bog terraria as oddities. Some species have been dangerously over-collected for sale. Most have a higher survival rate when grown from seed or purchased as nursery-grown plants.


1. S. alata Wood Yellow Trumpets, Pitcher Plant. Plants acaulescent, rhizomes with overlapping, scale-like leaves. Pitcher-like leaves estipulate, yellow-green to bright green, erect, gradually expanded upwards to the orifice, to 7.5 dm tall, with a narrow adaxial wing to 1 cm broad, abaxial hood with a narrow base, ovate to suborbicular, to 4 to 6 cm broad, upper portion of pitcher and the hood often with red or purple veins, reticulations, or generally colored, tube glabrous to finely and shortly pubescent externally, early or late season leaves sometimes not pitcher-like, these termed phyllodia--if present, phyllodia somewhat sword-shaped, ca. 1/2 to 2/3 as long as the pitchers. Flowers solitary on scapes about equalling the pitchers, nodding at anthesis. Calyx subtended by 3 appressed, persistent bracts, these apically rounded, 1 to 1.5 cm long; sepals 5, imbricate, persistent, 3 to 6 cm long, bluntly obtuse; petals 5, imbricate, deciduous, bright-, whitish-, or greenish-yellow, 5 to 7 cm long and up to 4 cm broad at the apex, hanging down between the style lobes, constricted into an obovate basal portion and an ovate-orbicular to somewhat obovate, broadly rounded upper portion; stamens many; gynoecium 5-carpellate, style 1, slender below and expanded above into a greenish-yellow, convex, peltate, umbrella-like, 5-lobed structure 5 to 8 cm broad, with a stigma under each of the notched lobes; placentation axile below, intruded-parietal above. Fruit a loculicidal capsule, 5-locular, muriculate; seeds many, irregularly clavate to evolved, laterally winged or keeled, tuberculate, dark. Acid bogs on slopes, and in pinelands. E. and SE. TX; known in our area from sandy acid bogs in Robertson and Leon Cos.; Gulf Coast Plain from E. TX and S. LA to SW. AL. Mar.-Apr.(May).

This species can be grown from seed, though germination can be a lengthy process. Terrarium plants may flower when shorter and have smaller flowers than wild plants.


Sundew Family

Perennial, biennial, or annual insectivorous herbs. Leaves primarily in a basal rosette or alternate and crowded below, circinate or infolded in bud, modified as active, triggered traps (e.g. Dionaea) or as passive traps with sticky glandular hairs as in our Drosera. Stipules present or absent. Inflorescence scapose; flowers perfect, regular, 5-merous. Gynoecium superior, unilocular, carpels 3(5), styles 3(5) bifid or divided (united in Dionaea). Fruit usually a 3- to 5-valved loculicidal capsule; seeds (3 to) many.

Four genera and about 85 species worldwide; 1 genus and 3 species in TX; 2 species here.

These plants are often grown as curiosities. Venus' Fly Trap (Dionaea) is especially popular. It has been over-collected from the wild but may be easily propagated by tissue culture.


Small biennial or perennial (rarely annual) herbs. Leaves all in a basal rosette, circinate in bud, red or green, upper surface, margins, and sometimes petioles with tentacle-like gland-tipped hairs, each bearing a droplet of shiny, viscous fluid. Stipules absent or present and scarious, divided or fringed, free or adnate. Inflorescence a 1-sided raceme, (1-)2- to many-flowered, occasionally branched, the undeveloped tip usually nodding or rolled under. Flowers short-pedicellate, diurnal, sepals, petals, and stamens withering-persistent. Sepals 5, imbricate, sometimes slightly connate at the base. Petals 5, white to pink, free or slightly basally united. Stamens 5, usually opposite the petals. Styles 3(5), very deeply bifid. Some species with cleistogamous flowers. Capsule with 3(5) parietal placentae and 3(5) valves, many seeded. Seeds minute and reticulate or ornamented.

About 8 species, primarily of wet or damp places; 3 species in TX; 2 here.

Small insects are attracted to the sticky droplets and become stuck. The hairs then curl around the insects, holding them fast while they are digested. Some are cultivated as curiosities.

1. Scape with gland-tipped hairs (except near base); petioles with gland-tipped hairs; stipules absent or vestigial ...1.D.brevifolia

1. Scape glabrous or with sessile glands; petiole hairs lacking glandular tips; stipules present, fimbriate ...2.D.capillaris

1.D. brevifoliaDROSERACEAE DROSERA brevifolia Pursh Plants small, rosettes to ca. 3.5 cm in diameter, often smaller. Leaf blade suborbicular to oblong or spatulate, 4 to 10 mm long, from ca. 1/3 to about as long as the dilated, glandular-pubescent petiole; stipules absent or sometimes represented by a few setaceous segments. Scapes 1 to 8(12) cm tall, with glandular hairs except in the lower portion; flowers 1 to 8; pedicels and calyx with glandular hairs. Sepals ovate, 2.5 to 4 mm long, subacute; petals rose to white, obovate, 4 to 9 mm long. Capsule about as long as the calyx, 2.5 to 4 mm long, obovoid; seeds obovoid-oblong, black, with the pits in 10

to 12 rows. Damp sandy soil, often with moss, in pine or mixed woods, also open bogs. E. and SE. TX; S. VA and TN to SE. KS and E. OK, S. to FL, AL, LA, and TX. Feb.-Jun. [D. annua E. L. Reed; D. leucantha Shinners].

2.D. capillarisDROSERACEAE DROSERA capillaris Poir. Pink Sundew. Plants varying in size, the rosettes from a few to 10(12) cm across. Leaf blade obovate to spatulate or orbicular, 5 to 10 mm long, usually shorter than the petioles; petioles to 4 cm long, with longish bristly but non-glandular hairs; stipules present, visible in the center of the rosette, to ca. 5 mm long, setaceous or divided into many segments or fimbriate, free, margins sometimes with long hairs. Scape erect, 4 to 20(25) cm tall, glabrous, with 2 to 20 flowers. Sepals oblong-elliptic, obtuse, to 4 mm long and 2 mm broad, united at the base, glabrous; petals pink, 6 to 7 mm long, 2 to 3 mm wide. Capsule ellipsoid to obovoid, to 5 mm long. Seeds ovoid-oblong to elliptic, asymmetric, brown, corrugated-papillose. Wet sands, seepage slopes, bogs, and woods. E. TX; coastal plain from VA and TN, S. to FL, inland to TX and AR; also W.I., Mex., Cen. Amer., and S. Amer. Feb.-Jun.


Rockrose Family

Ours annual or perennial herbs (elsewhere also low shrubs or suffrutescent). Leaves simple, alternate, opposite, or whorled, entire; stipules absent (present in some Eurasian species). Foliage often pubescent with hairs clustered so as to appear stellate. Inflorescence various, flowers perfect, hypogynous, regular with the possible exception of the calyx. Sepals 5, convolute, with the outer often smaller than the inner and sometimes adnate to them. Petals 3 (in Lechea) or 5, absent in cleistogamous flowers, convolute in the opposite direction from the sepals, often crumpled in bud. Stamens (3) to many, irregular in number, distinct, inserted on or just outside a nectary disk. Ovary of (2)3(5 to 10) united carpels, unilocular or sometimes appearing divided by the intrusion of broad parietal placentae. Style (0)1, stigma 1(3), some-times lobed. Fruit a loculicidal capsule, seeds (1)3 to many.

Seven or eight genera with ca. 175 to 200 species of temperate and warmer regions, especially the Mediterranean and E. U.S.; 2 genera and 9 species in TX; 2 genera and 6 species here.

The family is not of great economic importance. Some species of Helianthemum and Cistus are grown as ornamentals. Some Cistus species are sources of aromatic resins used in soaps, etc. (Mabberley 1987).

1. Petals 5, yellow, conspicuous in chasmogamous flowers; pubescence wholly or partly of "stellate" hairs; stigma capitate; capsule completely unilocular ................1. Helianthemum

1. Petals 3, reddish, small; pubescence solely of simple hairs; stigma plumose-fimbriate; capsule incompletely 3-celled with broad placentae ..............................................2. Lechea


Ours perennial herbs. Leaves alternate, with hairs grouped and appearing stellate. Flowers of two types: chasmogamous flowers showy, with pedicels ultimately to more than 1 cm long; sepals (3)5, the outer 2 smaller and united to the inner 3; petals 5, yellow; stamens 10 to 50(100). Cleistogamous flowers with pedicels usually less than 3 mm long; sepals smaller than those of chasmogamous flowers; petals absent; stamens 3 to 8. Gynoecium with (2)3 carpels, style short to elongate, stigma capitate. Capsule 1-celled with 2 or 3 slender parietal placentae, each with few to many seeds.

About 110 species in the N. Hemis., the center of distribution around the Mediterranean; 4 species in TX; 3 here.

A few species are grown as ornamentals, notably H. nummularium (L.) Miller and its forms (Mabberley 1987).

1. Each stem with ca. 2 to 4 leaves below those subtending flower or fruit; lower leaf surface with epidermis visible between the hairs; lower stem spreading-pilose ...1.H.carolinianum

1. Each stem with more than 4 leaves; lower leaf surface completely covered by dense stellate pubescence; lower stem not spreading-pilose ...........................................................2

2(1) Leaves less than 4 mm broad, usually 5 or more times longer than wide, commonly strongly revolute; cleistogamous flowers glomerate ...2.H.rosmarinifolium

2. Leaves (at least some) more than 4 mm broad, or at least less than 5 times longer than wide, weakly if at all revolute; cleistogamous flowers in loose terminal or axillary cymules ...


1.H. carolinianumCISTACEAE HELIANTHEMUM carolinianum (Walt.) Michx. Carolina Sunrose. Complete specimens have roots having tuberous thickenings; stem ascending, 1 to 3.8 dm tall, densely spreading-pilose, at least below, with hairs to 2.5 mm long; foliage stellate-pubescent. Basal leaves rosulate, blades obovate, mostly 1 to 4 cm long, cauline leaves usually only 2 to 4 below those subtending flower or fruit, broadly elliptic to obovate or occasionally lanceolate, 2 to 5 cm long, 0.7 to 2 cm broad, hairs on the upper surface longer than those of the lower, epidermis visible between the hairs below; petioles 1 to 3 mm long. Flowers all (or almost all) chasmogamous, few in a loose scorpioid cyme, usually appearing opposite a leaf or internodal; pedicels and calyces with spreading pubescence to 1.5 mm long, pedicels ca. 1.5 cm long. Sepals 6, the outer 3 with a free portion (2.5)4 to 5.5(10) mm long, lance acuminate, inner sepals 6 to 14 mm long, much broader, acute to acuminate; petals 8 to 20 mm long, yellow, drying peach; stamens many. Capsule subglobose, 6 to 10.5 mm long; seeds ca. 80 to 135, reddish black, 0.8 to 1 mm long, papillose, seed coat not separable when moistened. Sandy soils of fields, roadsides, open woods; also known from boggy areas in Robertson Co.; E. TX; FL to TX, N. to NC and AR. Mar.-May. [Crocanthemum carolinianum (Walt.) Spach.

2.H. rosmarinifoliumCISTACEAE HELIANTHEMUM rosmarinifolium Pursh Rosemary Sunrose. Plants from slender rootstocks; stems ascending, 1.3 to 5 dm tall, stellate-tomentose or -canescent. Basal rosette leaves sometimes remaining at flowering time, obovate, to ca. 2 cm long, cauline leaves 5 to 14 times longer than wide, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, green and stellate pubescent above, grayish and densely stellate-pubescent below, at least the upper leaves strongly revolute, midvein raised; petiole 1 to 3 mm long. Pedicels and calyces stellate-tomentose or -canescent; flowers dimorphic: cleistogamous flowers crowded in terminal and axillary cymules, pedicels to 2 mm long (to 3 mm in fruit); free portion of outer sepals 0.5 to 1 mm long, inner sepals 1.5 to 1.8 mm long; stamens 3 to 5; capsule 1.3 to 1.7 mm long; seeds 1(2). Chasmogamous flowers solitary at the tips of the stems and axillary branches, exserted beyond the cleistogamous flowers on pedicels 1.2 to 2 cm long; free portion of outer sepals 1.3 to 2.5 mm long, inner sepals 2.5 to 4.3 mm long; petals 4 to 8(12) mm long; stamens 15 to 24; capsule 2 to 4 mm long; seeds 1 to 6, dark red, smooth to finely reticulate, 0.7 to 0.8 mm long, covered with a membrane that is separable when moistened. Sandy soils of fields, roadsides, open woods. E. TX; FL to TX, N. to NC and AR. Apr.-Jun. [Crocanthemum rosmarinifolium (Pursh) Barnhart].

3.H. georgianumCISTACEAE HELIANTHEMUM georgianum Chapm. Georgia Sunrose, Hoary Sunrose. Perennial from slender roots; stems ascending, 1 to 4 dm tall, stellate tomentose. Basal rosette leaves, when present, similar to cauline leaves, 1 to 2.8 cm long, cauline leaves stellate pubescent above, densely stellate-pubescent or -canescent beneath with the midvein and secondary veins raised, oblanceolate to elliptic or obovate, 2 to 3.5 cm long, (4)6 to 8 mm broad, slightly revolute, acute to obtuse; petiole 1 to 3 mm long. Pedicels and calyces stellate pubescent; flowers dimorphic: cleistogamous flowers solitary or in 3-flowered cymules, terminal and in the axils of the upper leaves, pedicels (0.6)1 to 3(6)mm long; free portion of outer sepals 1.4 to 2.2 mm long, lance-acuminate, inner sepals 3 to 4.2 mm long, ovate, acuminate; stamens 3 to 8; capsules 4 to 5.4 mm long, seeds 12 to 20. Chasmogamous flowers 1 to 3 per stem, technically terminal, the stem elongating by a branch just below the flower, pedicels 3 to 6 mm long at anthesis, elongating in fruit; free portion of outer sepals 1.5 to 3.5 mm long, lance-acuminate, inner sepals 3.6 to 6.6 mm long, ovate, short-acuminate; petals 6 to 15 mm long, yellow; stamens 15 to 36; capsule 3.8 to 6 mm long, seeds 20 to 35, smooth or finely pitted, dark red, 1 to 1.3 mm long, with an outer membrane separable when wet. Dry sandy fields and open woods. E. 1/3 of TX, also in the Ed. Plat. and Rolling Plains; FL to TX, N. to NC, and S. OK. Apr.-Jun. [H. bicknellii of TX authors, not of Fern.; Crocanthemum georgianum (Chapm.) Barnhart].


Perennial herbs, sometimes suffrutescent, from taproots. Main stems solitary to several from the crown, erect, branched above, often a basal rosette of leafy shoots present late in the season; herbage appressed- or spreading-pubescent. Leaves alternate or sometimes falsely opposite or whorled below, usually alternate above, sessile to short-petiolate, one-nerved. Inflorescence a leafy panicle of racemes or scorpioid cymes; flowers numerous, minute. Sepals 5, the outer 2 shorter than to longer than the inner 3, linear to lanceolate, inner 3 ovate to obovate, concave and closely fitting the capsule at maturity. Petals 3, reddish, usually shorter than the sepals. Stamens (3)5 to 15(25). Style none; stigmas 3, plumose, reddish. Ovary incompletely 3-celled with 3 intruded, shield-like parietal placentae, each with 2 ovules. Capsule 3-valved, 1- to 6-seeded, partially to wholly enclosed by the persistent calyx. Seeds reddish brown, ca 1 mm long.

Seventeen species in N.Amer., from N. S. to Guat. and Hisp.; 5 in TX; 3 here.

1. Pubescence of erect stems and inflorescence branches spreading-villous or -pilose; midstem leaves (if present) usually wider than 3 mm. ...1.L.mucronata

1. Pubescence of erect stems and inflorescence branches closely appressed; midstem leaves (when present) less than 3 mm wide ...........................................................................2

2(1) Fruiting pedicels 3 to 5 mm long, deflexed at an angle of 90o or more; calyx in fruit usually more than 3 mm in diameter; partial partitions of casule hard and bony; seeds 6 ..................


2. Fruiting pedicels 3 mm long or shorter, generally ascending; calyx in fruit usually less than 3 mm in diameter; partial partitions of capsule thinner and more fragile; seeds usually 3 .....


1.L. mucronataCISTACEAE LECHEA mucronata Raf. Hairy Pinweed, Pine Pinweed. Erect stems (1.5)3 to 9 dm tall, spreading-villous or -pilose, branches spreading to ascending. Leaves villous on the margin and the midvein below, otherwise glabrous or nearly so, often some subopposite or appearing whorled, leaves of basal shoots ovate-elliptic, to 15 mm long, cauline leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate or elliptic, mucronate, 1 to 3 cm long, largest midstem leaves (often absent by flowering time) more than 3 mm broad. Flowers densely clustered on short lateral branches; pedicels only ca. 0.5 to 1(1.5) mm long, ascending. Calyx subglobose, outer sepals from slightly shorter than to a little longer than the inner, 1.9 to 2.2 mm long, inner sepals deeply concave, 1.3 to 2.2 mm long, scarious margined, midregion green and strongly keeled. Capsule subglobose, 1.4 to 2.1 mm long, (2-)3-(4-) seeded. Dry sandy soil of fields, roadsides, open woods, and hillsides. E. 1/2 of TX; FL W. to TX, N. to OK, KS, NE, IA, and MI, NE. to S. NH. Jun.-Nov. [L. villosa Ell. and var. macrotheca Hodg.; L. divaricata of auth., not of Britt.].

2.L. san-sabeanaCISTACEAE LECHEA san-sabeana (Buckl.) Hodg. San Saba Pinweed, Drummond Pinweed. Erect stems 1.5 to 3.5 dm tall, pubescence strigose or strongly ascending; branches spreading to ascending. Cauline leaves more or less linear, usually less than 2 mm broad, to ca. 1.5 cm long, acute, with appressed hairs, sometimes deciduous by flowering time. Panicle open, flowers distinctly spaced, secund on the branchlets; pedicels 3 to 5 mm long, deflexed 90o or more. Mature calyx strongly trigonous, subglobose in profile, outer sepals as long as to a little longer than the inner at anthesis, usually somewhat shorter in fruit, ca. 1 to 2 mm long, inner sepals ca. 2 mm long and 3 mm broad, scarious margined and conspicuously keeled at maturity. Capsule 1.2 to 2.3 mm broad, the partial partitions bony, yellowish; seeds 6. Sandy soils of fields and open woods. E. Cen. TX, also known from the Central Mineral Region; endemic. Apr.-Jun. [L. drummondii (Spach) T. & G.].

3.L. tenuifoliaCISTACEAE LECHEA tenuifolia Michx. Narrowleaf Pinweed. Erect stems 0.5 to 3 dm tall, pubescence strigose or strongly ascending, hyaline, sometimes glabrate; branches spreading to ascending. Leaves of decumbent basal shoots crowded, linear, 3 to 6 mm long, cauline leaves spreading to spreading-ascending, linear, acute, to 2 cm long, usually 1.5 mm wide or less, pubescent below, glabrous above, soon deciduous. Panicle usually 1/2 the height of the plant or more, open, branches racemose and often secund, flowers distinctly spaced; pedicels 1 to 1.5(2.5) mm long, appressed or ascending. Calyx subglobose, completely enclosing the capsule at maturity, outer sepals 2 to 3 mm long, as long as to much longer than the inner, rarely slightly shorter, inner sepals 1.6 to 2.2 mm long, subacute, dull green, spreading- or appressed-pilose, occasionally with a hard keel, but without scarious margins. Capsule depressed-globose to ovoid, 1.3 to 2.1 mm long, partial partitions delicate to chartaceous, not bony; seeds (2)3(5), yellowish- or reddish-brown, much thickened toward the base. Usually in dry soils of fields, roadsides, open woods, etc. E. TX; ME to SC, W. to MN and NE, S. and SE. to TX and MS. (Apr.) May-July. [Includes var. occidentalis Hodg.].


Violet Family

NOTE: This description applies to the two N. American genera, Viola, and Hybanthus. Plants annual or perennial herbs, caulescent or acaulescent, often rhizomatous, some stoloniferous. Leaves simple, alternate or rarely opposite or whorled, stipulate, entire to lobed, cleft, or divided. Flowers perfect, zygomorphic, solitary (rarely 2) in the axils, pedunculate, often nodding; most species with chasmogamous and cleistogamous flowers. Chasmogamous flowers: sepals 5, free or nearly so, with or without basal auricles, persistent; petals 5, free or slightly connate, the lowermost often spurred or gibbous; stamens 5, filaments short, free or connate, anthers introrse, often connivent, the connective continued beyond the filament as a membranaceous appendage, often the 2 lower stamens with nectary spurs at their bases; ovary superior, of 3 united carpels, unilocular, style 1, stigma simple, sometimes oblique or hooked. Cleistogamous flowers produced in summer, very fruitful, with 5 sepals that remain closed; (0 to)2(to 5) reduced petals; (1)2 stamens; 3 carpels, style short, with a reflexed tip. Fruit of both kinds of flowers an explosively loculicidal capsule with 3 parietal placentae, each with 1 to many usually arillate seeds.

About 23 genera and 800 species worldwide, but only Viola entering strictly temperate zones; 2 genera and 12 species in TX; 2 genera and 9 species to be expected in our area.

The family has some important ornamentals, especially in Viola and Hybanthus. Some species have medicinal uses. Viola yields essential oils used in perfume (Mabberley 1987).

1. Plants acaulescent perennials or leafy-stemmed annuals with chasmogamous flowers longer than 6 mm; sepals with auricles; lower petal spurred or stongly gibbous ......1. Viola

1. Plants leafy-stemmed perennials with chasmogamous flowers less than 6 mm long; sepals without auricles; lower petal slightly if at all gibbous .............................2. Hybanthus


Ours either taprooted annual herbs with leafy aerial stems, alternate leaves, and conspicuous, leafy stipules or else acaulescent perennial herbs from simple or branched, erect to prostrate rhizomes or caudices (some species stoloniferous), leaves all basal, and stipules basal and membranous. Leaves petiolate, blades entire to lobed or dived. Flowers solitary, axillary on long peduncles which bear 2 small bracts somewhere along the length. Chasmogamous flowers: conspicuously zygomorphic; sepals free or nearly so, all--or at least the lower 2--with basal auricles; petals unequal, the lowermost spurred or strongly gibbous, lowest and lateral 2 bearded in the throat or glabrous, upper 2 usually glabrous; stamens free, the lower 2 spurred; style 1, clavate with a capitate or flat summit, sometimes hollow. Cleistogamous flowers produced in most species and accounting for the majority of seed set, as described for the family. Capsule similar in both types of flowers, with many arillate seeds.

About 400 species (but the taxonomy of some complexes confused) of temperate regions, primarily in the N. Hemis. and the mountains of the tropics; 11 species in TX; 8 here.

NOTE: Hybrids among stemless blue violets are common and often fertile, the F1 generation often intermediate between the parents in appearance and occurring with them. On the other hand, hybrid swarms are known in which the parental types are absent. In addition, many species show great variability in size, leaf shape, pubescence, etc. These factors have resulted in the naming of hundreds of "species". Landon McKinney (1992) successfully treated these historically problematic species, clarifying details of morphology and nomenclature.

Some species have medicinal uses. Many species are grown as ornamentals, including V. canina (Dog Violet), V. cornuta, V. tricolor (Heart's Ease, Johnny Jump-up), and the manmade hybrid V. x wittrockiana (Pansy). V. odorata is the source of an essential oil used in perfume and for flavoring (Mabberley 1987). The flowers of most species can be candied and used for decoration. The leaves of many N. American species are edible and are high in vitamins C and A. However, only blue-flowered species should be eaten, as the yellow-flowered types can have a purgative effect (Elias and Dykeman 1982). The fruits, seeds, and rhizomes of all species should also not be eaten (Fernald, et al. 1958; Medve and Medve 1987).

1. Plants with leafy aerial stems; plants annual ...1.V.bicolor

1. Plants acaulescent, leaves basal; perennial ...........................................................................2

2(1) Flowers white; plants stoloniferous ..........................................................................................3

2. Flowers blue to violet; plants without stolons ..........................................................................4

3(2) Leaves linear to lanceolate, 3.5 times or more longer than wide ...2.V.lanceolata

3. Leaves more or less ovate, ca. 1.5 to 2 times longer than wide ...3.V.primulifolia

4(2) Leaf blades--at least some--cleft, parted, divided, or lobed ...................................................5

4. Leaf blades not cleft, parted, divided, or lobed (perhaps serrate) ..........................................7

5(4) Plants homophyllous: leaves all deeply lobed or dived; chasmogamous flowers with protruding stamens and all petals beardless; cleistogamous flowers not produced ...............


5. Plants heterophyllous: only midseason leaves lobed or divided; chasmogamous flowers without protruding stamens and with at least the lateral petals bearded; cleistogamous flowers produced ......................................................................................................................6

6(5) Midseason leaves 1.5 to 5 times longer than wide, blades incised at the base only, base sagittate/hastate; base of early season leaves sagittate to hastate, generally NOT cordate; cleistogamous sepal auricles from 1/2 as long to as long as the sepals ...5.V.sagittata

var. sagittata

6. Midseason leaves generally less than 1.5 times longer than wide, blades incised

throughout or strongly 3- or 5-lobed; bases of all leaves cordate to reniform or truncate; cleistogamous sepal auricles less than 1/2 as long as the sepals ...6.V.palmata

7(4) Midseason leaf bases sagittate/hastate, blades triangular; cleistogamous peduncles ascending to erect; cleistogamous sepal auricles well-developed, ca. 1/2 as long as the sepals ...5.V.sagittata

var. sagittata

7. Midseason leaf bases cordate, reniform, or truncate; cleistogamous peduncles prostrate to ascending; cleistogamous sepal auricles less than 1/2 as long as the sepals ..................8

8(7) Leaf blades elliptic to cordate, apically rounded to acute, markedly pubescent throughout with strigose or sericeus hairs; plants of dry sandy soils ...7.V.villosa

8. Leaf blades triangular to cordate, apically acute to obtuse, usually not markedly

pubescent, hairs usually concentrated on major veins, petioles, or only one surface; habitat various, usually alluvial woods ...8.V.sororia

1.V. bicolorVIOLACEAE VIOLA bicolorPursh Field Pansy, Johnny Jump-up. Slender annual or winter annual 2 to 15(25) cm or more tall, caulescent, often branched from the base or above, branches decumbent to ascending, glabrous or with reflexed hairs usually on the angles but sometimes on the surfaces, internodes generally equalling or longer than the leaves. Leaves alternate, glabrous, lower leaves with blades orbicular to ovate, 4 to 12 mm long, remotely notched, apically rounded, basally attenuate to truncate or subcordate, upper leaves with blades spatulate to widely elliptic, lanceolate, or obovate, subentire; petioles 3 to 15(20) mm long; stipules foliaceous, 10 to 20 mm long, palmately or pectinately divided, the middle lobe elongate to spatulate, margin sometimes ciliate. Flowers on axillary peduncles. Winter annuals with chasmogamous flowers produced early in the season and with progressive reduction in petal size and stamen number until summer flowers fully closed (these apparently responsible for majority of seed set); annual plants reported to reproduce only cleistogamously (GPFA 1986). Fully developed chasmogamous flowers: peduncles longer than the leaves; sepals 5, 4 to 6 mm long, auricles 0.5 to 2 mm long, acute, ciliate or eciliate; petals 5, bluish-white to blue, marked with darker blue, 7 to 10 mm long, broadly ovate, spur 1 to 1.5 mm long; ovary ca. 3 mm long, style 1.to 1.5 mm long, stigma hollow, globose; stamens 5. Fully cleistogamous flowers: peduncles to ca. 1.5 cm long; sepals 5, closed, 2 to 3 mm long; corolla absent or abortive; style twisted so stigma is directly below anthers. Capsule 4 to 7 mm long, somewhat smaller in cleistogamous flowers, oblong, yellow; seeds (0.2)1 to 1.5 mm long, smooth, yellow to light brown. Roadsides, lawns, fields, often in sandy soil and sometimes in full sun. E. TX; NY to MI and NE, S. to SC, GA, and TX. Feb.-Apr; the majority of our collections from March, with chasmogamous flowers. [V. rafinesquii (or rafinesquei) Greene; V. kittaibeliana R. & S. var. rafinesquii (Greene) Fern.].

2.V. lanceolataVIOLACEAE VIOLA lanceolata L. Lance-leaved Violet. Acaulescent perennial with cord-like rhizomes and stolons which root at the nodes, producing new plants. Leaves lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate or linear, to as much as 20 cm long, remotely or evenly shallowly crenate, attenuate to the petiole, glabrous or remotely and sparingly pubescent on the petioles. Peduncles from shorter than to longer than the leaves. Chasmogamous flowers: sepals lance-subulate, 4 to 5 mm long, apically acute to acuminate, auricles rounded; petals to 10 to 14 mm long, white with blue veins, especially the lower, spurred one, lateral petals unmarked or with fainter markings, beardless or with only a small patch of hairs at the base. Capsules green, 6 to 8 mm long; seeds light brown, 1.4 to 1.5 mm long. Ditches and wet, open fields or bogs, partial sun to shade in soils from sand to clay or peat. Mar.-Apr., occasionally collected in the fall.

This species is divided by some into 2 subspecies. In TX, these are easily distinguishable; both are present in our area.

subsp. lanceolata Leaf blades lanceolate, generally 3.5 to 5 times longer than wide. NE. TX; TX to GA, N. to MN, Que., and N.S.

subsp. vittata (Greene) Russell Gulf Violet. Leaf blades linear, 6 to 15 times longer than wide. More common on the coastal plain. E. TX; TX to FL, N. to S. VA and SE. OK. [V. vittata Greene; V. lanceolata L. var. vittata (Greene) Weatherby & Griscom].

3.V. primulifoliaVIOLACEAE VIOLA primulifolia L. Primrose Violet, Primrose-leaved Violet. Perennial with cord-like rhizomes and stolons which root at the nodes, producing new plants. Earliest leaf blades subrotund to ovate with the petiole shorter than to longer than the leaf blades, later leaves to 10 cm long, petioles 2 to 18 cm long, usually longer than the blades, blades ovate-lanceolate to broadly ovate, apex acute to obtuse or nearly rounded, base subcordate to truncate or tapered into and decurrent on the petiole, margin shallowly appressed-crenate, teeth callus-tipped; blades, petioles, and peduncles from glabrous to somewhat shaggy pubescent; stipules basal, linear to linear-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, to 2 cm long, entire to fimbriate. Peduncles from as long as to longer than the leaves. Chasmogamous flowers: to 2 cm broad, sepals lance-subulate, 4 to 6 mm long, acuminate, auricles 0.5 to 1 mm long, glabrous; petals white with blue- or brown-purple vines, especially the lower spurred one, lateral petals sometimes bearded at the base. Cleistogamous flowers: peduncle 2 to 11 cm long; sepals similar to those of chasmogamous flowers or the auricles to 2 mm long. Capsules green, ca. 5 to 8(10) mm long, ellipsoid; seeds 1 to 1.2(1.7) mm long, brown. Roadsides, ditches, marshy fields, margins of ponds or creeks, bogs, seepage areas, or rarely in mesic woods. E. TX; N.B. and ME S. to PA, OH, and IN, S. and SW. to FL, SE. OK, AR, and TX. Mar.-Apr. or May. [Includes var. villosa Eaton].

This plant is currently being treated by some as a hybrid species, V. X primulifolia L. The parents are deemed to be V. lanceolata L. and V. macloskeyi Lloyd. The latter does not occur in Texas.

4.V. pedataVIOLACEAE VIOLA pedata L. Bird's-foot Violet. Acaulescent perennial herb from a stout, erect rhizome, stolons absent. Capable of much seasonal variation in leaf shape and flower color. Leaves usually all generally reniform in overall outline, deeply pedately cleft parted or divided into 7 spatulate to lanceolate or linear segments, these occasionally with smaller lobes or teeth, early season leave sometimes merely 3- or 5-lobed, generally glabrous or with strigose hairs sometimes on the veins on the lower surface; stipules united to the petiole for ca. 2/3 their length, toothed or fimbriate. Peduncles equalling or longer than the leaves. Cleistogamous flowers unknown. Flowers "flat-faced" and pansy-like, sepals 8 to 12 mm long, auricles to 4 mm long; petals 12 to 18(22) mm long, lilac to dark blue, the upper 2 sometimes darker, lower petal white at the base, lower 3 petals veined in darker purple, albinos known, none bearded; orange tips of stamens conspicuously protruding. Capsules yellow-brown, ellipsoid, 6 to 9 mm long; seeds beige-mottled to brown, reddish, or copper, 1.4 to 1.7 mm long. Sandy or clay soils of open woods, fields, and prairies. E. TX; MN to VT, S. to KS, OK, and TX, E. to AL and GA. (According to McKinney (1992), we are just to the W. of the range of this species, but it is known from nearby Walker Co. and would not be a surprising find here. TAES has a specimen from Brazos Co., but it is from cultivation.) Mar.-Apr. [Includes vars. atropurpurea and lineariloba DC. and var. concolor Holm. ex Brainerd; V. digitata Pursh].

5 V. sagittataVIOLACEAE VIOLA sagittata Ait. var sagittata Arrow-leaved Violet, Arrowhead Violet. Acaulescent perennial from a fleshy horizontal or vertical rhizome, occasionally fragmenting and forming new crowns. Leaves erect, plants heterophyllous: early leaf blades elliptic to ovate, basally sagittate/hastate (or truncate), not generally cordate, apically acute, later leaf blades ca. 1.5 to 5 times longer than wide, narrowly-triangular or -elliptic to ovate, base sagittate/hastate (sometimes cordate), often with a few shallow to deep teeth or lobes in the basal portion, margin otherwise uniformly serrate, or only sparingly so toward the acute (ca. 30o) apex, occasionally glabrous or else sporadically strigose throughout or with hairs primarily on the veins or upper surface, margins ciliate or eciliate; stipules lance-attenuate with several narrow teeth. Peduncles shorter than to longer than the leaves, ascending to erect, those of cleistogamous flowers sometimes prostrate. Chasmogamous flowers: sepals ovate to lanceolate, acute, 4 to 12(15) mm long, auricles less than half as long; petals light to dark blue-violet, at least the lower 3 veined in darker purple, often whitish toward the base, to ca. 18 mm long, lateral petals bearded, spur petal sometimes bearded; style truncate with the orifice at the tip of a lateral beak. Cleistogamous flowers: narrowly triangular to triangular, sepal auricles prominent, at least half as long as the sepals, to ca. 5 mm long. Capsule narrowly ellipsoid to ellipsoid, ca. 9 to 18 mm long, yellow; seeds beige and mottled to bronze or dark brown, 1.3 to 1.6 mm long. Dryish open woods and wood edges on sandy (or clay) soils. E. TX; S. MN E. to ME, S. to GA and E. TX. Apparently not very common in our area, but known at least from Leon Co. Many local specimens of V. palmata have been misidentified as this species. Mar.-Apr. [Includes var. emarginata Nutt. and var. subsagittata (Greene) Pollard; Viola emarginata (Nutt.) LeConte.

NOTE: Var. ovata (Nutt.) T. & G., with broader, more ovate leaves with bases truncate, attenuate, or slightly sagittate or hastate, does not occur in TX.

6.V. palmataVIOLACEAE VIOLA palmata L. Wood Violet. Acaulescent perennial from a fleshy, usually horizontal rhizome, stolons absent. Plants highly variable in size and morphology. Leaves erect or ascending, plants heterophyllous: earliest leaf blades cordiform to reniform, unlobed, basally cordate to reniform, apically acute, shallowly and faintly crenate, later leaves generally triangular to cordate, midseason leaf blades cleft, parted, or divided into 3 to 5 primary lobes, very frequently tri-lobed, the central segment ovate, rhombic, or spatulate to nearly lanceolate, lateral segments elliptic, obdeltoid, spatulate, or falcate, sometimes appearing nearly petiolulate, occasionally further cleft or divided, blades overall generally less than 1.5 times longer than wide, the base cordate or reniform to truncate, apex acute to obtuse or rounded, occasionally glabrous but usually pubescent, strigose throughout or mainly along the veins or the upper or lower surface, silky hairs occasionally present on the blade base and upper petiole, margins ciliate or eciliate. Chasmogamous flowers: peduncles ascending to erect, usually surpassing the leaves; sepals lanceolate, acute, ca. 6 to 10 mm long with auricles 0.5 to 2 mm long, eciliate or ciliate; petals light to dark blue-violet, lower 3 bearded, spurred petal sometimes only sparingly so. Cleistogamous flowers: peduncles erect or ascending, or sometimes prostrate or subterranean. Capsule ellipsoid, purplish-green, (5) 8 to 10(15) mm long; seeds beige and mottled to light brown, 1.8 to 2.3 mm long. Dry woods to richer bottomland woods. S. and E. TX; throughout much of E. U.S.--N.Eng. W. to MI, IA, and NE, S. to TX and FL, also reported from NM. Mar.-May. [Includes var. dilatata Ell.; Viola esculenta Ell.; V. triloba Schwein and vars. triloba and dilatata (Ell.) Brainerd; V. lovelliana Brainerd, etc.]

The extremely variable nature of this plant has resulted in its being described under a multitude of specific and varietal names. McKinney (1992) feels that subspecific recognition of any variant is unjustified, and is certainly easier to deal with this violet in that way.

NOTE: Very early or very late season plants often show no lobed leaves and may easily be confused with V. sororia. Luckily, most herbarium sheets have at least 1 individual with 1 well-lobed leaf, facilitating positive identification.

7.V. villosaVIOLACEAE VIOLA villosa Walt. Carolina Violet. Acaulescent perennial from a thick horizontal rhizome. Foliage often prostrate, sometimes ascending, in some regions more or less evergreen, plants homophyllous: blades elliptic or ovate to reniform, ca. 1.2 times longer than wide, base cordate to reniform, apex acute to rounded, terminal angle ca. 45o, margin uniformly appressed-serrate, ciliate, surfaces densely strigose or sericeous throughout; petioles 2 to 10 cm long, short pubescent. Peduncles ascending to erect, pubescent, sometimes shorter than the leaves and the flowers obscured, cleistogamous peduncles to ca. 4 cm long. Chasmogamous flowers: sepals ovate to lanceolate, acute to obtuse, 5 to 7 mm long, auricles ca. 1 mm long or less, sometimes pubescent, margins ciliate; petals light to dark blue-violet, often directed forward so that the flower does not appear fully open, ca. 7 to 10 mm long, lateral 2 bearded and the spurred petal sometimes bearded; style clavate. Cleistogamous flowers: narrowly triangular in shape, sepals ovate to lanceolate, 3 to 5 mm long, auricles less than half as long, to 1.5 mm. Capsule ellipsoid, 8 to 10 mm long, green, glabrous; seeds beige and mottled to bronze (sometimes brown or black), 1.6 to 1.8 mm long. Dry woods, clearings, waste grounds, often on sandy soil. E. TX; DE S. to FL, W. to TX and S. OK. Mar.-Apr. [V. sororia of Nutt., NOT of Willd; V. palmata L. var. villosa (Walt.) Robinson; V. alabamensis Pollard].

8.V. sororiaVIOLACEAE VIOLA sororia Willd. Sister Violet. Acaulescent perennial herb from a fleshy horizontal rhizome. Foliage ascending to erect, plants homophyllous: blades unlobed, midseason blades cordate to very widely ovate or depressed-ovate to elliptic, triangular, or narrowly triangular, base usually cordate, apex acute to obtuse, glabrous to strigose, with hairs throughout or mainly on the veins, petioles, or just the upper or lower surface, sericeous hairs sometimes present on blade base and upper petiole, margins ciliate to eciliate, nearly entire to appressed-crenate or crenate-serrate. Chasmogamous flowers: peduncles ascending to erect, sepals ovate-lanceolate, acute to obtuse, to ca. 12 mm long, auricles less than 1/3 as long, ciliate or eciliate; petals light to dark blue-violet (rarely albino or nearly so), sometimes with darker veins, to a ca. 22 mm long, lateral petals bearded, spurred petal sometimes bearded; style truncate with an orifice at the end of a short beak. Cleistogamous flowers: peduncles prostrate to ascending, flowers narrowly triangular, sepals as in chasmogamous flowers. Capsule ellipsoid, green, ca. 10 to 12 mm long; seeds beige and mottled to bronze.

This plant and its varieties have a long and complex nomenclatural history. Because leaf shape varies from plant to plant and by season, they have been described under at least 30 specific epithets and dozens of varieties. Each manual presents a different treatment, from listing multiple separate species to making several groups under various of the synonyms. McKinney (1992), through extensive study of types, specimens, and original descriptions and illustrations, has determined that V. sororia Willd. is the earliest available legitimate name. He lists 4 varieties in N. Amer.; we have the 2 found in TX.

NOTE: Most TX material has been previously identified as V. missouriensis or V. langloisii as keyed in the Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (Correll & Johnston 1970). However, these identifications do NOT necessarily translate automatically into the varieties presented below. For example, many sheets labeled V. langloisii belong to var. missouriensis, even though V. langloisii is a synonym of var. sororia. Old specimens should be re-keyed.

var. sororia Bayou Violet. Midseason leaf blades cordate to very widely ovate or depressed ovate, (1.2) 1 (0.9) times longer than wide, apical angle (116o) ca. 90o (76o), strigose throughout or glabrous. Dry or mesic woodlands, also a weed in rural or urban areas. E. TX and also near Gonzales and Travis Cos.; E. U.S. and S. Can., sporadically W. to MT, UT, and NM, S. to FL and TX. Primarily Mar.-Apr. here. [V. langloisii Greene; V. papilionacea Pursh; V. nephrophylla Greene; V. septentrionalis Greene, V. pratincola Greene; V. palmata L. var. sororia (Willd.) Pollard ex Britt., etc...].

var. missouriensis (Greene) McKinney Missouri Violet. Midseason leaf blades triangular to widely or shallowly deltoid, (1.7) 1.3(1.2) times longer than wide, apical angle (82o) ca. 60o (36o), generally glabrous or very sparingly strigose throughout. Usually in alluvial woods and damp thickets. E. 1/3 TX, also known from the panhandle and 1 or 2 sites in W. TX;

throughout E. U.S., S. to FL, TX and NM, W. to NE and ND. Feb.-May with occasional flowers in the fall--Oct.-Nov. Our most common blue homophyllous violet. [V. missouriensis Greene, etc.].


Perennial herbs with leafy stems. Leaves alternate or the lower sometimes subopposite or opposite, usually linear to linear-lanceolate or oblong, stipulate, the stipules commonly foliaceous and mistaken for leaves. Flowers solitary (or paired) in the axils, pedunculate, nodding. Sepals subequal, auricles absent. Petals subequal, the lowest a little longer and slightly gibbous at the base. Stamens united by their anthers at anthesis, separating after. Fruit a 3-celled capsule.

About 150 species of warm and tropical regions; we have 1 variety of the single TX species.

A few species (but not ours) have medicinal uses (Mabberley 1987).

1. H. verticillatus (Ort.) Baill. var verticillatus (Nodding) Green Violet. Plants from a branched caudex; stems usually clustered, simple or branched from the lower nodes, 1 to 2.5(3.5) dm tall, retrorsely scabrous (sometimes only remotely). Leaves primarily alternate above, subopposite or opposite below, occasionally axillary fascicles present, blades linear to linear-lanceolate, ca. 5 to 10 times longer than wide, 1 to 5 cm long, 1 to 5 mm broad, base attenuate and sessile, apex obtuse to acute or acuminate, entire or the larger leaves remotely crenate or serrate; stipules ranging from minute to conspicuous and foliaceous. Peduncles solitary in the axils, ca. 3 to 10 mm long at anthesis, lengthening with age, ascending, jointed above the middle. Flowers 2 to 6 mm long, sepals ovate to lanceolate, acute, 1.5 to 2.3 mm long, 0.3 to 0.7 mm wide, the midvein glabrous or scabrous, margin usually ciliate; petals commonly persistent, greenish-white to cream, purple-tipped, upper 4 petals 2 to 2.5 mm long, glabrous, lower petal 2.5 to 5 mm long, slightly gibbous, panduriform, bearded within, the midvein minutely scabrous below; stamens 1.5 to 2 mm long, the anthers separating soon after anthesis, each with a bilobed gland at the base; style clavate. Capsule ovoid to subglobose, 4 to 6 mm long, glabrous; seeds lustrous, black, subglobose, slightly flattened, 1.8 to 2.3 mm long. Dry fields, rocky slopes, sandy areas, and forest areas. W. and Cen. TX; in our area at least in Washington Co.; KS and E. CO S. to AZ, TX, and Mex. [Synonyms for species: H. linearis (Torr.) Shinners; Calceolaria verticillata (Ort.) O. Ktze.].


Tamarisk Family

Trees and shrubs with slender branches, scale-like leaves, and small, perfect flowers.

Five genera and 78 species of the Mediterranean, Eurasia, Central Asia, and Africa; 1 genus and 7 species reported for TX (but one species unconfirmed); 3 species possible in our area.


Shrubs or small trees from deep taproots. Stems slender, terete, spreading, ultimate branchlets deciduous with the leaves. Bark of young branches ranging from black to purple, brown, reddish-brown, or gray, glabrous to papillose. Leaves alternate, estipulate, typically scale-like or subulate, base sheathing to sessile, amplexicaul, or auriculate, surfaces with salt-secreting glands. Inflorescence racemose or a panicle of racemes, dense or loose, the flowers small, short pedicellate or sessile, subtended by 1 (2,3) bract(s). Sepals 4 or 5(6), free or sometimes fused below, imbricate, persistent. Petals white to pink or red, as many as and alternate with the sepals, imbricate, often persistent, ovate to elliptic or obovate. Nectary disk present within the corolla, the configuration of disk and stamens of great taxonomic importance. Those stamens which are opposite the sepals usually constant in number for a given species, inserted below the disk or on the rim, stamens opposite the petals (if any) variable in number, inserted on the rim of the disk, some species with 1 or 2 stamens below the disk and 3 or 4 on the rim. Ovary superior, 1-celled, of 3(4,5) fused carpels (variable from flower to flower even in a single inflorescence); stigmas 3(4,5), free; placentae parietal, ovules 2 to many. Fruit a capsule dehiscent by 3 to 5 valves. Seeds each with an apical pappus or tuft of hairs; reproduction by seed apparently limited.

About 54 species of Mediterranean Europe, Eurasia, Asia, and Africa; 7 species reported and 6 confirmed as introduced in TX; 3 possible here.

With deep roots and salt tolerance, Tamarisk is often planted for dune stabilization along beaches. It is also planted in hedges or windbreaks (Baum 1978). Insect galls from some species are high in tannins and used in tanning leather (Mabberley 1987). "Manna" is the sweet excretion of scale insects feeding on certain species. This is a food source of some Bedouins and may be the manna of the Bible (Baum 1978). Some species naturalize readily and can become weedy.

NOTE 1: For many years the placement of the inflorescences, aestival--on current season's growth vs. vernal--on previous seasons' growth, was considered an important key character. Baum (1964), however, has demonstrated that this is not the case.

NOTE 2: Most older manuals and floras list T. gallica L. as the most common introduced species in the U.S., but it is not as common as once believed. Many specimens exist identified as T. gallica which probably belong to other species. Baum (1978) provides a helpful reference for working with this difficult genus.

1. Flowers usually 4-merous (stamens sometimes more than 4) ...1.T.parviflora

1. Flowers usually 5-merous (stamens sometimes more than 5) ..............................................2

2(1) Nectary disk strongly lobed, lobes emarginate; stamens inserted under the disk; petals persistent, more or less obovate, asymmetrical ...2.T.ramosissima

2. Nectary disk not strongly lobed, stamens gradually tapered onto rim of the disk; petals caducous, more or less elliptical to ovate, symmetrical ...3.T.gallica

1.T. parvifloraTAMARICACEAE TAMARIX parviflora DC. Salt Cedar. Shrub or small tree 2 to 3 m tall; bark of young branches brown to deep purple, glabrous. Leaves 2 to 2.5 mm long, sessile with a narrow base. Vernal inflorescences simple racemes, aestival racemes rare; racemes 1.5 to 4 cm long, 3 to 5 mm broad, dense; bracts longer than the pedicels, triangular-acuminate, blunt, boat-shaped, almost completely transparent; pedicels much shorter than the calyces. Calyx almost always 4-merous, sepals slightly united at the base, 1.25 to 1.5 mm long, erose-denticulate, the outer 2 ovate-trullate, keeled, acute; inner 2 ovate, obtuse; corolla usually 4-merous, subpersistent; petals 2 mm long, ovate, obtuse, subentire to slightly erose; stamens 4, opposite the sepals, inserted around the rim of the disk, tapering gradually into the disk lobes. Escaped from cultivation, especially to waste places and floodplains. Native to the Mediterranean region; introduced and widespread in Can. and U.S.: KS, OK, TX, etc. Spring-summer.

Most (if not all) plants cultivated and escaping in the U.S. under the name T. tetranda Pall. ex M. B. emend. Willd. are in fact T. parviflora. T. tetranda has black or deep purple-black bark, free sepals, and larger flowers arranged more loosely in larger racemes than T. parviflora. It is not present in TX.

2.T. ramosissimaTAMARICACEAE TAMARIX ramosissima Ledeb. Salt Cedar. Shrub or small tree 1 to 5(6) m tall; bark of young branches reddish-brown, glabrous. Leaves 1.5 to 3.5 mm long, sessile with a narrow base. Aestival inflorescences dense, composed of multiple racemes, vernal racemes less common, simple, loosely flowered, racemes 1.5 to 7 cm long, 3 to 4 mm broad; bracts longer than the pedicels, triangular-trullate to narrowly trullate. Sepals acute or the outer 2 ovate to narrowly trullate-ovate and the inner 3 broader and trullate-ovate, all 0.5 to 1 mm long, not connate, irregularly denticulate to erose. Petals 1 to 1.75 mm long, obovate to broadly elliptic-ovate, asymmetrical, persistent; stamens 5, opposite the sepals, inserted below the disk, lobes of the disk usually strongly emarginate. Escaped from cultivation, found in floodplains, along roadsides, etc. Native to Eurasia: Turkey through the Middle East to China and Korea; introduced and widespread in the U.S. from the Great Plains to the South: ND and SD to NE, KS, OK, and TX. Spring-fall. [T. pentandra Pall. and subspecies tigrensis (Bge.) Hand.-Mazz.; T. gallica L. var. micrantha Ledeb. and var. pallasii (authors, not Desv.) Deyer; some vars. of T. pallasii Desv., although T. pallasii is a synonym of

T. laxa Willd.].

3.T. gallicaTAMARICACEAE TAMARIX gallica L. French Tamarisk, Tamarisco, Rompevientos. Tree or often shrubby, to 8 m tall; bark of young branches blackish-brown to deep purple, glabrous. Leaves 1.5 to 2 mm long, sessile with a narrow base. Inflorescences loosely compound with racemes 2 to 5 cm long, 4 to 5 mm broad, lower bracts on vernal inflorescences oblong, apically blunt with a point, other bracts narrowly triangular, acuminate, usually more or less denticulate, longer than the pedicels but not surpassing the calyx; pedicels usually slightly shorter than or equalling the calyx. Calyx 5-merous, sepals trullate-ovate to ovate, acute, entire to subentire, the outer 2 slightly keeled, the inner 3 somewhat longer and more obtuse, 0.75 to 1 mm long; corolla 5-merous, caducous, petals 1.5 to 1.75 mm long, elliptic to slightly elliptic-ovate; stamens 5, opposite the sepals, inserted on the rim of the disk and gradually tapered into the disk lobes. Once thought to be the most common introduced species in the U.S. but now believed somewhat rare. Definitely known from TX. Possibly not present outside cultivation in our area, but included in this treatment because specimens identified as T. gallica exist which no longer have flowers with which to confirm or deny the identification. Native to Europe and the Mediterranean area: Spain and France to Switzerland and Italy; introduced in England and the U.S., possibly elsewhere. Spring-fall. [Includes var. brachylepis (Sennen) Sennen].


Passion-flower Family

Vines (some, not ours, shrubs) climbing by simple axillary tendrils. Leaves alternate, simple to lobed or compound, stipules present or absent, nectary glands often present on the petiole. Peduncles axillary, jointed, commonly with bracts. Flowers perfect, regular, usually 5-merous except for the gynoecium, often showy or brightly colored. Perianth parts imbricate, perigynous, usually a corona of scales or filaments present around the staminal column. Stamens monadelphous, anthers versatile. Ovary generally stipitate, 1-celled, (2)3(5) carpellate, styles as many as carpels, usually connate only at the base, stigmas capitate to clavate or discoid. Fruit a berry or capsule. Seeds with fleshy arils, straight embryos, and oily endosperm.

Eighteen genera and ca. 530 species of the tropics to warm temperate regions, especially the W. hemisphere; 1 genus with 7 species in TX; 2 species here.

Some species of Passiflora are ornamental or have edible fruit (Mabberley 1987).


Characters of the family. Leaves commonly palmately lobed, stipulate, Hypanthium disk-shaped to tubular. Sepals 3 to 5, fleshy to membranous, slightly united at the base or free, alternate with the petals. Corona of 1 to several series of free or united filaments attached to the rim of the hypanthium. An operculum or lid present inside the innermost ring of filaments, collar-like or ring-like, sometimes plicate; a ring- or collar-like limen present between the operculum and the staminal column; nectary disk or ring present at the very base of the stamen tube. Stamens 3 to 10, inserted in the center of the hypanthium and united by the filaments into a sheath around the stipe of the ovary, free above. Ovary on a stipe or gynophore, 3-carpellate; styles 3; placentae 3 to 5, parietal. Fruit a berry, globose to ovoid (or fusiform). Seeds many, more or less flattened and reticulate to punctate or grooved, each with a pulpy aril.

About 350 species of the tropics and warm temperate regions, excluding Africa; 7 species in TX; 2 here.

The fruit--actually the pulpy arils and sometimes the seeds--of many species are edible, including those of P. edulis, P. laurifolia, P. ligularis, P. mollissimus, and our local P. incarnata (Mabberley 1987). Other species are grown as ornamentals. The common name was bestowed by Christian missionaries who used the flowers to teach the story of the crucifixion: the 10 perianth parts representing the disciples (minus Judas and Peter), the tendrils and lobed leaves the hands and whips of the Romans, the corona the crown of thorns, the 5 stamens the five wounds, and the 3 stigmas the 3 nails (Mabberley 1987).

1. Leaf lobes rounded to obtuse (sometimes mucronate), margins entire; flowers ca. 1 to 2 cm broad, greenish to yellow or white ...1.P.lutea

1. Leaf lobes pointed, margins serrulate; flowers to ca. 7 cm. broad, white to lavender or purple ...2.P.incarnata

1.P. luteaPASSIFLORACEAE PASSIFLORA lutea L. Perennial vine; stems climbing or trailing to ca. 3 m; herbage glabrous to minutely and sparsely pilosulous. Leaves commonly broader than long, blades 3 to 7 cm long, 4 to 10 cm broad, palmately 3-lobed to ca. 1/3 to 1/2 the length, the lobes obtuse to rounded or the terminal sometimes mucronate, base obtuse to truncate, rounded, or cordate; petioles to ca. 5 cm, long, nectary glands absent; stipules setaceous, deciduous, 3 to 5 mm long. Peduncles solitary or paired in the axils, 1.5 to 4 cm long, slender, bracts absent. Flowers (1)2 (2.5) cm broad, hypanthium disk-shaped; sepals linear-oblong, 5 to 10 mm long, 2 to 3 mm broad, obtuse, pale green; petals 3 to 5 mm long, 1 mm broad, linear and acutish, white; corona in 2 series, outer filaments ca. 30, narrowly linear to filiform, 5 to 10 mm long, greenish-white, inner series narrowly liguliform, 1.5 to 2.5 mm long, slightly thickened above, white, tinged with pink at the base; operculum erect, plicate, white at the margin; limen cup-shaped, fleshy. Berry globose to ovoid, to ca. 15 mm long and 1 cm broad, purple when ripe; seeds many, widely obcordate to suborbicular, 4.5 to 5 mm long and 3 mm broad, with 6 to 7 transverse grooves, the ridges between strongly rugulose. Generally in moist low woods, but also in drier, more exposed sites, often in sandy soil. Primarily in Cen. and E. TX; OH to MO and OK, S. to AL and TX. May-Aug.

Texas plants are usually classified as var. glabriflora Fern. with the herbage described as glabrous (although a few very small hairs may be present.)

2.P. incarnataPASSIFLORACEAE PASSIFLORA incarnata L. May-pop, Passionaria. Perennial vine; stems climbing or trailing to 8 m long, terete or the younger portions angled; herbage glabrous or usually finely pilose. Leaf blades deeply lobed from (1/2) 3/4 to 4/5 the length, ca. 6 to 15 cm along the midvein, 5 to 12 cm long along the lateral veins, ca. 7 to 15 cm broad between the tips of the lateral lobes, lobes ovate-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, the middle lobe sometimes narrowed a the base, the lateral lobes rarely each bilobed, margins serrulate, base truncate to more or less cordate, undersurface glaucescent; petioles to 8 cm long, with 2 sessile, suborbicular glands near the apex or at least above the middle; stipules setaceous, 2 to 3 mm long, soon deciduous. Peduncles to 10 cm long, stout, with 2 bracts near the apex, ca. 5 mm below the flower, spatulate to oblong, obtuse to acute, 4 to 7 mm long, 2.5 to 4 mm broad, minutely glandular-serrate apically, obviously biglandular at the base. Sepals white to pale lavender, lance-oblong, 2 to 3 cm long and 1 cm broad, obtuse, cucullate at the apex, slightly keeled and ending in a short awn ca. 2 to 3 mm long, petals about equalling the sepals, white to lavender, obtuse; corona in several series, purple to pink or rarely white, the outer 2 series filiform, wavy, 1.5 to 2 cm long, the next 3 series capillary, ca. 2 mm long, plane to erect, innermost series membranaceous basally and filamentous apically; filaments ca. 4 mm long; operculum ca. 2 mm long, incurved, membranous, fimbrillate; nectar ring a low ridge midway between operculum and the base of the staminal column; limen cup-shaped, crenulate, closely subtending the staminal column; ovary ovoid, densely brownish- or whitish-velutinous or -tomentose. Berry ovoid to subglobose, to ca. 7 cm long, orange-yellow when ripe; seeds ovate to more or less obcordate in outline, 4 to 5 mm long, 3 to 4 mm broad, apically truncate, each face reticulate or pitted. Roadsides, old fields, along streams, and in open woods. E. 1/3 TX; VA to OH, IL and OK, S. to FL and TX; also Berm. and introduced in some places in the U.S. N. of its original range. Apr.-Aug., collected in fruit as late as Nov.

This is the only TX species with edible fruit (Correll & Johnston 1970). The common name May-pop stems from the fact that the unripe fruits are somewhat balloon-like and make a pleasing "pop" when stepped on.


Gourd or Cucumber Family

Usually annual or perennial herbs. Stems often vinelike, trailing or climbing with coiling, often branched tendrils borne singly at the nodes. Leaves alternate, usually simple, palmately veined and/or lobed (sometimes palmately compound), commonly with extrafloral nectaries; stipules absent. Flowers axillary, usually regular, epigynous, solitary or in inflorescences, unisexual, plants monoecious or dioecious. Sepals (3)5(6), imbricate or open. Petals (3)5(6), usually connate or less often distinct, usually basally attached to the calyx, corolla lobes imbricate or imbricate-valvate, yellow or white, sometimes different in size, shape, etc. in male and female flowers. Stamens 5, attached to the hypanthium (rarely at the apex of the ovary), alternate with the corolla lobes, but usually reduced or displaced and thus appearing to be 3--1 with a monothecal anther and 2 with dithecal anthers--free or fused, anthers extrorse, with longitudinal slits. Gynoecium of (2)3(5) fused carpels; style 1; stigmas 1 to 3(5), usually bilobed. Fruit usually a berry or pepo, rarely a dry or fleshy capsule, in some (not ours), samaroid. Seeds (1 to) many on intruded parietal placentae.

About 121 genera and 760 species, primarily of the tropics and warm regions with a few in the temperate zones; 15 genera and 26 species in TX; 7 genera and 9 species possible here. Cucurbits in Texas tend to be sporadic in occurrence: within its range a species may be abundant at a number of localities and totally absent in between. The species treated here are those which might be encoun-tered in our area. Only a few are common.

The family is of great economic importance for many food crops, including cucumbers and melons (Cucumis), watermelons (Citrullus), squash and gourds (Cucurbita, Luffa, Lagenaria), and chayote or marrows (Sechium). Usually it is the fruit that is eaten, but some have edible tubers, flowers, or seeds. Some gourds and squashes are grown for ornament or are used when dry and hollow as containers or utensils. Some genera include oilseed crops or medicinal plants--bitter cucurbitacins are present in many species (Mabberley 1987).

1. Fruit with a single seed; fruit usually with bristly prickles ..........................................1. Sicyos

1. Fruit with more than 1 seed; fruit prickly or smooth ...............................................................2

2(1) Seeds 3 to 6 per fruit; plant perennial from a rhizome ......................................2. Cayaponia

2. Seeds more than 6 per fruit; plant annual or perennial from a root or rootstock ..................3

3(2) Anther cells straight to curved; fruit generally less than 3.5 cm in diameter, black or red when ripe; flowers less than 2 cm long ...................................................................................4

3. Anther cells twisted, folded over, or bent; fruit greater than 2.5 cm in diameter, green, white, orange, or yellow when ripe; flowers usually more than 2 cm long .............................5

4(3) Plants monoecious; nectary disk absent or reduced; leaves 3- to 5-parted or lobed .............

................................................................................................................................3. Ibervillea

4. Plants dioecious; nectary disk present and well-developed; leaves entire to shallowly lobed ......................................................................................................................4. Melothria

5(3) Corolla more than 5 cm long, lobed about 1/2 way to the base ........................5. Cucurbita

5. Corolla less than 5 cm long, usually lobed nearly to the base ...............................................6

6(5) Leaves entire to slightly palmately lobed; tendrils simple ....................................6. Cucumis

6. Leaves pinnately divided; tendrils 2- to 3-branched ..............................................7. Citrullus

NOTE: Occasional escapes of cultivated bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Standl.) and loofah (Luffa cylindrica (L.) M. J. Roem. [=L. aegyptiaca Mill.]) may be found. Lagenaria has white flowers, the staminate with anthers coherent in heads, often included within the elongate floral tube, and fruits hard, variously shaped. Luffa has pale yellow flowers, the staminate in racemes, fruit cylindric, 30 to 60 cm long, smooth, rind dry and tough-papery at maturity, the inside very fibrous.

CUCURBITACEAE SICYOS1. SICYOS L. One-seeded Bur-cucumber

Annual climbing vines with 3-forked tendrils. Leaves petiolate. Flowers yellow to whitish, relatively small; plants monoecious. Staminate flowers racemose or corymbose, pistillate flowers in a long-peduncled capitate cluster, usually from the same axils as the staminate inflorescences. Corolla rotate to campanulate. Anthers in a coherent mass. Style slender, stigmas 3; ovary 1-celled with 1 suspended ovule. Fruit dry, indehiscent, ovoid, more or less filled by the seed, the exterior variously pubescent to bristly or prickly or sometimes smooth.

About 15 to 25 species of tropical to temperate regions of the Americas and Australasia; 5 species in TX; 1 possible here.

1. S. angulatus L. Bur-cucumber. Stems slender, herbage clammy- or viscid-pubescent, the hairs weak and distinctly articulated. Petioles to 8 cm long, ca. 1/3 as long to equalling the blades; blades orbicular to suborbicular in outline, 6 to 15(20) cm long and broad, base deeply cordate, shallowly 3- to 5-lobed, the lobes denticulate, pointed to acuminate, margin finely toothed, upper surface short-scabrous to smooth, undersurface clammy-pubescent. Staminate peduncles equalling to slightly longer than the leaves; pistillate peduncles equalling the petioles. Calyx subrotate, 4 to 5 mm broad, the segments 1 to 2.5 mm long; corolla rotate, the lobes 3 to 4 mm long, deltoid; stamens and anthers united, anthers somewhat contorted. Fruit yellowish, ellipsoid to ovoid, somewhat flattened, pointed, 1 to 1.4 cm long, to 8 mm broad, usually with prickly bristles or long-setose and villous-tomentose or rarely smooth; seed oval, flattened, olive-colored. Damp soil along wooded streams and rivers. E. 1/2 TX; possible here; S. ME and W. Que. to ND, S. to AZ, TX, and FL. May-Sept.


About 46 species, primarily of warmer parts of the Americas. The 1 species found in TX is possible here.

1. C. quinqueloba (Raf.) Shinners Herbaceous vine from a perennial rootstock, climbing by simple or sometimes bifurcate tendrils borne to the side of the leaves; stem finely pubescent. Petioles bristly-villous, relatively long; blades thickish, very broadly ovate to suborbicular in outline, 5 to 10 cm long, less than 10 cm broad, base widely cordate, palmately 3-angled or 3-lobed, the 2 lateral lobes oblongish, sometimes slightly lobed, apical lobe slightly narrowed near the base, broadest about the middle, lobes and apices acute, margins denticulate, slightly scabrous above and sparsely pubescent beneath. Plants monoecious, flowers solitary or in few-flowered racemes, fascicles, or panicles. Floral tube ca. 2 to 3 mm long; calyx campanulate, 5-cleft, the lobes as long as the hypanthium; corolla rotate to subcampanulate, lobed 1/2 or more the distance to the base, greenish-white. Staminate flowers 5 to 6 mm broad, stamens 3, distinct, anther sacs flexuous, rudimentary 3-lobed ovary present. Pistillate flowers often with 3 reduced stamens; ovary 3-celled, ovules 1 or 2 per cell, ascending, style 3-cleft, stigmas dilated. Fruit a fleshy or pulpy berry, ovoid to ellipsoid, from ca. 12 to 20 mm long, reddish; seeds obovoid, flattened, apex pointed, 6 to 8 mm long, 2 mm thick, the margin with 2 low lateral lobes. Along streams and in bottomlands. E. Cen. TX; SC and GA to TX. June-Aug. [C. boykinii (T. & G.) Cogn.].


Climbing herbs from perennial napiform rootstocks; stems branched. Herbage glabrous, tendrils simple. Leaves reniform to ovate in outline, pedately 3- to 5-parted, lobes usually lobed or toothed. Plants dioecious, flowers greenish yellow, calyx tube cylindrical to nearly campanulate, with 5 short lobes. Petals 5, linear or oblong; nectary disk reduced or absent. Staminate flowers racemose or fascicled, sometimes solitary, stamens 3, inserted on the corolla tube. Pistillate flowers solitary, stigma 3-lobed, ovary with 2 or 3 placentae. Fruit globose; seeds swollen.

A small genus of about 3 or 4 species of SW. N. Amer.; 3 in TX; 1 here.

1. I. lindheimeri (A. Gray) Greene Globeberry. Stems slender, branched. Petioles to 35(40) mm long; blades broadly ovate in outline, most deeply 3- to 5-lobed but some shallowly lobed or essentially only angled, lobes broadly cuneate to rhombic-ovate or flabellate, 10 mm or more broad, toothed to lobed, upper surface glabrous, undersurface and sometimes margins with scattered pale callosities or very short scabrous hairs. Staminate flowers 5 to 8 per raceme. Flowers salverform to tubular, glandular puberulent, calyx tube cylindrical, ca. 6 to 8 mm long and 2 mm broad in staminate flowers. Fruit 2.5 to 3.5 cm in diameter, bright red to orange when ripe; seeds ca. 6 mm long. Dry woods or thickets, brushland, fencerows, occasionally in open, rocky soil. Definitely present in our area. In TX, primarily in the S. Cen. area; N. to S. OK. Apr.-July. [Sicydium lindheimeri A. Gray; Maximowiczia lindheimeri (A. Gray) Cogn.].

The bright red fruits make this a conspicuous plant, even when glimpsed on a fenceline from a moving vehicle.

CUCURBITACEAE MELOTHRIA4. MELOTHRIA L. Melonette, Creeping Cucumber, Meloncito

About 10 species in the warmer parts of the New World; we have the 1 species found in North America.

1. M. pendula L. Meloncito, Creeping Cucumber. Climbing vine from a perennial root; stems slender, tendrils mostly simple. Petioles slightly shorter than the blades; blades orbicular to ovate in outline, base deeply cordate (1)3 to 7 cm long, shallowly to deeply 3- to 5-lobed or sometimes only angled to subentire, lobes pointed but the ultimate apices commonly rounded, more or less minutely scabrous on both surfaces. Plants monoecious; flowers yellow to greenish, very small, to ca. 6 (10) mm long at anthesis; staminate flowers in racemes or corymbs; pistillate flowers solitary or in clusters. Calyx campanulate, 5-toothed; corolla rotate to campanulate, deeply 5-lobed; filaments free or nearly so, straight, anthers oblong, free or barely connivent; nectary disk well-developed; hypanthium strongly contracted above ovary, ovary 3-celled, ovules many on 3 placentae, horizontal; style short, stigmas 3. Fruit ovoid to oblong, 1 to 2 cm long, maturing through greenish or yellowish to black, with a distinct cucumber or watermelon odor when crushed, pulp pale; seeds white, flat, obovate, smooth, 5 to 7 mm long. Sandy or moist rich soil, usually climbing on shrubs or small trees; in our area usually in woods. Primarily near the coast and in S. TX, throughout much of the state except the Trans Pecos and Plains; FL W. to TX and Mex.; N. to VA, S. IN, S. MO, and OK. Mar.-Oct. [Includes var. chlorocarpa (Engelm.) Cogn.; M. chlorocarpa Engelm.].

The seeds are reported to be purgative (Correll & Johnston 1970) and the fruit poisonous (Tull 1987), but the fruit is usually not eaten.


Annual or perennial vines. Stems prostrate or climbing, tendrils branched. Leaves entire to lobed. Herbage often coarse and hairy, commonly at least somewhat scabrous. Plants usually monoecious, flowers solitary in the axils, the staminate ones on long peduncles. Corolla lobed to about the middle or a little above, generally rather large, yellow. Anthers united, twisted or bent. Stigmas 3 to 5; ovary 1-celled with 3 to 5 placentae. Fruit usually a pepo with a hard, smooth rind, indehiscent. Seeds usually many, ovate to oblong, flat, white to tan or black.

About 27 species of the tropical and warm Americas; 3 species in TX; 2 here.

The genus is important for many food crops, including those which were staples of the Native Americans. C. argyrosperma (C. mixta) includes winter squash, pumpkins, and cushaw melons; C. maxima, fall and winter squash and pumpkins; C. moschata, winter squash and pumpkins; C. pepo, summer squash and non-keeping pumpkins. C. ficifolia, the Malabar gourd, can be made into a sort of marmalade. C. foetidissima has edible seeds. The fruit or roots of several species have anthelmintic or laxative properties. Some are grown for ornamental fruit (Mabberley 1987).

1. Leaves usually triangular, longer than broad, entire to angled, grayish; plants perennial from large roots ...1.C.foetidissima

1. Leaves usually ovate to subreniform, about as wide as long, at least some strongly lobed, green; plants annual ...2.C.pepo

var. texana

NOTE: Occasional escapes of cultivated squash and gourds may be found, but these usually do not persist in our area.

1.C. foetidissimaCUCURBITACEAE CUCURBITA foetidissima Kunth in H.B.K. Buffalo Gourd, Calabacilla Loca, Missouri Gourd, Coyote Gourd, Fetid Gourd, Fetid Wild Pumpkin, Chili Coyote, Chilicote, Calabezella. Plant coarse and rampant from a large fusiform perennial root up to a meter or more in circumference and tens of kilos in weight; stems numerous (to 100 or more per plant), some perennial and the rest annual, trailing to 6 m or more, rough; herbage rank or foul-smelling, especially when bruised. Leaves 1 to 2(3) dm long, thick, coarse, triangular to triangular-ovate, entire to shallowly angled or very slightly lobed, basally cordate, apically acute to acuminate, margin irregularly and finely toothed, scabrous above and below; petioles with scattered blunt prickles or scabrosities. Plants monoecious. Calyx rough-hairy; corolla to 10 cm long, funnelform, lobed to about or above the middle; stigmas 3 to 5, bilobed. Fruit usually globose, 5 to 10 cm in diameter, striped light and dark green when young, ripening to yellow, with a hard rind; seeds many, ovate, cream, 6 to 9 mm long, pulp bitter. Gravelly or sandy soils of roadsides, edges of cultivated fields, and other waste places. In the W. 1/2 of TX; NE and MO to TX, W. to AZ and CA; also Mex. Apr.-July. [C. perennis (James) Gray; C. perennis Gray; Pepo foetidissima (H.B.K.) Britt.].

Only the seeds are edible without some sort of processing; all the other parts are very bitter. Native Americans ate the seeds (Kindscher 1987). Plains tribes considered the plant to have mystic properties and believed only specially authorized persons might dig the root without harm. The root was used in medicines to ease childbirth, act as a tonic, induce vomiting, reduce swelling, or act as a laxative (Kindscher 1992; Mabberley 1987). This is a drought-tolerant species and is now receiving attention as a possible commercial source of starch from the roots and as an oilseed crop. The seeds are also high in protein (Kindscher 1992; Mabberley 1987). Ruminants can make some use of the foliage as forage and can eat the seed meal after oil extraction (Tull 1987).

2.C. pepoCUCURBITACEAE CUCURBITA pepo L. var. texana (Scheele) D. Decker Texas Gourd. Plant annual; stems numerous, prostrate to climbing, tendrils many; herbage rough-hairy to somewhat scabrous. Leaves long-petioled, blades widely ovate to subreniform, to ca. 15(20) cm broad and about as broad or somewhat broader, angled or at least some distinctly 3- to 5- lobed, base widely cordate, apices acute, margin serrate except in the sinuses. Plants monoecious. Calyx lobes linear; corolla yellow, commonly with prominent greenish veins, to ca. 9 cm long, lobed about halfway to the middle, lobes acute, cuspidate. Fruit obovoid, green with light green to creamy stripes when mature, hard-shelled, to ca. 9 cm long and 6 cm broad; seeds many, ovoid, flattened, whitish, the pulp bitter. Usually on sandbars or piles of drift along rivers and streams, often climbing into trees, also along roadsides. Primarily on the Edwards Plateau, but known from our area. Considered endemic, but populations from Arkansas apparently the same. July-Oct. [C. texana (Scheele) Gray; C. pepo L. ssp. ovifera var. texana (Scheele) Decker may be a more correct designation. Whether this plant is specifically distinct from the cultivated C. pepo is still under debate. Data seem to indicate the two are the same (Decker 1988; Kirkpatrick and Wilson 1988).]


Annual or perennial vines, trailing or climbing by simple tendrils. Herbage usually pubescent. Leaves entire to somewhat dissected. Plants usually monoecious, flowers solitary or the staminate sometimes 2 or more per axil, usually short-pedicellate. Corolla yellow, campanulate-rotate, 5-lobed to near the base (or sometimes more shallowly lobed). Anthers free, the cells bent or twisted, connective extending beyond the cells. Ovary 1-celled, with 3 to 5 placentae; styles short, stigmas 3 to 5. Fruit usually indehiscent, globose to elongate, glabrous to pubescent or prickly-tubercled.

About 25 to 30 species of warm temperate and tropical regions, primarily in the Old World, mostly in Africa; 3 in TX; 2 possible here.

The genus includes C. sativus, cucumbers which are eaten raw or pickled. Cultivated forms of C. melo include true cantaloupes with rough or warty but not netted skin (not commonly grown in the U.S.), reticulate or net-skinned muskmelons (commonly and inaccurately called "cantaloupe" in the U.S.), smooth-skinned honeydews, and wrinkled casaba melons. C. anguria also has edible fruit (Mabberley 1987).

1. Ovary and fruit smooth to reticulate or ribbed, not bristly or spiny ...1.C.melo

1. Ovary and fruit prickly ...2.C.anguria

1.C. meloCUCURBITACEAE CUCUMIS melo L. Most of our plants are the Dudaim Melon, formerly separated as var. dudaim Naud. Trailing or climbing annual vines; stems rampant, angled; herbage bristly-hairy to scabrous. Leaves ovate to oblong or cordate, unlobed, to 15 cm long but usually much smaller, apices rounded, margins sinuate-dentate. Corolla 1 to 3 cm long, lobed about 1/2 to 2/3 its length, the lobes obtuse. Fruit to ca. 8 cm long and 6 cm broad, ellipsoid, yellow mottled or marbled with brown, odiferous; seeds many, ovoid, flattened, white. Cultivated fields, roadsides, fencerows, etc., sometimes weedy. E. 1/2 to 1/3 of TX; native to Asia, introduced. May-Oct.(Nov.)

We may also find occasional volunteers of the cultivated muskmelon. Herbage softly pubescent. Leaves orbicular-ovate to subreniform, shallowly 3- to 5-lobed or merely angled, base broadly cordate, margin sinuate-dentate, pubescent, somewhat scabrous. Flowers as described above. Fruit globose to ellipsoid, 10 to 20 cm long, green-gray to yellowish, at first pubescent but becoming smooth or with slight ribs or reticulations, the flesh musky-scented, yellow or orange to greenish; seeds many, white, slenderly oval, ca. 12 mm long. Native to Asia, cultivated and sometimes escaping or volunteering (but not persisting) around trash heaps, picnic sites, etc. May-Oct. or until frost.

2.C. anguriaCUCURBITACEAE CUCUMIS anguria L. Bur Gherkin, West Indian Gherkin. Trailing annual vine; stems slender, angled, herbage rough-hairy, tendrils small. Leaves to ca. 9 cm long, with 3 deep lobes, the lateral lobes usually with smaller lobes, sinuses rounded, margin sinuate-serrate, scabrous above and below. Peduncles slender. Flowers ca. 13 mm broad or the staminate sometimes larger. Fruit oblong or oval, peduncles crooked, elongate, ca. 5 cm long, furrowed, with scattered short prickles; seeds many, smooth, white, to ca. 5 mm long. Rare in N. Cen. and S. TX; possible here; also FL to S.A. Introduced. Aug.-Sept.

This plant is a cultigen, possibly derived from the African C. longipes Hook. f. The young fruit is edible boiled or pickled (Mabberley 1987).


Three species of annual or perennial vines. Native to tropical Africa; 2 species present in TX; 1 to be expected here.

1. Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai Watermelon, Sandía. Annual vine; stems prostrate, long-running, pubescent, tendrils 2- or 3-forked; herbage rough- or soft-pubescent. Leaves petiolate; blades to 20 cm long, ovate to ovate-oblong, basally cordate, deeply pinnately divided with 3 to 4 lobes, these again lobed or toothed, the ultimate segments broader at the apex than the base, margin slightly serrate, especially at the ends of the lobes and segments. Plants monoecious. Pedicels shorter than the leaves, flowers solitary in the axils. Corolla yellow, to ca. 4 cm broad, rotate, with 5 obovate, obtuse lobes. Fruit globose to oblong, to as much as 60 cm or more long (often much smaller), glabrous, the rind green or variously striped, hard but not durable (as in winter squash), flesh juicy, red to yellow or greenish; seeds many, oval, flattened, smooth, black to white or tan, to 15 mm long. Native to Africa, cultivated for fruit; sometimes volunteering from discarded seeds. May.-Oct. [C. vulgaris Schrad.].

The Citron or Preserving Melon, C. colocynthis (L.) Schrad. (C. vulgaris Schrad. var. citroides Bailey) has fruits with a mottled rind, white, hard flesh, and tan or green seeds. Its flesh is inedible unless cooked. It has been cultivated since the time of the Assyrians, the dried flesh used as a purgative (Mabberley 1987). It is introduced and locally abundant in sandy soil in several places in TX, especially the S. and E. It might possibly be found here someday.


Stick-leaf Family

Ours herbs, others also shrubs or even small trees. Herbage usually with silicified, rough, barbed, glandular, or stinging hairs. Leaves usually alternate, estipulate, entire to lobed or pinnatifid. Flowers perfect, regular, epigynous, solitary or in cymes. Calyx in ours of 5 persistent sepals. Petals (4)5(7) or apparently 10 to many in species with petaloid staminodia, free (as in ours) or united, inserted with the sepals on the hypanthium, commonly white to orange. Stamens 5 to many, free or fascicled, filaments filiform to petaloid, sometimes with appendages. Carpels 3 to 5(7), united, ovary usually unilocular; placentae 1 to 5, parietal, ovules 1 to many. Fruit a capsule dehiscing by apical valves, or in some genera indehiscent. Seeds variously shaped, in some species winged.

Fifteen genera and 260 species of the Americas, Africa, and Arabia; 3 genera and 18 species in TX; 2 species in a single genus here.

Some herbaceous species are cultivated for ornament.

LOASACEAE MENTZELIA1. MENTZELIA L. Stick-leaf, Mentzelia, Sand Lily

Annual, perennial, or suffrutescent herbs. Hairs barbed but not stinging. Leaves sessile to petiolate, entire to pinnatifid, usually variable on the plant. Flowers axillary and solitary or in terminal, bracteate, cymose inflo-rescences. Sepals 5. Petals 5 or apparently more in species with petaloid staminodia. Stamens 10 to many, free, inserted on the hypanthium. Style filiform, elongate; placentae 1 to 5, ovules few to many, in 1 or 2 rows on each placenta. Capsule sessile to short pedicellate, dehiscent by apical valves, cylindrical to clavate. Seeds pendulous and angled to oblong, wingless OR seeds horizontal, flattened, winged, surface various.

About 60 species of warm and tropical America; 16 in TX; 1 present and 1 to be expected here.

Some, especially M. lindleyi T. & G. and M. laevicaulis (Doug.) Torr., are cultivated for their flowers. Some are fragrant and/or night-blooming (Mabberley 1987).

1. Petals 5, salmon to orange, staminodia none; seeds wingless ...1.M.oligosperma

1. Petals 8 or more, inclusive of staminodia; seeds winged ...2.M.reverchonii

NOTE: M. nuda (Pursh) T. & G. is widespread in TX, primarily W. of the 98o line. Though its range is essentially out of our area, it may someday be found here. It has creamy white flowers, narrow staminodia, and linear-lanceolate leaves.

1.M. oligospermaLOASACEAE MENTZELIA oligosperma Nutt. ex Sims Chicken-thief, Stick-leaf, Pegajosa. Perennial from a woody, enlarged rootstock; stems 2 to 6(10) dm tall, often well-branched and rounded or matted, surface whitish, scabrous, often exfoliating below. Leaves sessile to short petiolate, lance-ovate to rhombic or trilobed, 1 to 6 cm long, 0.5 to 3 cm broad, dentate to serrate or lobed, very scabrous, but without stinging hairs. Flowers in terminal bracted cymes, opening in early morning. Sepals lanceolate, attenuate, 6 to 8 mm long, persistent; petals salmon to orange, ovate, pointed to mucronate, (4)7 to 10 mm long, little if at all overlapping at anthesis; stamens (15)25 to 35(40), subequal and about as long as the petals, filaments filiform, all fertile; style 7 to 10 mm long. Capsule sessile, cylindrical to clavate, often curved, 7 to 13 mm long, rather woody-textured; seeds (1)2 to 3(4) per capsule, pendulous, oblong, bluntly 3-sided, wingless. Limestone bluffs of wooded areas, also on various sand and clay soils, sometimes ruderal or on shell debris (near the coast); known from sandstone outcrops in Grimes Co.; throughout much of TX except the Pineywoods and Post Oak Savannah; WY and ND S. to CO, NM, TX, AR, and MO. May-Sept.

2.M. reverchoniiLOASACEAE MENTZELIA reverchonii (Urban & Gilg) Thomps. & Zavortink Herbaceous perennial to 1 m tall; stems branched above, strict, whitish, scabrid-pubescent. Basal rosette leaves linear-lanceolate, the rachis broad and lobes short, cauline leaves lanceolate to lance-ovate, the largest 3 to 8 cm long, shallowly lobed to finely or coarsely toothed, base broad and more or less clasping, leaves gradually reduced above. Flowers terminal, more or less showy, bracts linear-lanceolate, entire to toothed or laciniate. Sepals 10 to 20 mm long; petals appearing to be more than 10, spatulate, 10 to 30 mm long, yellow; stamens many, from 4 mm long (inner) to 20 mm long (outer), fertile stamens with slender filaments, some narrow staminodia present; style 11 to 17 mm long. Capsule cylindrical, 1.5 to 3 cm long; seeds borne horizontally, flattened, oval, 2 to 3 mm long, with a wing 0.5 to 1 mm broad. Gravelly or limestone soils through much of TX except the extreme E., quite possibly present in our area; SE. CO and E. NM to SW OK, TX, and N. Mex. May-Sept. [M. nuda of some authors, not M. nuda (Pursh) T. & G., which is a separate species; M. wrightii of some authors].


Willow Family

Deciduous trees or shrubs. Leaves simple, usually alternate, stipulate, the stipules often deciduous. Plants dioecious, flowers in erect or pendulous catkins (aments), wind- or insect-pollinated, each ament deciduous as a unit. Each flower subtended by a small, scale-like bract and 1 or 2(5) basal nectar glands, these often unequal or united, in Populus a non-nectariferous cuplike disk present. Perianth absent. Stamens (1)2 to many, sometimes partially united. Gynoecium superior, of 2 (to 4) united carpels, stigmas as many as the carpels, sometimes divided, with a common style or sessile; ovary unilocular, ovules (2-) many, placentation parietal. Fruit a capsule, dehiscent by 2 to 4 valves. Seeds small, with little or no endosperm, each with a basal coma (tuft) of long, silky, white or tawny hairs, wind-dispersed.

Two genera and ca. 435 species nearly worldwide, especially in the N. Hemis., excluding Australia; 2 genera and 17 species in TX; both genera, each with 1 species in our area.

The trees in this family are important for timber, paper pulp, ornament, etc. Some have medicinal value (Mabberley 1987).

1. Leaves lanceolate to linear; stamens 3 to 7(8); buds with 1 scale; capsule 2-valved ............

.......................................................................................................................................1. Salix

1. Leaves deltoid to ovate; stamens 6 to 60; buds with several imbricate scales; capsule 4- valved ......................................................................................................................2. Populus


Trees (as ours) to low prostrate or creeping shrublets, often of moist habitats, some spreading by root shoots. Bud scale 1. Leaves varying in shape from ovate to linear, obovate, or oblanceolate, petiolate, the petiole sometimes glandular, margin serrate or crenate to undulate or entire; stipules persistent or caducous, sometimes absent. Catkins precocious, sessile or on leafy branchlets, ascending to recurved or pendulous, slender to stout. Floral bracts entire to erose, usually pubescent, tardily deciduous or persistent. Each flower subtended by 1 ventral and sometimes 1 (or more) dorsal glands. Stamens 2 or 3 to 8(12), filaments occasionally connate. Gynoecium bicarpellate, stigmas 2, entire or 2- or 4-lobed, style absent to well-developed. Capsule sessile or stipitate, dehiscent by 2 valves. Seeds numerous, comose.

About 400 species of cold and temperate regions, mostly in the N. Hemis.; 9 in TX; 1 here. This treatment is based on that of Argus (1986).

Several species are important for timber or small objects, including S. alba and S. nigra. The pliable branches (withies or osiers) of some species provide basket-making materials. Other species are used in making charcoal or yield dyes. Many are grown as ornamentals. Pussy willows are the catkins of S. caprea; the cultivated weeping willow is S. babylonica (=S. x sepulcralis). Aspirin is a synthetic form of salicin, originally derived from willow bark (Mabberley 1987). Some species have medicinal uses. The Plains Indians used willows in painkilling, emetic, and anti-diarrheal preparations, among others. They also used the twigs as toothbrushes (Kindscher 1992).

1. S. nigra Marsh. Black Willow. Tree to as much as 40 m, fast-growing but relatively short-lived, wood soft and rather brittle, trunks 1 to several, crown broadly irregular; bark dark brown to black, with deep, narrow cracks; twigs light red-brown to gray-brown, pubescent when young, becoming glabrescent, breaking easily from the branch at the base. Leaf blade linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, 4 to 15 (19) cm long, 7 to 20(23) mm broad (to 10 to 13 times longer than wide), base cuneate to slightly attenuate or rounded, apex acuminate, margin glandular-serrate, upper surface glabrous to sparsely pilose, especially along the midrib, lower surface concolorous or slightly paler, not glaucous or only very lightly so, glabrous to sparsely pilose, especially on the midrib, often amphistomatous; petioles (2)3 to 10(15) mm long, yellow-brown, glandless or with vestigial glands; stipules 1 to 4(12) mm long, ovate-lanceolate, wing-like at the base of the leaf, glandular-serrate, caducous or sometimes persisting on vigorous shoots. Aments appearing at the same time as the leaves, on leafy branchlets; floral bracts yellowish, obovate to oblong, pubescent on both sides or on the inner surface only, slowly deciduous. Staminate aments on branches 0.4 to 1.5 cm long, slender, 1.7 to 7.5 cm long, stamens 3 to 7, nectary glands 2 (or more). Pistillate aments 2.3 to 7(10) cm long, usually dense, on branchlets 1 to 4 cm long, the branchlet sometimes branching from the uppermost axil and surpassing the catkin, the catkin thus appearing lateral rather than terminal; style and stigmas together 0.2 to 0.4 mm long; ovary greenish-brown, short-beaked, glabrous, usually with one ventral nectary gland. Capsule 3 to 5 mm long, on a stipe 0.5 to 1.5(2) mm long, ovoid-conic, brownish; ovules 6 to 9 per carpel. River bottoms, floodplains, streambeds, etc.; usually in moist habitats but growing in various sites where fine-textured (usually alluvial) soil and moisture are available, e.g. bogs, upland woods, along railroads or ditches, etc. Often a pioneer species. Spring, primarily Mar.-Apr. About the E. 2/3 TX; S. Ont., Que. and N. B., W. to MN, S. to FL and TX, but rare on the outer Atlantic Plain. As treated in Hatch, et al. (1990), including S. gooddingii extends the range through W. TX to CA and S. to Mex. [Includes var. lindheimeri Schneid.; S. gooddingii Ball and var. variabilis Ball].

The wood of Black Willow is suitable for furniture and the twigs for basketry. Because the roots form dense networks the trees are sometimes planted for erosion control. Deer and rabbits browse the shoots (Elias 1980). Tull (1987) reports that gold to rosy tan dyes can be obtained from the plant.

NOTE: Coyote or Narrow-leaf Willow, S. exigua Nutt., occurs in TX just outside our area. It may someday be found here. It is a colonial shrub, spreading by root shoots. Leaves linear, 6 to 16 cm long, 0.4 to 1.1 cm broad, stamens only 2, pistils pubescent. Common in much of the U.S. and Can., in TX usually along streams, often on sand or gravel bars. [Includes var. nevadensis (Wats.) Schneid. and var. stenophylla (Rydb.) Schneid.; S. interior Rowlee and vars. angustissima (Anderss.) Dayton and pedicellata (Anderss.) Ball; S. linearifolia Rydb. in Britt.; S. longifolia Muhl. and vars., etc.].

SALICACEAE POPULUS2. POPULUS L. Cottonwood, Alamo, Poplar

Trees, some spreading by root shoots or suckers; wood soft, bark smooth when young, becoming fissured with age. Buds with several scales, often resinous. Leaf blades 3-nerved from the base, lanceolate to ovate, orbicular, deltoid, or 5-lobed, entire to crenate or serrate, often with glandular teeth, with 0 to 5 glands on the upper surface at the junction of the blade and petiole (basilaminar), late season leaves more widely spaced and more prominently toothed than early spring leaves; leaf scars deltoid to elliptic, with 3 bundle scars. Stipules caducous. Catkins appearing before the leaves, wind-pollinated, pendulous, stalked; floral bracts stipitate, membranaceous, entire to lacerate, fimbriate, or divided, glabrous to villous, caducous. Perianth absent. Disk cup-shaped, non-nectariferous. Stamens (4)6 to 80, free. Ovary sessile, styles short, stigmas 2 to 4, filiform or dilated; placentae 2 to 4. Pistillate catkins often elongating in fruit; fruits globose to ellipsoid or ovoid, thin-walled, dehiscing by 2 to 4 valves. Seeds many, comose from the base.

About 35 species of the N. Hemis.; 8 in TX; 1 here.

Populus wood is used for plywood, boxes, excelsior, matches, etc. Most species are fast-growing and many have been planted for shade, ornament, and windbreaks. P. nigra 'Italica' is the Lombardy Poplar planted for its distinctive columnar form. Some species have medicinal uses. P. tremuloides is the quaking aspen of N. Am. (Mabberley 1987). Thinner branches of some species can be used in basketry; larger branches can be split into slats for the same purpose. Some species yield dyes. The wind-borne pollen can be allergenic (Tull 1987). The buds, twigs, and foliage provide food for different types of wildlife (Elias 1980).

NOTE: White Poplar (P. alba L.) and Black Poplar (P. nigra L.) are planted in our area and may persist in some places but are not considered naturalized. White Poplar is recognized by its persistently white-pubescent leaf under-surfaces. Cultivated Black Poplars are usually the Lombardy Poplar type, recognized by the columnar form.

1. P. deltoides Marsh. Eastern Cottonwood, Alamo. Singe-trunked tree 20 to 30(40) m tall, commonly branched near the base; crown broad, open, rounded; bark tan, relatively deeply furrowed; first year twigs greenish brown to orange-tan, becoming gray-tan, glabrous. Winter buds ovoid, tan, resinous, glabrous; terminal buds (6)8 to 14(21) mm long, emerging leaves pilose; inflorescence buds (8)10 to 18(28) mm long. Leaves thick, somewhat coriaceous, blades deltoid-ovate, late leaves usually distinctly longer than wide, (1)4 to 9(14) cm long, (1.5)4 to 10(15) cm broad, basally broadly cuneate to cordate or nearly truncate, apically short-acuminate, margin crenate-serrate in the middle portion; petioles 2.5 to 9 cm long, laterally compressed at the junction with the blade, basilaminar glands usually 3 to 5. Catkins loose, (0.7)5 to 13 cm long, elongating in fruit, pedicels relatively long at base catkin and progressively shorter distally. Floral disk 1 to 4 mm broad. Stamens (30)40 to 80. Stigmas spreading, disk-like. Capsule globose to globose-ovoid, 3- or 4-valved, (4)8 to 10(16) mm long, deeply pitted; seeds (3)7 to 10(18) per placenta. Along watercourses of all sizes, near ponds and tanks, or near where planted for windbreak or shade. Flowering in spring, with fruit through June or July.

Our plants are probably all subsp. deltoides as described above [P. virginiana Foug.; P. angulata W. Ait. and var. missouriensis Henry]. It occurs from the Gulf Coast states N. to MA and sporadically in N. Eng., up the Mississippi drainage to IL, and OH, W. to OK and E. TX. Other subspecies are separated on the basis of pedicel length, leaf shape, presence and number of basilaminar glands, and pubescence of winter buds and emerging leaves. Subsp. monilifera (Ait.) Eckenw. extends through the Great Plains and Prairie regions into Can. and S. to the TX panhandle. Ssp. wislizenii (S. Wats.) Eckenw. occurs in the upper Rio Grande drainage near El Paso and extends to the Colorado River in N. AZ, E. UT, and W. CO. Eckenwalder (1977) provides a treatment of these subspecies and their relationships with one another and with other species. In our area, with only one subspecies present, hybridization is apparently not involved.

Eastern Cottonwood has been planted for windbreaks, but is unsuited to suburban or city landscapes because its invasive roots ruin plumbing and can buckle sidewalks. The wood is used for crates and excelsior. Porcupine, squirrels, and beaver eat the buds, leaves and bark; deer and moose browse the foliage and twigs; grouse and songbirds eat the buds (Elias 1980). Tull (1987) says that khaki green and yellow dyes can be made from the leaves and buds. Cottonwood bark contains small amounts of salicin (an aspirin precursor) and has been used in various folk remedies. Plains Indians used the bark in various medicines, used the inner bark as a food for themselves and their horses (Kindscher 1992).


Mustard Family

Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs, some (but not ours) suffrutescent. Herbage with watery, often pungent sap. Leaves estipulate, alternate and/or basal (rarely opposite, never so in ours), simple, entire to pinnately lobed or dissected, but seldom truly compound. Inflorescences usually ebractate (bracts present in Erucastrum), usually terminal racemes, but occasionally flowers solitary or in panicles or corymb-like arrangements. Flowers perfect, almost always regular, hypogynous. Calyx of 4 distinct sepals in 2 opposite pairs, spreading or erect and appressed to the corolla, deciduous. Corolla yellow, white, or lavender, rarely orange, in some species reduced or absent, petals 4, alternate with the sepals, usually forming a cross as viewed from above, entire to emarginate, often with a narrow claw and expanded blade. Stamens 6 (rarely 2, 4, or none) in 2 whorls: the 2 outer stamens single and usually shorter than the 4 paired inner ones (tetradynamous), filaments often subtended by tiny glands. Ovary bilocular with the locules separated by a thin septum (replum), ovules parietal, 1 to many per locule, rarely ovary 1-celled and uniovulate. Fruit dry, usually dehiscent, ranging in shape from a silique (3 or more times longer than wide) to a silicle (less than 3 times longer than wide), at maturity, the valves of the fruit falling away from the replum, which persists on the pedicel; in some species the fruit has transverse septa. Seeds with little or no endosperm and a large, curved embryo, cotyledons lying against the radicle edgewise (accumbent), flatwise (incumbent), or in an intermediate position (oblique), or else sometimes embryo straight.

This family is found primarily in temperate and cooler parts of the world and at higher elevations elsewhere. About 375 genera and 3,000+ species, many of which are widespread weeds. Texas has 46 genera and about 120 species; 22 genera and 36 species are found in our area. Although no sweeping classification changes are ongoing in this family, new species are always being introduced into any given area, so keeping up with the exact extent of a local flora can be challenging. It is not wise to state that something "does not grow here." On the other hand, it is likely that some species collected once in an area may not persist. The following treatment includes plants known to have been collected in our area as well as a few plants that may someday be found.

Rollins' impressive work on the N. American members of the family (1993) can be considered definitive. The work of Robbins, et al. (1951) is also useful, mostly for illustrations.

Many important food crops belong to this family--cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, turnips, rutabagas, and mustard (all Brassica), radish (Raphanus), and horseradish (Armoracia). There are many ornamentals as well, such as stock (Matthiola), candytuft (Iberis), and sweet alyssum (Lobularia). Any of these food crops or ornamentals may occasionally be found as an escape from cultivation, but except for Lobularia and a few species of Brassica, they usually do not persist and so are not included in this key. The family is also important for several oilseed plants (Brassica and Crambe) (Mabberley 1987).

1. Fruits divided by a transverse septum, lower segment sterile and cylindrical, upper segment globose and beaked (Fig. A above) ....................................................1. Rapistrum

1. Fruits without a transverse septum, shape various .................................................................2

2(1) Fruits silicles, less than 3 times longer than broad--globose, ellipsoid, triangular, etc. (Figs. B-F above) ................................................................................................................................3

2. Fruits siliques, 3 or more times longer than broad, often linear (Fig. G to L above) ...........10

3(2) Fruits constricted above and below to produce 2 subglobose halves side by side and separated by the replum (Fig. B above) ...........................................................2. Coronopus

3. Fruits variously shaped but not constricted into globose halves ............................................4

4(3) Silicles inflated or compressed parallel to the septum so that the replum is as wide as the silicle ..........................................................................................................................................5

4. Silicles flattened at right angles to the septum so that the replum is much narrower than the silicle ....................................................................................................................................8

5(4) Plants aquatic; submersed leaves finely divided......................... ......................3. Neobeckia

5. Plants terrestrial;submersed leaves not present........................................ .............................6

6(5) Fruits globose to pear-shape, not compressed ...............................................4. Lesquerella

6. Fruits strongly flattened parallel to the septum .......................................................................7

7(6) Silicles obovate to orbicular; plant with appressed, forked hairs ........................5. Lobularia

7. Silicles ovate-elliptic; plant with simple to highly branched, spreading hairs (Fruit: Fig. C at family description) .......................................................................................................6. Draba

8(4) Silicles triangular to obcordate, margins straight below the middle of the fruit; seeds several per cell (Fruit: Fig. D at family description) ..............................................7. Capsella

8. Silicles orbicular to broadly oblong, margins curved below the middle of the fruit; seeds 1 to several per cell .....................................................................................................................9

9(8) Seeds 1 per locule; silicles usually less than 5 mm wide, narrowly winged if at all; mature pedicels less than 1 cm long ................................................................................8. Lepidium

9. Seeds 2 or more per locule; silicles usually more than 5 mm wide, broadly winged; mature pedicels mostly more than 1 cm long (Fruit: Fig. E at family description) ..............9. Thlaspi

10(2) Calyx usually urceolate; flowers slightly irregular ..........................................10. Streptanthus

10. Calyx with flat sepals; flowers regular ....................................................................................11

11(10) Fruits flattened parallel to septum so that the outline of the septum equals the outline of the fruit ....................................................................................................................................12

11. Fruits terete, sometimes constricted between the seeds ......................................................17

12(11) Siliques linear-elliptic to clavate, generally less than 1.5 cm long; seeds in two rows in each locule ..............................................................................................................................13

12. Siliques narrowly linear, generally more than 1.5 cm long; seeds in one row in each locule .......................................................................................................................................14

13(12) Leaves simple ..............................................................................................................6. Draba

13. Leaves (at least the lower) pinnatifid to bipinnatifid ......................................11. Descurainia

14(12) Plants fibrous-rooted; mature siliques ca. 1 mm broad; seeds or ovules without winged margins .............................................................................................................12. Cardamine

14. Plants usually from taproots; mature siliques usually more than 1 mm broad; seeds or ovules with or without narrow wings on the margins .............................................................15

15(14) Upper leaves entire to toothed, not divided .............................................................13. Arabis

15. Upper leaves pinnately divided ..............................................................................................16

16(15) Corolla yellow; seeds unwinged ...........................................................................22. Rorippa

16. Corolla white; seeds winged ....................................................................................14. Sibara

17(11) Leaves (at least some) lobed to pinnate or bipinnatifid, divided to the midrib ......................18

17. Leaves entire or lobed, never divided to the midrib, though sometimes with small auricles at the base of the petiole ........................................................................................................21

18(17) Trichomes mostly much-branched; pubescence usually dense so herbage grayish; leaves often bi- or tripinnatifid ....................................................................................11. Descurainia

18. Trichomes mostly simple or absent; herbage green; leaves at most once pinnate with the divisions sometimes lobed .....................................................................................................19

19(18) Silique blunt or with a style, but not beaked; seeds ovoid to elongate or compressed, not globose ...........................................................................................................15. Sisymbrium

19. Silique with a distinct beak in addition to the style; seeds globose (Fruit: Fig. G at family description) .............................................................................................................................20

20(19) Valves of fruit essentially 1-nerved; inner sepals slightly saccate; lower leaves usually in a rosette ...................................................................................................................16. Brassica

20. Valves of fruit with 3 to 7 nerves; inner sepals not saccate; lower leaves usually not in a rosette .....................................................................................................................17. Sinapis

21(17) Flowers white to lavender or yellow; lower or cauline leaves cordate-clasping or with auricles at point of attachment to stem .................................................................................22

21. Flowers yellow or yellowish, never white to lavender; lower or cauline leaves not auriculate at base .....................................................................................................................................23

22(21) Lowest cauline leaves with a small auricle on each side of the narrow, petiole-like base; upper leaves serrate to lobed; flowers lavender to white .................................18. Iodanthus

22. Lower and upper cauline leaves definitely auricled, without a petiole-like base; upper leaves entire; flowers yellowish .........................................................................19. Conringia

23(21) Trichomes appressed, forked or branched (use strong lens) .........................20. Erysimum

23. Trichomes spreading, usually simple, or plants glabrous ....................................................24

24(23) Fruit with a distinct beak in addition to style (Fig. G at family) ..............................................25

24. Fruit blunt or with style, but without beak. ..............................................................................26

25(24) Valves of fruit essentially 1-nerved; inner sepals slightly saccate; lower leaves usually in a rosette ...................................................................................................................16. Brassica

25. Valves of fruit with 3 to 7 nerves; inner sepals not saccate; lower leaves usually not in a rosette .....................................................................................................................17. Sinapis

26(24) Pedicels of mature fruit slender, ca. 10 to 15 mm long ...................................21. Diplotaxis

26. Pedicels of mature fruit stout, mostly less than 5 mm long ................................22. Rorippa


Three species of Cen. Europe, the Mediterranean region, and W. Asia. One of these is adventive sporadically in N. America, including our area of TX.

1. R. rugosum (L.) All. Annual from a fairly stout taproot; stems 1 to several from the base, branched above, 3 to 8 dm tall, glabrous to glabrate or lightly pubescent above, hispid below. Lower leaves to 3 dm long, petiolate, lyrate-pinnatifid (sometimes obscurely so), the terminal lobe rounded, upper leaves elliptic to oblanceolate or lanceolate, to ca. 6 cm long, irregularly bluntly dentate or crenate, often with small auricles on the slender petioles, rarely entire, rough-hispid at least below. Sepals lanceolate, acute, to ca. 3 mm long, more or less erect; petals bright sulfur-yellow with darker veins, short-clawed and the blade entire, 6 to 10 mm long. Pedicels in fruit short, thick, somewhat appressed to the raceme axis or spreading. Silique actually divided by a transverse septum into 2 joints, the lower joint sterile, cylindrical and resembling a stipe (sometimes somewhat broader), upper joint nearly globose, to 3 mm in diameter, abruptly topped by a conspicuous beak, stigma slightly broader than the style; seeds oblong, 1.5 to 1.8 mm long. Cotyledons conduplicate. Weedy along roadsides, fields, and in waste places. Cen. and E. TX; sporadic in N.A., originally from Eurasia. Mar.-June, ours mostly Mar.-Apr., with one collection from Nov. Quite common and conspicuous in spring and apparently becoming more common, at least in our area.

NOTE: Easily and often confused with Brassica which, except for the fruits, it strongly resembles. (Rapistrum is actually more closely related to Raphanus.)


Ten species nearly worldwide. We have the one species found in TX.

1. C. didymus (L.) Small Swine Wart Cress. Winter annual or biennial herb, prostrate to procumbent or ascending, outer branches usually radiating and prostrate, 1 to 4 dm long, rooting at the nodes. Herbage with an unpleasant odor when crushed, glabrous to sparsely pubescent with simple, retrorse hairs. Leaves of the basal rosette with winged petioles, blades oblong in overall outline, 3 to 10 cm long, to 2 cm wide, pinnately dissected, the divisions pinnately lobed toward their apices, stem leaves 1 to 4 cm long, 0.5 to 1.5 cm wide, similar to the basal leaves but sessile or short-petiolate and divisions dentate but rarely lobed. First raceme scapose from the center of the rosette, racemes of outer stems opposite some of the leaves, generally spaced 3 to 8 nodes apart and the stem branching at the node below the raceme, racemes 1 to 6 cm long; pedicels 1 to 3 mm long (to 10 mm long on the first raceme). Sepals spreading; petals fili-form, ca. 1 mm long, white; stamens 2. Silicle indehiscent, 1.5 mm long, 2.5 to 3 mm wide, deeply notched at apex and base to give 2 slightly-flattened, subglobose halves, valves minutely wrinkled, style absent, each locule 1-seeded; seeds 1 to 1.4 mm long, cotyledons incumbent and transversely folded. Old fields, road-sides, lawns, and urban waste areas. E. and SE. TX; naturalized from Europe in E. and Cen. N.A. and on the W. coast. In our area especially common on the Texas A&M campus. Mar.-May. [Carara didyma (L.) Britt.].


A genus monotypic in North America.

1. N. aquatica (Eat.) Greene Lake Cress. Aquatic or semiaquatic (sometimes stranded) from a cluster of fibrous roots. Foliage dimorphic: leaves submersed for long periods 1 to 3 times pinnately dissected, segments numerous and filiform; emersed or briefly-submersed leaves ca. 3 to 7 cm long, oblong to lanceolate or elliptic, serrulate or nearly entire to strongly dentate or pinnatifid; leaf forms on stem smoothly graduated or strongly different, the emersed and submersed leaves sometimes alternating and reflecting changing water levels. Racemes usually elongate, to ca. 15 cm, the flowers remote. Sepals 3 to 4 mm long elliptic to spatulate or obovate, 6 to 8 mm long; blossoms rather showy, petals white, short-clawed, blades oblong to obovate, 6 to 8 mm long. Fruiting pedicels wide-spreading, to ca. 1 cm long; silicle ellipsoidal, 5 to 8 mm long, topped by a persistent style 2 to 4 mm long; seeds in 2 rows per locule, but usually not maturing. Lakes, ponds, slow-moving streams, etc. Known from Madison Co.; Que., Ont., and MN, S. to FL, OK, and TX. Our collections from April. [Armoracia lacustris (Gray) Al-Shehbaz & Bates; A. aquatica (Eat.) Wieg.; Rorippa aquatica (Eat.) Palmer & Steyerm.; Nasturtium lacustre Gray].


Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs, a few species (but not ours) with rather woody rootstocks, but none truly shrubby. Herbage more or less pubescent with stellate, branched, or (sometimes) simple hairs. Basal leaves oblanceolate or linear to suborbicular, entire to pinnatifid, stem leaves short-petiolate to sessile, in some species auriculate, commonly oblanceolate, often oblong to narrowly ovate in auriculate-leaved plants, entire to dentate. Sepals erect to spreading, apically obtuse. Petals usually yellow or orange-yellow, sometimes white or lavender, broadly ovate to spatulate, entire. Inflorescence usually elongated but in a few species dense and nearly umbellate. Silicles usually globose to obovoid (in a few species, not ours, flattened,) sessile on the pedicels or stipitate, glabrous or stellate-pubescent; styles slender, deciduous or more often persistent (even so, some easily broken off.) Seeds in 2 rows per locule, somewhat flattened; cotyledons accumbent.

About 95 species in N. and S. America; 17 in TX; we can expect 6. Rollins and Shaw (1973) presented a well-illustrated treatment of the genus.

Lesquerella is often found growing in extensive patches, most often in dry, open areas; many commonly in rocky soils, especially limestones and other basic soils, or on windswept terrain; some in open prairies.

The seeds of Lesquerella can be used as a peppery spice, and oil from the seeds of some spp. can be used as a substitute for castor oil (Tull 1987). The common name describes the inflated fruits which can pop noisily when crushed.

1. Cauline leaves (at least the upper) auriculate ...1.L.grandiflora

1. Cauline leaves not auriculate ...................................................................................................2

2(1) Stellate trichomes small, less than 0.3 mm in diam., the rays contiguous, forked or bifurcate .....................................................................................................................................3

2. Stellate trichomes larger, 0.3 to 0.6 mm in diam., the rays distinct to their bases or only slightly fused .............................................................................................................................4

3(2) Pedicels straight, usually spreading; lower stem leaves tapered to a short petiole or sessile; cauline hairs with rays pointing in two directions (usually up and down the stem) .....



3. Pedicels sigmoid (sometimes horizontal or recurved); lower stem leaves sharply

constricted to a distinct petiole; cauline hairs symmetrical ...3.L.lindheimeri

4(2) Pedicels sigmoid or recurved; infructescence loose, often secund ...4.L.argyraea

subsp. argyraea

4. Pedicels straight or only slightly curved, ascending to spreading; infructescences various ..5

5(4) Silicles minutely papillose; trichomes symmetrical ...5.L.sessilis

5. Silicles smooth; trichomes asymmetrical with a deep U-shaped notch on one side ...............


NOTE: L. recurvata (Engelm. ex Gray) Wats. is present on limestone soils in Cen. TX and may yet be found on the calcareous outcroppings in Grimes and Washington Cos., etc. It is an annual with loose, often pendant inflorescences, hairs less than 0.3 mm in diam., and uniformly recurved fruiting pedicels.

1.L. grandifloraBRASSICACEAE LESQUERELLA grandiflora (Hook) S. Wats. Annuals; stems several to many from the base, erect to decumbent, 2 to 7.5 dm tall; herbage densely pubescent, trichomes usually 5-rayed, stem trichomes usually appressed. Basal leaves 5 to 15 cm long, petiolate, oblanceolate in overall outline, dentate to bipinnatifid, trichomes with rays erect, cauline leaves oblong to lanceolate, 1 to 4 cm long, dentate, sessile, upper stem leaves auriculate but the lower usually not so. Sepals oblong, not saccate; petals yellow, 8 to 12 mm long, 6 to 10 mm wide, with the blade obovate to orbicular, sometimes slightly emarginate, the claw short but distinct. Inflorescence fairly loose in fruit; pedicels 1 to 2 cm long, ascending to divaricately spreading, sometimes slightly curved. Silicles sessile or shortly-stipitate, globose to slightly longer than broad, 4 to 6 mm long and about as wide, glabrous externally and internally; replum entire; style 2 to 3 mm long, stigma expanded; seeds orbicular, flattened, margined, 2.5 to 3 mm in diameter, 4 to 6 per locule. Sandy soils in Cen. and S. TX, also Borden Co.; endemic. Mar.-May.

2.L. gracilisBRASSICACEAE LESQUERELLA gracilis (Hook.) S. Wats. subsp. gracilis Cloth of Gold. Annuals or biennials; stems (1)3 to 7 dm tall, 1 to several, the inner erect and the outer often decumbent, simple or branched above, branches slender; trichomes of leaves sessile to subsessile, less than 0.3 mm in diam., with 4 to 7 distinct rays usually forked near base or occasionally bifurcate, granular, stem hairs several-rayed, the rays usually bilaterally oriented (pointing up and down the stem). Basal leaves 1.5 to 8(11.5) cm long, 2 to 6 mm wide, oblanceolate to elliptic, lyrate-pinnatifid to dentate or repand, tapered to the petiole, sparsely pubescent above, more densely so below, stem leaves 1 to 7 cm long, 2 to 20 mm wide, obovate to elliptic, dentate to entire, the upper becoming nearly sessile. Inflorescence somewhat loose, elongating and looser in fruit, buds broadly ellipsoid. Sepals 3 to 6.5(8) mm long, elliptic to broadly ovate, the outer pair saccate, inner pair hooded and slightly thickened at the apex, petals (4)6 to 11 mm long, 3 to 7 mm wide, yellow to orange, short-clawed, the blades ovate, long stamens 4 to 8.5 mm long, short ones (2)3 to 7 mm long. Fruiting pedicels (7)10 to 20(25) mm long, straight to slightly curved, usually divaricately spreading, sometimes horizontal or slightly recurved; silicles globose to ellipsoid, 3 to 6 mm long, on short stipe 0.5 to 1.5(2) mm long, valves glabrous externally, sparsely pubescent within; style 2 to 4.5 mm long, slender, stigma slightly expanded; replum thick, entire, smooth to slightly wrinkled; ovules 4 to 10(14) per locule, seeds ca. 2 mm long, somewhat oblong, slightly flattened, reddish-brown. Sandy and/or disturbed soils and waste areas , Cen. and S. TX (Bexar Co. N. to Red R.); also NW. AR and NE. MS, perhaps adventive elsewhere. Mar.-May.

The typical form is rather robust, but the type specimen has quite slender stems and pedicels, with the leaves and fruits remote. This slender form is known from Brazos, Burleson, Robertson, and Washington Cos. in our area.

The other subspecies., subsp. nuttallii (T. & G.) Rollins & Shaw, is quite similar to the typical subspecies but has obpyriform fruits with truncate bases. It is found in NE. TX, OK, KS, and NE. It has not been recorded from our area. [L. gracilis (Hook.) Wats. var. repanda (Nutt.) Payson; L. nuttallii (T. & G.) Wats.].

The common name refers to the solid yellow carpets created by large colonies of this plant.

3.L. lindheimeriBRASSICACEAE LESQUERELLA lindheimeri (A. Gray) S. Wats. Annual or sometimes biennial; stems several, decumbent (the outer) or erect, to 8 dm tall, often with many slender, flexuous branches; herbage pubescent with sessile or short-stipitate trichomes, hairs small, usually less than 0.3 mm in diam., with 4 to 7 distinct or slightly fused rays, these usually forked near the base or sometimes bifurcate, rough-granular, stems with simple, weakly-spreading hairs to 0.3 mm long on upper portions. Basal leaves 3 to 9(14) cm long, 5 to 15(23) mm broad, tapered gradually to a slender petiole, pinnatisect to repand, stem leaves 1 to 6 cm long, 2 to 22 mm wide, sometimes secund, more or less elliptic, deeply dentate with 3 to 6 teeth per side or only serrate, lower leaves usually abruptly narrowed to a short petiole, upper leaves sessile and often nearly entire. Inflorescence dense, buds ellipsoid. Sepals 3 to 5.5(6.5) mm long, elliptic to oblong, the outer pair saccate, the inner pair somewhat thickened at the apex and hooded; petals yellow (sometimes drying purple), 4.5 to 7(9) mm long, (2.5)3.5 to 5(7) mm wide, the suborbicular or broadly ovate blade gradually tapered to a short claw; long stamens 4 to 6(7.5) mm long, the shorter ones 3 to 6 mm long. Infructescence elongated, sometimes secund; pedicels laxly sigmoid or horizontal to recurved, but always ascending at the tip, (5)10 to 20 mm long. Silicles (3.5)4.5 to 7.5 mm long, globose to slightly elliptic, glabrous externally and internally; septum entire, smooth or somewhat wrinkled; style (1.5)2 to 3(4) mm long, slender, stigma expanded; ovules (4)6 to 8(10) per locule; seeds ca. 2 mm long, suborbicular to slightly broader than long, wingless and marginless, red-brown. Common, usually in black clay soils in S. TX, mostly in the Coastal Plain; also N. Mex. We are much to the N. of the usual range, but material from Brazos Co. has been identified as L. lindheimeri by Reed Rollins, an expert on the genus. Dec.-Apr.

4.L. argyraeaBRASSICACEAE LESQUERELLA argyraea (Gray) S. Wats. var. argyraea Perennial; stems erect to decumbent at the base, simple to branched, 0.5 to 7 dm long; herbage pubescent with sessile or short-stipitate trichomes greater than 0.3 mm in diam., these smooth to slightly granular, the rays several, free to the base or slightly fused, usually simple, rarely forked. Basal leaves 2 to 6(8) cm long, 5 to 10 mm wide, oblanceolate, entire to pinnatifid, gradually tapered to a slender petiole, usually withering and falling early, stem leaves 0.5 to 4.5 cm long, 3 to 10(15) mm wide, elliptic or obovate to rhombic, usually acute, entire or sinuate to remotely dentate, upper stem leaves sessile, the lower tapered to a short petiole. Inflorescence loose, often secund, the buds ellipsoid. Sepals (3)4 to 8 mm long, linear to oblanceolate or elliptic, the outer pair commonly saccate, the inner pair thickened and hooded at apex, all spreading at anthesis; petals orange or yellow, if yellow, often with some orange toward the base, 4.5 to 8.5(11) mm long, 2.5 to 6 mm wide, spatulate or with an obovate to obdeltoid blade and a short claw; long stamens 3.5 to 7 mm long, short stamens 3.5 to 6 mm long. Mature inflorescence elongate; pedicels 1.5 to 4 cm long, usually sigmoid and the silicles erect or pedicels spreading to erect and then straight to curved or occasionally recurved. Silicles sessile or short-stipitate, 4 to 8 mm long, subglobose to broadly ellipsoid, valves glabrous externally and internally, sometimes tinged red or purple at maturity; replum entire, little wrinkled; styles 1.5 to 5.5 mm long, very slender, fragile, soon deciduous, stigma capitate; ovules 8 to 16 per locule; seeds suborbicular to broadly ellipsoid, 1.4 to 2 mm long, sometimes with a very narrow margin, red-brown to orange-brown. Cen. and S. TX, also scattered in the Trans Pecos; S. to N. Mex. Feb.-May.

The plant occurs SW of our area. Some of our material was erroneously identified as this species. Perhaps not present here, but to be looked for.

Var. diffusa (Rollins) Rollins & Shaw occurs in Mex. [L. diffusa Rollins].

5.L. sessilisBRASSICACEAE LESQUERELLA sessilis (S. Wats.) Small Annual; stems 1 to several, erect, frequently branched in the upper half, to 6 dm tall; herbage more or less densely pubescent, trichomes sessile to very shortly stipitate, each with 4 to 6 distinct rays, these unfused but usually forked near the base or rarely tripartite or bifurcate. Basal leaves to 9 cm long and 12 mm wide, narrowed gradually to a slender petiole, petiole sometimes very short, blade oblanceolate, entire to dentate to sinuate or even lyrate-pinnatifid, sometimes mucronulate, sparsely to densely pubescent, cauline leaves 2 to 4 (6) cm long, 3 to 7(12) mm wide, narrowly elliptic to linear, the lower short-petiolate, the upper sessile, entire to repand or remotely and shallowly dentate. Inflorescence loose, buds more or less quadrangular. Sepals elliptic or elongate-ovate, the outer pair slightly saccate, acute, inner pair somewhat thickened at apex and hooded; petals yellow, 4.5 to 10 mm long, 2.5 to 6.5 mm wide, the blades obovate or deltoid, sometimes with a short claw, margin undulate; long stamens 3.5 to 7.5 mm long, short ones (2)2.5 to 5 mm long. Infructescence usually loose, to ca. 10 cm long; pedicels 8 to 20 mm long, straight, divaricately spreading to slightly recurved. Silicles 3 to 5.5 mm long, sessile or nearly so, subglobose (sometimes somewhat compressed or obovoid,) the valves rather densely papillose externally, pubescent internally with stipitate 4- to 6-rayed hairs; replum smooth, entire; styles 1.5 to 3.5 mm long, stigma expanded; seeds 4 to 9 per locule, 1.5 to 1.8 mm long, flattened, orbicular to rarely ovate, dark brown, neither winged nor margined. Mature seeds often not seen. S. Cen. TX; endemic, known from our area on the basis of (at least) one specimen collected in Brazos Co. in the 1920's. Feb.-May. [L. gordonii (Gray) S. Wats. var. sessilis Wats.].

6.L. densifloraBRASSICACEAE LESQUERELLA densiflora (A. Gray) S. Wats. Annual or biennial; stems 1 to several from the base, rarely branched, to 4 dm tall, erect or decumbent (perhaps sometimes prostrate) ; herbage densely pubescent, trichomes sessile to short-stipitate, finely granular, rays unforked, unfused, asymmetrically arranged creating a deep (if narrow), U-shaped notch on one side, with the bottom of the U at the center of the hair; hairs of stem often with rays bi-directional--pointing up and down the stem. Basal leaves 1 to 7 cm long, 2 to 10 mm broad, petiolate, elliptic to narrowly elliptic, entire to shallowly toothed or pinnatifid, trichomes appressed; cauline leaves 0.5 to 6 cm long, 2 to 20 mm broad, sessile to short-petiolate, narrowly obovate to elliptic, entire to repand or shallowly dentate, the midvein of the lower surface conspicuous, leaves sometimes purplish in dry specimens. Inflorescences dense, often overlapped by the upper leaves, buds ellipsoid to quadrangular. Sepals elliptic, 3.5 to 7.2 mm long, the outer pair saccate and somewhat hooded at the apex, inner pair thickened apically; petals 4.5 to 11 mm long, 2 to 5.5 mm wide, the blades obovate to obdeltoid, often emarginate, tapered to a short claw, yellow-orange to yellow; long stamens 4.5 to 8 mm long, short stamens 3.5 to 6 mm long. Infructescences usually dense, 4 to 8(20) cm long, many-fruited; pedicels rather stout, strongly to slightly recurved, 7 to 20 mm long, usually spreading divaricately at ca. 45o, sometimes to nearly horizontal, trichomes spreading. Silicles globose to broadly ovate, sessile or with a short stipe to 1 mm long, 3.5 to 5.5 mm long, glabrous outside and inside; replum entire, smooth or slightly wrinkled; style 2 to 5 mm long, stigma expanded; ovules 4 to 8 per locule; seeds 1 to 1.6 mm long, flattened, nearly orbicular, unmargined, unwinged, dull orange-brown to red-brown. Sandy, usually calcareous soils. S. Cen. TX with documented "outpost" locations in Wichita and Grimes Cos. In the latter, it is found primarily on the sandstone outcroppings NE. of Navasota. Also known from Brazos and Washington Cos. Endemic. Mar.-May.


Five species from SW. Eur. and the Mediterranean. The one species found in TX is an escape from cultivation.

1. L. maritima (L.)Desv. Sweet Alyssum. Short-lived perennial grown as an annual and self-sowing or escaping from cultivation; stems 6 to 20 cm tall, highly branched, at least partially decumbent; herbage gray-green with a fairly dense coat of appressed, forked hairs. Leaves linear to narrowly oblanceolate, tapered to the base, ca. 1 to 4 cm long, entire or the larger ones with 1 or 2 obscure teeth. Racemes ca. 1 to 2 cm broad with the flowers closely spaced, but elongating in fruit; flowers ca. 2 to 4 mm across, fragrant, sepals spreading. Petals clawed, entire, white or occasionally lavender, purple, or rose; stamens with short filaments, 2 small glands present at their bases. Fruiting pedicels divaricately spreading. Silicles erect, flattened parallel to the septum, obovate to suborbicular, sparsely pubes-cent, topped with a short, persistent style; seeds 1 per locule, oval, flattened, 1 to 1.5 mm long, cotyledons accumbent. Adventive from Europe. Spring.


Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs with basal rosettes. Stems scapose or leafy, usually pubescent with simple or branched trichomes. Leaves alternate, occasionally subopposite in species with leaves crowded near the base of the plant, entire to dentate, usually with stellate or branched hairs. Racemes short to elongate. Sepals erect or ascending, apically blunt. Petals clawed, white or yellow, apically rounded, bifid, or emarginate, in some species reduced or absent. Ovary ovoid, each locule with 2 to many ovules; style short and stigma capitate. Fruit a silicle or approaching a silique, 2 to 5 times longer than broad, elliptic to linear, with a broad septum, flattened or in some species (not ours) twisted. Seeds many, in two rows in each locule or irregularly arrayed, reddish to yellowish, ellipsoid to obovoid, flattened, cotyledons accumbent.

More than 250 species in temperate and cold regions of the N. and S. hemispheres; 5 species in TX; 3 in our area. Two useful older references are Hartman, et al. (1975) and Hitchcock (1941).

The seeds of Draba may be gathered and used as a peppery seasoning (Tull 1987).

1. Plants with sessile branched trichomes; cauline leaves lanceolate to narrowly ovate; silicles 2 to 6 mm long ...1.D.brachycarpa

1. Plants with simple or stipitate branched trichomes; cauline leaves ovate or obovate; silicles 5 to 15 mm long .......................................................................................................................2

2(1) Fruits obovate to elliptic, rounded apically, 2.5 to 3.7 mm wide; internode below

infructescence usually with long, simple hairs as well as short, branched hairs .....................


2. Fruits oblong, lanceolate, or narrowly elliptic, apically acute to somewhat obtuse, 1.8 to 2.8 mm wide; internode below infructescence usually with only short, branched hairs throughout ...3.D.cuneifolia

var. cuneifoliaNOTE: D. reptans (Lam.) Fern. var. reptans occurs in NW. and N. Cen. TX and may eventually be discovered here. It may be distinguished by its glabrous infructescence axis.

1.D. brachycarpaBRASSICACEAE DRABA brachycarpa Nutt. ex T. & G. Shortpod Draba, (Microdraba). Annual or winter annual; stems leafy, 1 to several from the base, usually branched above, 2 to 20 cm tall, plants often quite diminutive; herbage with sessile branched trichomes. Basal leaves in a rosette, often withering by flowering time, to 15 mm long, obovate to ovate, entire to slightly toothed, tapered to a short petiole, cauline leaves sessile to sometimes slightly auriculate, lanceolate or narrowly ovate, usually entire. Racemes dense; pedicels 1 to 4 mm long, spreading at about 45 to 60o. Sepals 1 to 1.5 mm long, ovate to linear, often tinged with purple; petals white, 2 to 3 mm long, blade obovate and nearly emarginate or else very short and linear, sometimes absent. Silicles glabrous, 1.5 to 6 mm long, narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, both ends tapered and acute, style short or obsolete; seeds ellipsoid, 0.5 to 1.5 mm long, in 2 rows in each locule. Roadsides and pastures. Mostly in NE. TX; FL to TX, N. to IN, KY, VA, IL, MO, and KS. Late winter to early spring, our collections primarily from Mar.

2.D. platycarpaBRASSICACEAE DRABA platycarpa T. & G. Annual 4 to 30 (37) cm tall; stems one or sometimes several from the base, often branched above, leafy nearly to the inflorescence; herbage hirsute with long, spreading simple hairs and shorter, stipitate, forked and stellate hairs. Leaves 1 to 4 cm long, 0.5 to 2.7 cm broad, oblanceolate-spatulate or cuneate, often with 2 to 8 small teeth, basal leaves in a rosette, short-petiolate or sessile or sometimes nearly amplexicaule, oblong to ovate. Racemes elongate, often more than half the height of the plant, crowded; pedicels spreading to ascending, (3)4 to 9(11) mm long, usually spreading in fruit, internode below the infructescence with simple hairs. Sepals 1.4 to 2.2 mm long, elliptic to linear; petals white (1.7)3 to 3.5(4) mm long, oblong to linear, with short claws and slightly to strongly emarginate blades, or else reduced or absent. Silicles 5 to 8.5(9.5) mm long, 2.5 to 3.7 mm wide, generally less than 2.5 times longer than wide, obovate to elliptic, rounded at the apex except for the style, narrowed at the base, hirsute with short, simple hairs, never glabrous; seeds 0.6 to 0.7 mm long, oblong to elliptic, in 2 to several rows. On sand and gravel soils in Cen. TX, with outlying populations in Jeff Davis Co.; also AR, AZ, ID, and WA. Early spring. [D. cuneifolia T. & G. var platycarpa (T. & G.) Wats.].

3.D. cuneifoliaBRASSICACEAE DRABA cuneifolia Nutt. ex T. & G. var. cuneifolia Wedgeleaf Draba. Annual or winter annual; stems to 3.5 dm tall, usually branched from the base, simple or branched above; herbage hirsute to hispid with stipitate branched or stellate hairs or a mixture of branched, stellate, and simple hairs. Leaves obovate to oblanceolate or cuneate, 0.5 to 3(4.5) cm long, 0.2 to 2(3) cm wide, usually with 2 to 8 teeth (especially in the distal 1/2), pubescent with stellate hairs, basal leaves tapered to a short petiole or sessile, cauline leaves few, mostly in the lower half of the stem, sessile or occasionally somewhat clasping. Racemes dense, to 5 to 10 cm long at maturity, usually less than 1/2 the total height of the plant; pedicels (2)3 to 7(8) mm long, spreading to ascending; internode below the infructescence usually with only short branched hairs throughout. Sepals oblong to ovate or linear, 1.4 to 2.5 mm long; petals white, usually 2.5 to 5 mm long, spatulate to cuneate, slightly or strongly emarginate, less often 1 to 2 mm long and linear or else absent altogether. Silicles congested or evenly distributed, 6.5 to 11.5(14.5) mm long, 1.8 to 2.8 mm wide, narrowly oblong, narrowly elliptic, or lanceolate, acute to somewhat obtuse at the apex, with simple hairs (sometimes a few forked ones) or glabrous; style nearly obsolete; seeds 0.6 to 0.7 mm long in 2 to several rows. In sand and gravel soils throughout the state except the N. Panhandle and S. Rio Grande Plains; FL to TX, N. to KY, PA, OH, SD, NE, KS, CA and Mex. Early spring. [Includes var. helleri (Small) Schulz and var. leiocarpa Schulz (for the glabrous-fruited form); D. ammophila Heller].

The other variety, var. integrifolia Wats, occurs in S. TX (Webb to Starr Cos.) and has fruits glabrous or with stellate hairs. It should not be confused with glabrous-fruited var. cuneifolia in our area as there are no glabrous-fruited plants of var. integrifolia in TX (Hartman, et al 1975).


About 5 species in Eurasia, one of which is a cosmopolitan weed.

1. C. bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik. Shepherd's Purse, Paniquesillo. Winter annual or biennial; stems simple or with a few ascending branches, 1 to 6 dm tall; herbage and lower stem often pubescent with appressed straight or stellate hairs, glabrous above. Basal leaves in a rosette, 4 to 10 cm long, 1 to 3 cm wide, pinnately lobed, dissected, or toothed or sometimes lyrate-pinnatifid, stem leaves auriculate, reduced upwards, lanceolate to linear, entire to dentate. Flowers in elongate racemes to 3 dm long; pedicels 8 to 12 mm long, divaricate to spreading at right angles at maturity. Sepals 2 mm long; petals white, 1.5 to 4 mm long, entire; short stamens subtended by small glands. Silicles obcordate to triangular, the apex truncate to notched, sometimes narrowly winged on the distal portion, 5 to 8 mm long, 3.5 to 6 mm wide, strongly flattened perpendicular to the septum, replum narrowly elliptic; style 0.5 mm long or less; seeds numerous, oblong, orange-yellow to reddish, ca. 1 mm long; cotyledons incumbent. Waste areas, lawns, roadsides, and fields throughout TX; found in most parts of the world; naturalized from S. Europe. Mar.-May, ours primarily Mar.; sometimes much earlier during mild winters. [Authority often given as (L.) Medic.].

The plants are reputed to be useful in herbal remedies for various "female complaints" and in Chinese medicine for eye disorders and dysentery. The fruits and young leaves and stems are high in vitamins A and C and can be used as a peppery potherb. There is some evidence that the seeds at least were used as food or seasoning by the earliest inhabitants of Europe (Mabberley 1987; Tull 1987).


Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs. Herbage glabrous to hispid with simple hairs. Leaves entire to finely divided, lowest leaves in a basal rosette, these often absent by flowering time, stem leaves sometimes amplexicaul. Flowers in racemes or panicles, small. Sepals oblong to rounded, to about 2 mm long. Petals white (less commonly yellow or greenish but never so in ours), entire, to 2 or 3 mm long or rudimentary or absent. Stamens 6 (or 2 or 4 by abortion). Fruits orbicular to elliptic or obovate, strongly flattened perpendicular to the narrow replum, often notched at the apex and/or slightly winged on the distal margin. Seeds 1 per locule, obovoid; cotyledons accumbent, incumbent, or sometimes oblique.

About 125 species in warm and temperate regions of the world; 8 in TX; 2 here. Our 2 species can be difficult to identify from dried material and should be examined when fresh. Positive determination can require a cross-section of the seeds. Most of our plants prove to be L. virginicum, but not all. In addition to Rollins' work (1993), two useful references are Hitchcock (1936) and Mulligan (1961).

Seeds and young leaves and stems can be used to flavor soups and salads (Tull 1987).

1. Petals usually conspicuous, equal to or longer than the sepals; silicles oval, orbicular, or round, the distal 1/2 narrower than or as wide as the lower 1/2; cotyledons accumbent, incumbent, or oblique ...1.L.virginicum

1. Petals shorter than the sepals or absent; silicles obovate or oblong-obovate, the distal 1/2 wider than the lower 1/2; cotyledons incumbent ...2.L.densiflorum

NOTE: L. ruderale, a widespread introduction from Europe, occurs in E. and S. TX and may eventually show up here. It has a fetid odor, apetalous flowers, and basal leaves which are usually bipinnatifid.

1.L. virginicumBRASSICACEAE LEPIDIUM virginicum L. Peppergrass, Lentejilla, Poor-man's Pepper. Annual or biennial; stems single or less often branched at the base, freely branched above, to 7 dm tall; herbage glabrous or minutely pubescent. Basal leaves 2 to 15 cm long, basally attenuate to petiolate, oblanceolate in overall outline, sharply toothed to pinnatifid, lyrate-pinnatifid, or even bipinnatifid, the segments themselves often toothed, lower stem leaves similar but less divided, middle stem leaves smaller, to 4 cm long, attenuate to short-petiolate or nearly sessile, oblanceolate or lanceolate, usually serrate, rarely more deeply cut, upper stem leaves to 2 cm long, linear to linear-lanceolate, acute, usually entire, sometimes serrate. Racemes numerous, dense, elongate. Sepals usually caducous, white-margined, elliptic; petals white, usually obovate-spatulate, entire, equal to or up to 2 or 3 times longer than the sepals, rarely more or less linear and shorter than the sepals or absent; stamens 2 (sometimes 4 or rarely 6). Pedicels in fruit to 1 cm long, spreading to nearly horizontal. Silicles glabrous, nearly orbicular or oval, the bottom wider than or just as wide as the top (less often broadly elliptic or obovate), 2.5 to 4.2 mm long and 2.5 to 3 mm wide, very narrowly winged on the distal margin forming a broad, shallow notch at the fruit apex, the style very short and included in the notch; seeds to ca. 2 mm long and 1 mm wide, obovoid, strongly flattened, narrowly winged.

Two varieties are found in TX; both can be expected here but the first is much more common:

var. virginicum Infructescence, except for the fruits, minutely pubescent; fruiting pedicels always terete and slender; siliques broadly elliptic-orbicular; cotyledons accumbent. Sandy soils, waste areas, and disturbed places. S., SE., and Cen. TX; throughout much of the U.S. and S. Can., except the far W. Feb.-July.

var. medium (Greene) C. L. Hitchc. Infructescence glabrous; pedicels usually slightly flattened; siliques mostly 2.5 mm long or longer; cotyledons oblique to incumbent. Disturbed areas and waste places nearly throughout TX; also OK, AZ, CO, and NW. U.S. Feb.-July. [L. intermedium Gray, non Rich; L. medium Greene].

2.L. densiflorumBRASSICACEAE LEPIDIUM densiflorum Schrad. Peppergrass. Annual or sometimes biennial; stem usually 1 from the base, commonly branched above, to ca. 5 dm tall; herbage usually with short spreading hairs, less often papillose or subglabrous. Basal leaves ca. 4 to 7(10) cm long, petiolate, oblong to oblanceolate-elliptic in overall outline, coarsely toothed to sometimes pinnatifid, the segments also toothed, stem leaves 2 to 3 cm long, short-petiolate or sometimes nearly amplexicaul, oblong-lanceolate to lanceolate, sharply acute, serrate; upper leaves 2 to 2 cm long, sessile, linear-lanceolate, remotely toothed or entire. Racemes numerous, to ca. 10 cm long, rather dense. Sepals white-margined, ovate; petals rudimentary or none; if present, white and shorter than the sepals; stamens 2, rarely 4. Fruiting pedicels to 5 mm long, spreading to suberect, terete or slightly flattened. Silicles glabrous to minutely pubescent, obovate to broadly ovate, the distal half wider than the bottom half, 2.5 to 3.5 mm long, 2 to 3.3 mm wide, very narrowly winged in the distal 1/3, the wings forming a narrow notch, style short and included in the notch; seeds 1 to 1.3 mm long, ovoid, compressed; cotyledons incumbent. Sandy and/or disturbed places, E., Cen., and NW. TX; Cen. and E. U.S., occasionally in the Rockies, Pacific states, and Canada, more common E. of the Rockies. Feb.-June. [L. apetalum Aschers, non Willd.]

Rollins (1993) recognizes 5 varieties in N. Amer. Our plants belong to var. densiflorum. [L. neglectum Thellung; L. texanum Buckl.].


Annual or perennial herbs. Stems 1 to several from the base, simple or branched above. Herbage glabrous, sometimes glaucous; basal leaves petiolate, cauline leaves sessile, usually auriculate. Inflorescence crowded but elongating in fruit. Flowers small, pedicellate. Sepals erect, entire. Petals spatulate, entire, white. Stamens 6. Style varying from slender and conspicuous to obsolete. Silicles orbicular, obovate, broadly oblong, or obcordate, flattened perpendicular to the replum, the valves winged or margined. Seeds 2 to several per locule, wingless.

About 60 species of the N. temperate zones, primarily Eurasia, a few from N. and S. America; 2 in TX; 1 here.

The seeds can be used as a peppery spice and were formerly used in medicines (Mabberley 1987; Tull 1987).

1. T. arvense L. Fanweed, Frenchweed, Field Pennycress. Annual; stems solitary or several, erect, branched above, 3 to 7 dm tall; herbage glabrous, not glaucous. Basal leaves early-deciduous, petiolate, spatulate to oblanceolate, 3 to 9 cm long, 7 to 15 mm wide, apically rounded to obtuse, margins entire to irregularly toothed, cauline leaves gradually or abruptly different, oblong to lanceolate, 1.5 to 7 cm long, 3 to 12(15) mm wide, gradually reduced upwards, apically obtuse to acute, sinuate to coarsely dentate, the lowermost few often tapering to point of attachment and all others auriculate and or somewhat clasping. Pedicels divaricate to ascending, 2 to 3 mm long in flower, 7 to 15 mm long in fruit. Sepals greenish-white, ovate to somewhat obovate, obtuse to acutish, 1.5 to 2.5 mm long, sometimes lightly pubescent; petals 2 to 4 mm long, white; style reduced. Silicle oval to obcordate with a deeply-notched apex (body of fruit oval with wings nearly encircling the fruit, wings broadest at the top, forming shoulders with a notch between them), overall 10 to 18 mm long, 8 to 15 mm broad; seeds ovoid, slightly flattened, dark

purple or blackish, 1.5 to 2.3 mm long, with concentric ridges; cotyledons accumbent. Scattered in TX; abundant in N. Cen. and W. U.S. and S. Cen. Can. Native to Eurasia and introduced elsewhere. Apr.-June.


Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs, often glaucous, glabrous to pubescent with simple hairs. Leaves simple to lyrate pinnatifid (rarely pinnately divided), upper often but not always clasping or auriculate. Inflorescences racemose. Flowers irregular, some regular. Calyx commonly more or less urceolate and usually closed at anthesis, often colored, sepals often keeled. Petals narrow or with broad blades and narrow claws. Stamens included to exserted, usually in 3 pairs, the longest with fused filaments and reduced anthers. Pedicels generally less than 1 cm long. Siliques linear, straight to curved, flattened parallel to the septum to some degree, erect to spreading or pendent; styles short to rudimentary, stigma entire to 2-lobed. Seeds flat, commonly winged; cotyledons accumbent or incumbent.

There are 33 species in SW. and W. U.S. and Mex; 7 in TX; 1 here.

1. S. hyacinthoides Hook. Smooth Twistflower. Annual; stems to 1 m tall, erect, simple or virgately branched above, sometimes purplish, glabrous throughout, rather glaucous. Basal rosette absent, cauline leaves linear-lanceolate, 2 to 10(15) cm long, 2 to 10(15) mm wide, short petiolate to sessile, acuminate, basally cuneate. Inflorescence dense at anthesis, elongating afterwards, buds acute, flowers borne at right angles or slightly pendent, slightly zygomorphic. Calyx urceolate, sepals purplish, especially apically, acuminate, 6 to 10 mm long; petals deep purple to magenta (occasionally whitish with purple veins), oblong or broader, 12 to 20 mm long, recurved or spreading; upper pair of stamens usually united by the filaments, exserted, lower pair included, usually free. Siliques divaricately ascending, sessile to short stipitate, 6 to 10 cm long, 1.5 to 2 mm broad, flattened parallel to the septum; style to ca. 1 mm long, stigma more or less entire; seeds in 1 row per locule, flattened, 1.2 to 1.5 mm long, with a narrow membranous wing, cotyledons accumbent. In our area usually in deep sandy soils and dune areas such as those in Leon Co., also in sandy oak woods and sandy prairies. E. 1/2 TX except the Coastal Plain; KS and OK to AR, LA, and TX. May-June. [Erysimum hyacinthoides (Hook.) Kuntze; Euklesia hyacinthoides (Hook.) Small].


Annual, winter annual, or biennial herbs. Herbage more or less densely pubescent with branched trichomes, these sometimes mixed with simple hairs or stalked glands, glands especially common on the axes of racemes. Leaves pinnately to tripinnately dissected, the lowermost in a basal rosette, but these usually withered and absent by flowering time, cauline leaves reduced in size up the stem and becoming less dissected. Racemes elongating at maturity, flowers usually less than 3 mm long. Sepals ovate, acute, green to yellow or often rosy. Petals yellow to whitish, often clawed, blades obovate and obtuse or spatulate. Stamens included or slightly exserted. Siliques relatively narrow, linear to clavate, strongly or slightly curved, terete or nearly so (sometimes flattened in pressing), valves 1-nerved (more or less distinctly so), separating from the replum at the base at maturity; style short or obsolete, stigma truncate or nearly capitate, entire. Seeds in 1 or 2 rows in each locule, elliptical, yellow to red-brown; cotyledons incumbent.

About 50 species in temperate and colder parts of N. and S. Amer., Eur., Asia, and the Canary I.; 3 species in TX; 1 here. A useful reference is the work of Detling (1939). [Sophia Adans.].

Like so many other crucifers, Descurainia has seeds that may be used as a peppery spice (Tull 1987).

1. D. pinnata (Walt.) Britt. Annual; stems to 8 dm tall, several from the base or simple, branched above; herbage varying from sparsely pubescent to densely canescent, usually with branched trichomes, sometimes stems, leaves, and inflorescences with glands. Leaves ca. 1 to 10 cm long and 0.5 to 2 cm wide, leaves of basal rosette to 10 cm long, usually bipinnately dissected, the divisions themselves often deeply cut, stem leaves gradually reduced in size upwards, generally once pinnate, the divisions narrow and linear to broadly ovate. Sepals roughly oblong to ovate, sometimes with a rose or magenta tinge; petals bright yellow to white, spatulate to obovate and clawed. Racemes elongating and rather loose in fruit, fruiting pedicels to 2.5 cm long, ascending to horizontal or slightly reflexed. Siliques 4 to 20 mm long, to 2 mm wide, clavate or broadly clavate, usually strongly or sometimes slightly curved; style quite short or else obsolete; seeds dark reddish brown, to 1 mm long, roughly ellipsoid, flattened, in 2 rows per locule or so crowded as to appear uniseriate. Sandy soils and waste areas throughout TX; found in one form or another throughout the U.S., W. Can., and Mex. Spring to early summer (ours with good flowers and fruit primarily from March.)

Rollins (1993) describes 8 subspecies in N. America, at least 4 of which occur in TX; one of these definitely occurs here and 2 more might be expected.

subsp. pinnata Stem simple or branched above the base, moderately to densely canescent, stems and inflorescence axes glandular. Leaves of the basal rosette bipinnate, upper leaves once pinnate, the divisions deeply divided with the ultimate segments obovate and obtuse. Sepals 1 to 2 mm long; petals slightly exceeding the sepals, whitish or yellow. Fruiting pedicels spreading at 70o to 90o. Siliques 5 to 9 mm long, clavate; seeds always in 2 rows per locule. Cen., S., and E. TX; SE. U.S. and N. Mex. [Sisymbrium pinnatum (Walt.) E.L. Greene; S. canescens Nutt.; Erysimum pinnatum Walt.; D. multifoliata Cory].

subsp. halictorum (Cockll.) Detling Stem simple or branched from base, leaves and lower stems more or less canescent, pedicels and axes of inflorescence nearly glabrous to canescent, usually glandular. Lower leaves pinnate to bipinnate, upper leaves once pinnate, the segments usually entire and roughly linear. Sepals 1 to 2 mm long, often somewhat rosy; petals slightly longer than the sepals, whitish or yellow. Fruiting pedicels spreading at 65o to 90o. Siliques clavate; seeds in 2 rows per locule. NW. 1/2 TX: the range comes fairly close to us. If present in our range, it should be found in the N. portion. W. N. Amer.: OR to AR, KS, Cen. TX, S. and W. to AZ, CA, NM, and Mex. [D. halictorum (Cockll.) Schulz; D. andrenarum (Cockll.) Cory; D. pinnata (Walt.) Britt. var. osmiarum (Cockll.) Detling; Sophia andrenarum Cockll. var. osmiarum Cockll.].

subsp. brachycarpa (Richards.) Detling Stems usually simple but sometimes branched; herbage more or less pubescent and glandular. Leaves pinnate to bipinnate, the lowermost often divided again, segments of the upper leaves usually linear. Sepals 1.5 to 2.5 mm long; petals ca. 0.5 mm longer than sepals, yellow. Fruiting pedicels usually spreading at only about 45o. Siliques 5 to 12 mm long, more erect than the pedicels; seeds in 2 rows or only sub-biseriate. Occurring in the panhandle and N. Cen. TX, the range dipping to include parts of Cen. TX. Que. and Alta. S. to NH, VT, WV, TN, AR, CO, NM, and TX. [D. pinnata (Walt.) Britt. var. brachycarpa (Richards.) Fern.; Sisymbrium brachycarpum Richards.].


Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs from fibrous root systems. Stems to ca. 4 dm tall. Herbage glabrous to sparsely hirsute with simple hairs. Leaves simple and entire to pinnately lobed or nearly compound (ours all lobed), petiolate, basal leaves often petiolate and stem leaves often short-petiolate or sessile, sometimes auriculate. Flowers in racemes, corymbs, or panicles. Corollas white or purple, petals obovate to spatulate. Shorter stamens sub-tended by semicircular glands. Siliques linear, straight (ours all 1 mm wide or less), slightly flattened parallel to the septum, gradually tapering to a slender style, stigma truncate; replum margin extending partially over the valves, valves at maturity elastically dehiscent from the base. Seeds in 1 row in each locule, longer than wide, plumpish; cotyledons accumbent.

A genus of 130 to 175 species (the number depending on whom one consults), worldwide but mostly in temperate zones; 4 species in TX; 2 here, one of which is much more common than the other. Our species are often confused with Sibara virginica, but that plant has a taproot and siliques broader than 1 mm.

Some species are weeds, some have ornamental value, and some can be used in sandwiches and salads as a watercress substitute (Mabberley 1987).

1. Leaf bases and petioles hirsute; leaves primarily basal; stems several to many from the base ...1.C.hirsuta

1. Leaf bases and petioles glabrous; leaves primarily cauline; stems one or few from the base ...2.C.parviflora

var. arenicola

1.C. hirsutaBRASSICACEAE CARDAMINE hirsuta L. Hairy Bitter-cress. Winter annual; stems several to many from the base, simple or branched above, glabrous, erect to slightly decumbent, 1 to 4 dm tall, though sometimes quite dimin-utive. Leaves of the basal rosette 3 to 8 cm long and 0.7 to 2.5 cm wide, deeply pinnately lobed, lobes 1 to 4 pair, suborbicular to slightly elliptic, the terminal lobe largest and approaching reniform, all lobes entire to shallowly dentate or crenate or undulate, cauline leaves similar but usually smaller and the divisions narrower--oblong, elliptic to lance-elliptic; petioles and leaf bases with simple spreading hairs or cilia. Flowers small; petals white, spatulate, to 3 mm long. Siliques straight, erect, 15 to 2.5 mm long, ca. 1 mm (0.8 to 1.2) wide; style 0.5 mm long or shorter; seeds light brown, broadly oblong, 0.7 to 1.4 mm long; cotyledons accumbent. Usually in damp or wet soils of lawns and fields. E. TX (Cass Co.), but some Cardamine specimens from Brazos Co. seem definitely attributable to this species. Introduced from Europe; found throughout the SE. 1/4 U.S. Spring, with our few post-anthesis specimens from July.

2.C. parvifloraBRASSICACEAE CARDAMINE parviflora L. var. arenicola (Britt.) O. E. Schulz Smallflower Bitter-cress. Annual or biennial; stems usually 1 from the base, simple or branched above, 1 to 3(4) dm tall; herbage glabrous. Basal leaves with about 5 pairs of oblong, nearly entire lobes; cauline leaves with 5 to 8 pairs of distinct, linear, entire leaflets less than ca. 2 mm wide, these cuneate at the base, terminal leaflet not much broader than the others. Flowers small and crowded; petals white, spatulate, 2 to 3.5 mm long. Fruiting pedicels slender, ascending, 5 to 8 mm long. Siliques straight, erect, 2 to 3 cm long and less than 1 mm in diam.; style short, generally less than 0.7 or 1 mm long; seeds 0.7 to 0.9 mm long, plump; cotyledons accumbent. Seeps, moist areas, sandy soils, open wet places in woods, along ditches and streams, etc. Cen. and E. TX; FL to E. Can., W. to OR and WA. Feb.-Apr. [C. arenicola Britt.].


Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs from taproots or sometimes a woody caudex. Stem erect, simple or branched, glabrous to sparsely or densely pubescent with simple, bifurcate, stellate, or branched hairs. Basal leaves in a rosette or not, petiolate, entire to dentate or more or less dissected, persistent or caducous, cauline leaves sessile or rarely petiolate, commonly auricled, entire to dentate. Inflorescence racemose, usually ebracteate, elongating as flowers develop; flowers erect to reflexed at anthesis. Sepals oblong to nearly ovate, erect, all alike or the outer pair saccate, commonly with narrow hyaline margins. Petals spatulate to oblong or sometimes narrowly obovate, white to purple (sometimes stramineous). Stamens 6, tetradynamous, filaments linear to slenderly subulate, erect or the 2 shorter curved upward from the base, anthers oblong. Nectary glands present, varying from single beneath each stamen to forming a continuous unit beneath all the stamens. Ovary cylindrical. Silique sessile or occasionally on a short gynophore, linear, erect to reflexed, straight to curved, usually flattened parallel to the septum, valves prominently 1-nerved to rarely nerveless, sometimes minutely net-veined; style prominent to none, stigma usually entire to sometimes somewhat bilobed; replum without nerves or with a central band of differentiated tissue. Seeds many, orbicular to oblong, plump or flat, winged or wingless, in 1 or 2 rows in each locule, cotyledons usually accumbent.

About 120 species of the N. temp. region; 4 in TX; 1 here.

A few species are grown as ornamentals, primarily in rock gardens (Mabberley 1987).

1. A. petiolaris (A. Gray) A. Gray Annual or perhaps biennial; stem single, simple below and branched above, pilose with simple hairs, becoming glabrous upward, 4 to 10 dm tall. Basal leaves lyrate-pinnatifid to pinnately lobed, 1 to 1.5 dm long, pilose on both surfaces, lower cauline leaves similar to the basal, pilose to glabrous, uppermost reduced, entire or rarely dissected, lanceolate in overall outline, glabrous. Sepals oblong, glabrous; corolla pink, petals spatulate, 6 to 8 mm long, 1.5 to 2 mm wide. Fruiting pedicels glabrous, divaricately ascending, straight, 8 to 12 mm long. Silique flattened, linear, broad, acuminate, divaricately ascending, 4 to 8 cm long, 3 to 4 mm wide, beakless, but the terminal portion

without seeds; style 1 to 2 mm long, slender; seeds orbicular, 3 to 4 mm broad including the encircling wing, in 1 row in each locule. Open woods, rocky hills, limestone outcrops, canyons, among boulders, in gravelly or rocky soils, etc., common near creeks. Endemic to S. Cen. TX. Apr.-May(June). [Streptanthus petiolaris A. Gray; S. brazoensis Buckley, Erysimum petiolare (A. Gray) Kuntze].


Annual or biennial taprooted herbs; stems 1 to several from the base, glabrous to sparsely pubescent. Leaves pectinate to pinnatifid or runcinate, lower leaves often in a rosette, upper stem leaves sometimes entire. Inflorescence a loose raceme, flowers not showy. Sepals oblong, the outer pair sometimes slightly saccate. Petals spatulate, white to pale lilac. Pedicels straight, divaricately ascending, their summits not expanded. Siliques linear, flattened parallel with the replum, ours all broader than 1 mm, valves nerved below or nerveless. Seeds winged, oblong to nearly orbicular, in 1 row in each locule; cotyledons accumbent.

There are 11 species in the SW. U.S. and Mex.; 3 in TX; 1 here.

Easily mistaken for Cardamine, but those plants have fibrous roots, glabrous stems, and, in ours, siliques more round and usually 1 mm broad or narrower.

1. S. virginica (L.) Roll. Annual herb from a basal rosette; stems erect or decumbent, 1 to 3 dm tall, several to many radiating from the base, more or less glabrous above, usually hirsute or densely pubescent below (much of our local material is not so pubescent but has at least scattered simple hairs, in contrast to the glabrous stems of the nearest look-alike, Cardamine). Basal leaves pinnately divided, each with 5 to 15 pairs of narrow, ovate to linear lateral divisions, these sometimes themselves lobed, terminal lobe somewhat broader; cauline leaves similar but smaller, petiolate. Racemes 10 to 20 cm long, flowers small, inconspicuous; petals white to pinkish, entire, oblanceolate to narrowly oblong, 1.5 to 3 mm long. Pedicels divaricately ascending, lengthening to 2 to 6 mm long in fruit, but mostly less than 4 mm long. Siliques narrowly oblong to linear, flattened parallel to the septum, 1 to 2.5 cm long, 1.2 to 2 mm broad; seeds flattened, nearly orbicular, smooth, narrowly winged. Roadsides, old fields, disturbed or open areas. S., Cen., and E. TX; CA and OK to OH, TN, VA, MS, GA, and FL. Not much collected in our area recently.Mar.-Apr. [Arabis virginica (L.) Trel., A. virginica (L.) Poir.].


Erect annual, winter annual, or biennial herbs. Stems often branched at or above the base. Herbage glabrous or with simple hairs. Leaves green or glaucous, monomorphic or dimorphic, at least the lower ones deeply pinnatifid, but the basal ones sometimes absent at flowering time. Racemes dense in flower, elongating in fruit. Sepals ascending, obtuse, non-saccate. Petals small, little longer than the sepals, yellow (as in ours) to white or purple, obovate to spatulate, sometimes emarginate, gradually narrowed to a claw. Glands subtending the short stamens usually annular. Ovary cylindric to long-subulate, style short, not much differentiated, stigma capitate. Siliques linear to long- subulate, tipped with small style, often to several cm. long but only a few mm wide, terete, erect to divaricately ascending, valves 3-nerved, the midnerve the most prominent. Seeds many in a single row in each locule, oblong, smooth or almost so, marginless; cotyledons incumbent.

About 90 species of Eurasia, the Mediterranean, temperate Africa, and N. and S. Amer.; 6 species in TX, 4 of which were introduced from Europe; 2 species in our area, both introduced. (These figures reflect the recent removal of several species from Sisymbrium to Thelypodiopsis and Schoenocrambe.)

1. Siliques linear and terete, ca. 3 to 6 cm long, pedicels ca. 5 to 10 mm long, divaricately ascending ...1.S.irio

1. Siliques subulate, to 2 cm long; pedicels 2 to 3 mm long; appressed to the raceme axis .....


1.S. irioBRASSICACEAE SISYMBRIUM irio L. London Rocket. Erect annual; stems branched near base and above, to 6 dm tall, glabrous to sparingly or densely hirsute, trichomes spreading. Lower leaves deeply pinnatifid, the segments oblong to ovate, entire to dentate or angularly lobed, the terminal lobe larger than the laterals, glabrous to sparsely hirsute with simple hairs on the petioles and lobe margins, upper leaves similar, but smaller and the lobes narrower and more pointed. Flowers small; petals pale yellow, oblanceolate, barely longer than the sepals, ca. 3 to 4 mm long. Pedicels divaricately ascending, slender, 5 to 10 mm long, glabrous to sparsely hirsute. Young fruits rapidly elongating and surpassing flowers, mature siliques glabrous, divaricately ascending, linear, terete, more or less straight, slender, ca. 3 to 5 cm long and ca. 1 mm wide; seeds oblong, wingless, less than 1 mm broad. Fields, roadsides, waste places, open deserts. Adventive from or introduced from Europe in scattered parts of the U.S. Dec.-May in TX, ours seen most often in (early) spring.

2.S. officinaleBRASSICACEAE SISYMBRIUM officinale (L.) Scop. Hedge Mustard. Annual; stems widely branching, to 1 m tall, hirsute with simple hairs at least at base, commonly retrorsely so, leaves sometimes also sparsely hirsute. Lower leaves petiolate, deeply pinnatifid, the divisions oblong to ovate or the terminal one sometimes rotund to reniform, margins with angular, blunt, irregular teeth, upper leaves smaller, becoming nearly sessile, few-lobed to 3-lobed to entire, the lateral lobes widely divergent and the terminal lobe much more pointed than in the lower leaves, margins irregularly dentate to entire. Flowers small, racemes stiff, erect, compact, becoming much elongated in fruit. Petals pale yellow, ca. 3 mm long. Pedicels at maturity ca. 2 to 3 mm long, thickened in the distal portion to equal the silique width. Siliques closely appressed to raceme axis, subu-late, 1 to 2 cm long at maturity (plants often collected while fruits are small and only a few mm long), pubescent with simple hairs or glabrous; style 1 to 2 mm long; seeds plump, varying in shape, wingless; cotyledons obliquely incumbent. Weedy, found in fields, roadsides, thickets, and waste places. Introduced throughout most of the U.S., native to Europe. Mar.-June. [Includes var. officinale and var. leiocarpum DC.].


Annual, biennial, or perennial taprooted herbs, often coarse and/or weedy. Stems erect to ascending, often branched, hispid or glabrous. Leaves petiolate to sessile, the lower often in a rosette, usually lyrate-pinnatifid, petiolate, upper leaves pinnate to entire, smaller, sometimes auriculate. Racemes elongating in fruit. Sepals erect to somewhat spreading, inner pair usually saccate. Petals usually yellow (to creamy), ca. 1 to 1.5 cm long, blades obovate, clawed. Stamens 6, staminal glands 4. Stigma capitate or 2-lobed. Siliques erect to spreading or reflexed, linear, slender, terete to torulose or slightly compressed parallel to the septum, with 1 prominent or obscure nerve on each valve (lateral nerves inconspicuous) and a separate empty or 1- or 2-(3-) seeded, conical or cylindrical beak in addition to the style. Seeds mostly black, brown, or yellow, globose; cotyledons conduplicate. [Sinapis L.].

About 35 species of Europe and Asia, those of the U.S. all introduced; 4 species found in TX; 3 here.

This very important genus includes cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi (all B. oleracea L.), Chinese cabbage (B. pekinensis), turnip (B. rapa L.), rutabaga (B. napus L.), white mustard (B. hirta Moench), black mustard (B. nigra (L.) Koch, and rapeseed (B. napus L.) These may occasionally be found as escapes from cultivation or as ruderals.

Leaves of the species found growing wild may be eaten in early spring as greens, though they become more bitter as the season progresses. Plants are high in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, and C and in calcium and potassium. Seeds may be used to make mustards after drying and mixing with browned flour, water, and vinegar. Mustard oil is an irritant and mustard plasters (poultices) made from the powdered seeds and applied to aches and pains can be caustic (Tull 1987; Mabberley 1987).

1. Upper cauline leaves not auriculate or clasping ...1.B.juncea

1. Upper cauline leaves auriculate or clasping ...........................................................................2

2(1) Petals 6 to 10 mm long; leaves thin-textured ...2.B.rapa

2. Petals 10 to 25 mm long; leaves thick-textured ...3.B.oleracea

1.B. junceaBRASSICACEAE BRASSICA juncea (L.) Czern. Leaf Mustard, Chinese Mustard, India Mustard. Annual or winter annual herb from a slender to stout taproot; stems 3 to 12(20) cm tall, sometimes branched above, glabrous or with a few hispid hairs when young; foliage glabrous, often glaucous. Lower leaves petiolate, 20(30) cm long, 4 to 10 cm wide, obovate to lyrate-pinnatifid, the terminal lobe the largest, dentate, glabrous or with a few hairs, upper leaves smaller, oblong to oblanceolate, petiolate, becoming lanceolate to linear and sessile but not clasping, entire to dentate. Flowers 12 to 15 mm wide. Sepals 4 to 5 mm long; petals yellow, 8 to 12 mm long. Pedicels in fruit ascending, slender, 8 to 12 mm long. Siliques ascending, linear, terete, not torulose or only slightly so, 3 to 6 cm long including the seedless beak which is 4 to 8 mm long, valves strongly 1-nerved, glabrous; seeds red-brown, spherical, 1.2 to 1.5 mm in diameter, evenly and noticeably reticulate. Old fields, roadsides, waste places, and disturbed areas. Scattered over TX, sporadic but common; native to Eurasia and naturalized throughout temperate N. Amer. Apr.-Jun. [Sinapsis juncea L.].

2.B. rapaBRASSICACEAE BRASSICA rapa L. Field Mustard, Wild Turnip, Bird or Turnip Rape. Annual, winter annual, or biennial herb from a slender to stout taproot; stems 2 to 10 dm tall, glabrous to hirsute and/or glaucous. Basal leaves to 20 cm long, petiolate, usually lyrate-pinnatifid, rarely ovate to obovate and merely dentate, glabrous or else setulose when young, stem leaves oblong to ovate-lanceolate, reduced upwards, becoming auriculate and clasping and ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate, entire to shallowly dentate. Flowers to 1 cm wide. Sepals 4 to 5 mm long; petals yellow, ca. 6 to 10 mm long. Pedicels 0.5 to 2.5 cm long, divaricately ascending. Siliques ascending to spreading, glabrous, linear, not torulose, 3 to 7 cm long, including the slender, seedless beak which is (8)10 to 15(20) mm long, overall ca. 3 mm broad; seeds rounded or slightly compressed, dark brown or reddish-gray, reticulate or minutely roughened, 1.5 to 2 mm long. Scattered in TX, primarily in the E. 1/2; native to Eurasia and now naturalized in N. Amer. May-June. [B. campestris L.]. Our plants are mostly var. rapa.

3.B. oleraceaBRASSICACEAE BRASSICA oleracea L. Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc. Annual or biennial herbs from thick taproots; stems to 1 m tall, glabrous, sometimes glaucous. Basal leaves petiolate, fleshy and thick, obovate to oblong, pinnatifid to lyrate-pinnatifid or merely dentate, to 50 cm long, glabrous; stem leaves oblanceolate to narrowly obovate, auriculate and clasping, becoming smaller up the stem. Pedicels 5 to 20 mm long. Sepals 6 to 12 mm long; petals 1 to 2.5 cm long, yellow to white. Siliques linear, not torulose, glabrous, 5 to 10 cm long, including a seedless beak to 2 cm long; seeds 2 to 4 mm in diam, striate, brown. Roadsides and other disturbed places in E. part of the state; native to Eurasia; sometimes adventive but not usually persisting in N. America. Roughly Feb.-Apr.

The different cultivated types have been variously assigned to different groups or varieties. Unless a specimen is demonstrably a garden-type plant, it can be treated as var. oleracea.


Annual (rarely perennial) herbs. Stems erect, often branched above. Herbage glabrous or with simple spreading or retrorse hairs. Lower leaves usually not rosulate, lyrate to pinnatifid to pinnatisect or pinnately divided, terminal lobes larger than lateral, usually coarsely dentate, upper stem leaves sessile or short petiolate, entire to shallowly lobed. Inflorescence ebracteate, corymb-like but racemose, elongating in fruit. Sepals yellowish, spreading (rarely reflexed), oblong or linear, not saccate, glabarous to sparsely or densely hispid or villous dorsally. Petals obovate, yellow. Fruiting pedicels straight or rarely curved, erect to ascending or widely spreading. Siliqe with a definite beak, linear or oblong, terete to flattened or slightly angled, glabrous or hispid and with or without shorter retrorse hairs, with several nerves on each valve. Seeds in 1 series in each locule, wingless, yellow-brown; cotyledons conduplicate.

Seven species of the Mediterranean, N. Afr., and Mid East; 2 naturalized in N. Amer. including TX; 1 here. Formerly included in Brassica.

1. S. arvensis L. Charlock. Annual or winter annual from a slender to stout taproot; stems erect, often branched above, 2 to (6)10 dm tall; herbage retrorsely hispid or hirsute, often quite so near the base. Basal leaves to 20 cm long, obovate, mostly lyrate-pinnatifid, with a large, rounded, toothed terminal lobe, hispid usually at least on the petioles and veins of the lower surfaces, cauline leaves oblong to lanceolate to oblanceolate or even ovate or rhombic, occasionally lobed, dentate, sessile or subsessile, often sparsely pilose. Pedicels ascending, 2 to 3 mm long, to 5(7) mm long in fruit. Sepals 4 to 5 mm long; petals 6 to 11 mm long, yellow. Siliques ascending, linear, subterete, more or less constricted between the seeds, 2 to 4.5 cm long, including the usually (0-)1- to 2-seeded, straight to slightly curved, flattened beak of 1 to 1.5 cm; seeds spherical, red-brown to black, 1 to 1.5 mm in diameter, minutely alveolate. Common as a weed in waste areas and roadsides throughout much of TX, though more common in E. TX and absent from the N. Panhandle; native to Eurasia; naturalized throughout N. Amer. Mar.-May. [Includes var. pinnatifida (Stokes) Wheeler; Sinapis kaber DC.; Brassica kaber (DC.) Wheeler; Brassica arvensis Rabenh.].


Four species--1 of the E. and Cen. U.S.; 3 from Mex.

1. I. pinnatifidus (Michx.) Steud. Purple Rocket. Perennial to 1 m tall; stem usually simple below the inflorescence; herbage glabrous or only sparsely pubescent with simple hairs. Leaves glabrous, thin, ovate to elliptic or lanceolate or oblong, acute to acuminate, irregularly serrate to laciniate, rarely twice dentate or crenate, stem leaves petiolate or the upper ones sessile, lower leaves usually with a winged petiole and small auricles clasping the stem, sometimes nearly pinnatifid with 1 to 4 pairs of small segments at the base. Racemes elongating before anthesis. Sepals oblong, erect, 6 to 8 mm long, the inner pair somewhat saccate at the base, often purplish; petals lavender to whitish, 7 to 14 mm long, with triangular-obovate blades and exserted claws, or else somewhat spatulate to oblong; stamen bases surrounded by a ring-shaped gland. Pedicels 6 to 10 mm long, widely spreading, glabrous. Siliques sessile on the pedicels or with short stipes, linear, straight, nearly round, widely spreading to divaricately ascending, 2 to 4 cm long, covered with minute transparent papillae, somewhat beaked, blunt at the apex, somewhat constricted between the seeds; seeds many in 1 row per cell, oblong, wingless, 1 to 1.5 mm long; cotyledons accumbent. Moist to wet alluvial soils in rich woods. Cen. & E. TX, known from the Navasota River bottoms in Grimes Co.; PA, WV, and IL to MN and KS, S. to OK, TX, and AL. Generally Apr.-Jun., ours from June and July, with mature fruit.

BRASSICACEAE CONRINGIA19. CONRINGIA Heister ex Fabr. Hare's-ear Mustard

Seven species of the Mediterranean region, Europe, and Asia. We have the 1 species introduced into the U.S.

1. C. orientalis (L.) Dum. Hare's-ear Mustard, Treacle Mustard. Erect annual, winter annual, or sometimes biennial herb, sometimes somewhat succulent; stems 2 to 8 dm tall, simple or branched above, leafy; herbage glabrous, glaucous. Leaves entire, pale, oblong -ovate to oblong, 3 to 9 cm long, (1)2 to 3.5 (4.5) cm wide, the lowermost ones tapered to the base, upper leaves oval-elliptic to oblong, the apices rounded, bases cordate-clasping to auriculate. Flowers in elongate racemes to 20 cm long. Sepals saccate, erect; petals erect, yellowish to creamy or white, 8 to 12 mm long, obovate, with or without a well-defined claw; short stamens subtended by U-shaped glands. Pedicels stout, widely spreading to divaricately ascending, not much expanded below the silique. Siliques 4-angled, linear, erect to slightly divergent, 8 to 12 cm long at full maturity, 2 to 3 mm wide, styles 1 to 2 mm long, stigmas truncate to capitate; seeds in 1 row per locule, oblong, plump, wingless, granular-rough; cotyledons incumbent. Cultivated land, grain fields, roadsides, and disturbed areas. Widely introduced from Eurasia; throughout the U.S., more common in the NW. Uncommon in our area. Mar.-May.

In its native area, the seeds of this plant are used as a source of cooking oil (Mabberley 1987).


Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs, often (but not always) rather coarse. Stems often branched above. Herbage with appressed, forked or branched trichomes (as seen with a strong lens.) Leaves generally undivided, entire to repand or dentate, sessile to short-petiolate, lowermost leaves often absent at flowering time. Flowers in racemes, generally showy. Sepals erect, the outer pair saccate at the base. Petals yellow to orange or maroon, relatively large, clawed. Short stamens and each pair of long stamens subtended by a gland. Ovary pubescent. Siliques erect to spreading, terete to 4-angled, linear, the valves with prominent midnerves; styles short, stigma capitate to 2-lobed. Seeds many in 1 row per locule, wingless or with a small distal wing; cotyledons (in ours) incumbent.

About 100 species in N. Amer., the Mediterranean, Asia, and Europe; 3 in TX; 2 collected here.

Some species are weedy, others are cultivated for ornament (Mabberley 1987).

1. Petals greenish-yellow, 5 to 8 mm long; pedicels 2 to 4 mm long; persistent stigma smaller in diameter than style; annual ...1.E.repandum

1. Petals yellow to orange or red, 15 to 25 mm long; pedicels 5 to 10 mm long; persistent stigma deeply 2-lobed, wider than the style; biennial or perennial ...2.E.capitatum

var. capitatum

1.E. repandumBRASSICACEAE ERYSIMUM repandum L. Bushy Wallflower. Winter annual; stem simple or divaricatley branched above, 1 to 4(6) dm tall; herbage and fruits with appressed, forked trichomes (sometimes a few trifurcate hairs mixed in.) Leaves linear to linear-oblanceolate, ca. 2 to 12 cm long, 2 to 12 mm wide, generally repand to dentate, sometimes entire, less often runcinate, lower leaves short-petiolate, the upper long tapering cuneate at the base. Sepals 4.5 to 5.5 mm long, densely pubescent with bifurcate or stellate hairs; petals pale yellow, 6 to 12 mm long. Racemes 10 to 20 cm long in full fruit; pedicels thickened but expanded at the summit, about the same diameter of the siliques, 2 to 5 mm long in fruit, spreading at right angles to the axis of the raceme. Siliques widely spreading, scarcely 4-angled, nearly terete, somewhat moniliform when seeds are mature, 4 to 8(12) cm long, ca. 1 mm in diameter, stigma not broader than style; seeds oblong to narrowly obovoid, flattened, 1 to 1.4 mm broad, sometimes winged at apex. Cultivated areas, fields, road-sides, waste places. Primarily N. and W. TX but known from here; S. Can. to MA to OR, S. to AL, AR, TX, NM, and CA; adventive from Eurasia. [Cherinia repanda (L.) Link].

2.E. capitatumBRASSICACEAE ERYSIMUM capitatum (Dougl. ex Hook.) Greene var. capitatum Western Wallflower. Biennial or short-lived perennial herbs, sometimes coarse; stems 1 to few from the base, usually simple below, branched above or unbranched, erect, 2 to (7)10 dm tall, leafy; herbage with appressed bifurcate or trifurcate hairs. Leaves linear-lanceolate to oblanceolate, remotely dentate with concave-sided teeth to entire, lower leaves lanceolate, 4 to 15 cm long, 3 to 15(30) mm wide, petiolate, leaves becoming more cuneate at the base as they progress up the stem. Racemes dense in flower, elongating in fruit. Sepals 8 to 12 mm long; petals yellow to orange-yellow or maroon, 12 to 25(30)mm long, clawed. Pedicels spreading to divaricatley ascending, 6 to 9 mm long, slightly angled in cross section. Siliques erect or less commonly divaricately ascending, 5 to 8 cm long, slightly compressed-quadrangular, pubescent with appressed, forked hairs, (1.5)2 to 3 mm broad; style 0.3 to 5 mm long, stigma relatively large, deeply 2-lobed, persistent; seeds 1.5 to 3 mm long, plump and oblong, wingless or with a small distal wing. Open rocky outcrops, roadcuts, banks, dry stream beds, and open wooded hills. N. and W. TX; also known from rocky outcroppings in Grimes Co.; this variety W. Can. to WA, S. to TX, AR, NM, AZ, CA, and Mex. Native. Apr.-July. [E. arkansanum Nutt. ex T. & G.; E. asperum (Nutt.) DC. var. capitatum (Doug. ex Hook.) Boivin].


About 25 species in Europe and the Mediterranean region; 1 naturalized in TX.

1. D. muralis (L.) DC. Sand Rocket, Stinking Wall Rocket. Annual, biennial or perennial herbs; stems usually several from the base, branched above, erect or decumbent, 2 to 4 dm tall, sparsely hispid below to glabrous. Leaves primarily basal, to ca. 5 cm long, oblanceolate to spatulate in overall outline, pinnatifid or lyrate or else merely sinuate to dentate, rarely spatulate or nearly entire; cauline leaves few or none, when present cuneate at the base. Flowers few, in racemes that elongate in fruit. Sepals erect to ascending, not saccate; petals yellow to lavender, 5 to 7 mm long, gradually tapered to a claw; short stamens subtended by reniform or hemispherical glands, each pair of long stamens subtended by a short, prism-shaped gland. Pedicels divaricately ascending, slender, 1.5 to 2 cm long. Siliques sessile on the pedicels, erect to slightly spreading, 2 to 3.5 cm long, 2 mm broad, terete to slightly flattened, each valve with an obvious median vein; styles 1 to 2 mm long, stigma scarcely distinct from style; seeds ca. 1 mm long, oblong, in 2 rows in each locule; cotyledons conduplicate. Fields, roadsides, waste and abandoned areas. Scattered throughout the U.S. and Can.; N.S. to NJ, WI, MN, G.P., and W. U.S. Naturalized from Europe. June-Aug.


Annual, winter annual, or sometimes biennial herbs from taproots or perennial herbs from rhizomes. Stems glabrous to hirsute or with vesicular hairs, one to many from the base, erect to decumbent or prostrate, simple to branched. Basal rosette often present cauline leaves sessile to short petiolate, oblong to obovate, oblanceolate, or spatulate in overall outline, entire to serrate, dentate, pinnatifid, lyrate, or nearly compound, one or both surfaces glabrous to hirsute or with vesicular hairs, leaves reduced in length and width up the stem. Racemes terminal and lateral, produced after stem elongation so that siliques at corresponding positions on all racemes are the same age OR oldest fruit at the base of the terminal raceme OR racemes strictly lateral, developed during stem elongation so that the most mature fruits are on the lowermost racemes. Pedicels 0.5 to 13 mm long in fruit, recurved to ascending, often expanded at the summit, glabrous or with pubescence similar to that of stems and leaves. Sepals caducous or persistent, flat to saccate, ovate to oblong. Petals present or absent, if present obovate to spatulate, gradually narrowed to the claw, shorter than, equalling, or exceeding the sepals, erect, pale to bright sulfur yellow. Stamens 6, somewhat tetradynamous, rarely 3 to 5, the two shorter subtended by minute glands, anthers not exserted, crowded around the stigma at anthesis. Ovary cylindrical, elongating in fruit, style very short, elongating and persisting in fruit, stigma capitate. Fruits siliques (as in ours) or silicles, narrowly cylindric to globose, sometimes constricted in the middle, longer fruits straight to slightly curved, shorter than to longer than the subtending pedicels, valves 2 (3 to 6), nerveless to obscurely nerved, usually readily dehiscent, glabrous to papillose to densely strigose. Seeds many, wingless, plump, cordiform (heart-shape), crowded in 2 irregular rows per locule; in some species no mature fruit developed; cotyledons accumbent. Sometimes spelled "Roripa" in old sources. [Syn. = Radicula Hill].

From 40 to 50(70?) species of temperate, subtropical, and tropical areas, on all continents except Antarctica, more common in the N. hemisphere. Most species favor damp to aquatic habitats. TX boasts 9 species; our area only 2. A useful reference is the work of Stuckey (1972).

NOTE 1:R. nasturtium-aquaticum (L.) Hayek, formerly known as Nasturtium officinale R. Br. and so listed in many books, is not known from our immediate area, but may someday be found here. It is an aquatic species with white flowers and pinnately compound leaves.

NOTE 2: R. palustris (L.) Bess. is known from areas N., S., E., and W. of us and may someday be found here. It has short, thick, broadly-oblong fruits with pedicels more than 3 mm long and petals shorter than the sepals. [R. islandica (Oeder ex Murray) Borbas].

1. Midstem leaves pinnately divided to the midrib; fruit (4)6 to 9 times longer than wide; petals present ...1.R.teres


2. Midstem leaves entire to lobed, but not divided to the midrib; fruit ca. 3 to 5 times longer than wide; petals absent ...2.R.sessiliflora

1.R. teresBRASSICACEAE RORIPPA teres (Michx.) Stuckey var. teres Annual or possibly biennial; stems 1 to 4 dm tall, decumbent to prostrate, occasionally erect, simple or branched at the base, glabrous to moderately pubescent with vesicular trichomes. Basal and lower leaves petiolate, sometimes slightly auriculate, oblong to oblance-olate, (2)4 to 11 cm long, 1 to 3.5(5) cm wide, pinnately divided to the midrib, the segments bluntly toothed, terminal lobe narrow, obtuse to acute, glabrous below and glabrous or with vesicular hairs above. Racemes lateral, 0.5 to 2(3) dm long, developing during stem elongation so that the oldest fruits are on the lowest racemes; pedicels (1.4) 2.5 to 4.5(5.2) mm long, ascending, glabrous to rough or pubescent with vesi-cular hairs. Sepals ovate to oblanceolate, 1.7 to 2.6 mm long, 0.6 to 1 mm broad, flat to slightly saccate; petals spatulate, 1 to 1.7(2) mm long, slightly longer than or equalling or shorter than the sepals. Siliques linear-oblong-cylindrical, straight to slightly curved upwards, basally acute to cuneate, slightly tapered to the apex, (5.2)8.5 to 12.5(20.4) mm long, (0.6)1 to 2.2 mm wide, ca. (4)6 to 9(10) times longer than wide, smooth to rough or with vesicular pubescence; style (0.3)0.5 to 1.5 mm long, straight or expanded below the stigma, gradually tapered below to the acute apex of the fruit; seeds plump, heart-shaped, 0.4 to 0.5 mm long, minutely pitted, ca. 100 to 150 per silique. Moist fields, lakes, ponds, swamps, and stream margins. E. and SW. TX; Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains: SC and FL to OK; also Mex. and Cen. Amer. Dec.-May, ours mostly Mar.-Apr., with some collections from October. [R. walteri (Ell.) Mohr.]

Many of our older specimens were misidentified as R. palustris (L.) Bess., also known as R. obtusa. Unfortunately, R. obtusa and Radicula obtusa are old synonyms for several currently recognized species.

2.R. sessilifloraBRASSICACEAE RORIPPA sessiliflora (Nutt.) A. S. Hitchc. Summer to winter annual, possibly biennial, from a vertical taproot; stems 1 to many from the base, branched, (1)2 to 5 dm tall, erect, glabrous. Basal and lower stem leaves sessile to cuneate at the base or short petiolate, sometimes slightly auriculate, obovate or oblanceolate to spatulate in overall outline, 1.5 to 6(11) cm long and (0.5)1 to 2(4) cm wide, entire to crenate, irregularly serrate or repand, apically obtuse to somewhat acute. Racemes terminal and axillary, ca. 0.5 to 1(2) dm long, developed during raceme elongation so that siliques at corresponding points on different racemes are the same age; pedicels 0.5 to 1(2) mm long, ascending, smooth to rough. Sepals ovate to lanceolate, 1.3 to 2 mm long, 0.4 to 0.8 mm wide, saccate, caducous; petals absent (rarely 1 or 2 flowers on a plant with a petal or two); stamens 3 to 6, varying from flower to flower. Siliques elongate-cylindric, straight to slightly curved upward and inward, basally acute to cuneate, somewhat wider above, (3)5.4 to 8.5(10.2) mm long, (1.4)1.8 to 2.6(3.3) mm wide, ca. 3 to 5 times longer than wide, ca. (4)6 to 9 times longer than the pedicels, smooth to rough, replum roughly obovate in outline; style none or to 0.4 mm long, strongly expanded below the stigma, occasionally straight, gradually merging into the obtuse silique apex, stigma expanded in fruit; seeds heart-shaped, ca. 0.4 to 0.5 mm long, about 150 to 200 per silique, yellow-brown, minutely pitted. Wetlands, floodplains, along slow-mowing streams, and around ponds. N. and E. TX; TX and FL to MD, OH, WI, IL, IA, and MN, S. to KS and OK. Mar.-Oct., ours mostly Mar.-May.

NOTE: Some of our local material has leaves which resemble those of R. palustris--pinnately divided, but not quite to the midrib. These plants, however, have apetalous flowers and lack the constricted-in-the-middle fruits of R. palustris, and so must be grouped with R. sessiliflora. The possibility of hybrids should be ruled out.


Caper Family

Herbs (as ours), shrubs, or trees. Herbage often with a rank odor. Leaves alternate, petiolate, simple or palmately compound, leaflets 3 to 9(11), stipules minute or absent. Flowers solitary in the axils or in terminal bracted or ebractate many-flowered racemes, usually perfect, more or less regular to strongly zygomorphic, hypogynous, 4-merous. Sepals 4 in ours, free or basally connate. Petals 4 in ours, free, subequal or in 2 different-sized pairs, often with a slender claw. Stamens 6 to 27 or more, equalling or longer than the petals, a nectary gland or ring often present outside the stamens. Carpels 2 (to 12), united, ovary bilocular, placentae parietal. Fruit commonly stipitate, in ours a 2-valved capsule, seeds many, more or less reniform (fruit often otherwise in other genera--a berry, drupe, schizocarp, silique, etc.). Sometimes spelled "Capparidaceae", though "Capparaceae" has been conserved.

About 45 genera and 675 species of warm regions, with a few in arid temperate arid regions; 6 genera and 14 species in TX (including Koeberlinia, formerly in the Koeberliniaceae); 2 genera and 3 species here.

The pickled buds of Capparis spinosa L. are the capers used in cooking. Some species of Cleome are cultivated for showy flowers (Mabberley 1987).

1. Capsule rhomboidal to obdeltoid; petals yellow .................................................1. Cleomella

1. Capsule linear-fusiform; petals white to pinkish ...................................................2. Polanisia

1. CLEOMELLA DC. Cleomella, Rhombopod

Annual (as ours) or perennial herbs. Stems slender to robust, variously pubescent. Leaves alternate, palmately 3-foliolate, leaflets entire, mucronate; stipules minute, filiform. Flowers in terminal bracted racemes. Sepals slightly connate at the base, minute, tardily deciduous. Corolla closed in bud, petals covering the stamens, subsessile, yellow. Stamens 6, equal, anthers coiled when dry. Capsule obdeltoid to rhombic, often wider than long, expanded perpendicular to the placentae, the 2 valves laterally expanded cones, gynophore elongate, style persistent, slender, indurate. Seeds 3 to 20.

Ten species of N. Amer., typically xerophytic; 2 in TX; 1 here.

1. C. angustifolia Torr. Eastern Cleomella, Narrowleaf Rhombopod. Stems erect, plants often bushy, 6 to 26 dm tall; herbage glabrous. Leaflets linear-elliptic, 25 to 60 mm long, 2 to 8 mm broad, entire, acute. Racemes to 4 dm long, apically flat-topped to rounded; lower bracts 3-foliolate, upper unifoliolate; pedicels 7 to 12(17) mm long; flowers regular. Sepals thin, imbricate; petals yellow, 4 to 6 mm long. Capsule oblongoid to rhomboidal or obdeltoid, the conical valves acute to rounded, overall 5 to 10 mm long, 5 to 9 mm broad, borne on a gynophore 4 to 7 mm long; style 0.5 mm long or less; seeds 3 to 6 per capsule, dark brown mottled. Deep sandy or gravelly soils of pond edges, riverbottoms, prairies, roadsides, sandstone shales, etc. E. 1/2 of TX except Pineywoods, also in Dawson Co.; EX to E. KS, W. NE, and NE. CO. June-Oct.


Annuals; herbage viscid-pubescent, often with a rank odor. Leaves petiolate, palmately 3-foliolate. Flowers in bracteate racemes. Sepals free almost to the base. Corolla zygomorphic, open in bud and not covering the stamens, petals spatulate and long-clawed (as in ours) to obovate, the adaxial pair larger, emarginate to laciniate, commonly white to pink, purplish, or yellow. Nectary gland obvious, adaxial, between petals and stamens, solid or tubular, commonly orange. Stamens 6 to 27, unequal and maturing at different times. Capsule erect, sessile or short stipitate, elongate, glandular, dehiscing by apical valves. Seeds many, reniform.

Five species of N. Amer.; 4 in TX; 2 here. Sometimes included in Cleome. Some species have synonyms in Cristatella.

1. Leaflets linear-filiform; petals laciniate; nectary tubular, hollow; fruits 2 to 4 mm broad ........


subsp. erosa

1. Leaflets lanceolate to elliptic to obovate; petals entire to shallowly notched; nectary solid, concave; fruit 5 to 10 mm broad ...2.P.dodecandra

1.P. erosaCAPPARACEAE POLANISIA erosa (Nutt.) Iltis ssp. erosa Large Clammy-weed, Large Crestpetal. Stems 2 to 6 dm tall, branches slender, divergent, glabrous to sparsely viscid-glandular; herbage viscid-glandular. Petioles filiform, to 2 cm long; leaflets linear to filiform or oblanceolate, 0.5 to 4 cm long, 1 to 5 mm broad, blunt, often folded. Racemes to ca. 25 cm long, open, each with ca. 10 to 17 flowers; bracts like the leaves though smaller. Petals broadly spatulate with slender claws, blade white to pale yellow or tinged with pale pink or purple, the larger pair 6 to 11 mm long and 7 mm wide, with 5 to 9 laciniate lobes, the smaller pair 4 to 6 mm long, more deeply info filiform segments; stamens 6 to 15, 6 to 12 mm long when mature, pinkish; nectary yellow, tubular and hollow. Pedicels in fruit 12 to 22 mm long. Fruit on a filiform stipe or gynophore 7 to 14 mm long; capsule erect, narrowly linear-fusiform, 2 to 6 cm long, 1.5 to 3.5(5) mm broad, splitting nearly to the base, topped by a persistent style 3 to 6 mm long; seeds 6 to 36, dark red-brown. Dry, deep sandy soils of woods, prairies, and fields. Common in E. TX and in the W. Gulf Coast Plain; from S. TX to S. OK, into W. LA (rare). Apr.-Oct. [Cristatella erosa Nutt.].

2.P. dodecandraCAPPARACEAE POLANISIA dodecandra (L.) DC. Clammy-weed. Stems 2 to 8 dm tall, branched (or unbranched); herbage glandular-viscid. Leaves petiolate, the 3 leaflets oblanceolate to more ovate or elliptic, 2 to 4 cm long, 4 to 20 mm broad. Flowers in bracted racemes; bracts unifoliolate, each similar to a leaflet. Petals white to rose, pink, or purple, 5 to 17 mm long, more or less equal, usually emarginate; stamens 6 to 20, 9 to 30 mm long, from greatly exserted to not much longer than the petals, usually pink-purple. Capsule erect, linear-fusiform; seeds many, dark brown or reddish brown, dull, wrinkled to tuberculate.

In TX with 3 intergrading, more or less geographic subspecies; 2 possible here.

subsp. trachysperma (T. & G.) Iltis Floral bracts lanceolate to ovate. Petals white, (5)10 to 16 mm long; stamens greatly exserted, the longest 12 to 30 mm long. Capsule 2 to 7 mm long, 5 to 10 mm broad, somewhat inflated, glandular pubescent; seeds somewhat roughened on the back. Sandy, gravelly, or rocky soils of hills, plains, riverbottoms, washes, sandbars, woods, roadsides, etc. Throughout TX; SW. Can. and MN S. to MO, AR, and N. Mex., W. to Rocky Mountains. May-Oct. [P. trachysperma T. & G.].

subsp. riograndensis Iltis Leaves more often rounded. Racemes dense, often nearly flat-topped; floral bracts ovate to nearly orbicular. Petals rose to purple, (6)8 to 14(17) mm long; longest stamens 12 to 17 mm long, not much exserted. Capsules thinner, not inflated, (3)4 to 7.5 cm long, (3)4 to 5(7) mm broad, subglabrous to sparsely glandular; seeds markedly tuberculate-rugose. Sandy, gravelly, limestone, or alluvial soils of dunes, riverbanks, washouts, scrub thickets, roadsides, etc. Endemic to the Lower Rio Grande Valley and nearby desert areas. Mar.-Nov. Perhaps not strictly present in our area, but plants of calcareous sandstone in Grimes Co. have the pink petals, short stamens, rounder leaves, dense inflorescence, and rough seeds typical of this subspecies, though they have the larger, more glandular fruit typical of ssp. trachysperma. These plants may represent a population with the heritage of both subspecies, which are known to intergrade elsewhere in Texas.


Heath Family

Shrubs, trees (as in ours), herbs, or rarely vines, evergreen or deciduous. Leaves simple, alternate (rarely opposite or whorled), estipulate, thin or commonly coriaceous, entire to serrate. Flowers perfect, usually (4-)5-merous, regular or irregular, usually in bracteate racemes, panicles, fascicles, or rarely solitary. Sepals (3)5(7), free or connate below, usually persistent. Corolla of (3)5(7) petals, usually united, often urceolate, campanulate, or funnelform. Stamens in 2 whorls, usually twice as many as the petals or up to 20 or some absent, usually free; anthers inverted, usually dehiscing by "terminal" pores which actually represent the base of the anther cells, less often anthers opening by slits, appendages often present. Ovary superior to partially or wholly inferior, of (2-)5(-10) united carpels, multilocular, ovules (1) many on each of the usually axile placentae; style 1, hollow, stigma small, discoid. Fruit a berry (as in ours), drupe, loculicidal or septicidal capsule, or rarely a nut.

The family (excluding taxa now assigned to the Monotropaceae and Pyrolaceae) consists of 103 genera and 3,350 species, worldwide except in deserts; in the tropics most species are montane. Many species prefer acid soils. Six genera and 14 species are found in TX; 2 species here.

The family is important for temperate fruits, especially blueberries, cranberries, billberries, etc., all Vaccinium. Many species are grown as ornamentals, in genera such as Rhododendron (includes azaleas), Leucothoe, Kalmia, Pieris, etc. Erica is heath and Calluna the famous heather of the British Isles (Mabberley 1987).


Upright or trailing shrubs or small trees, deciduous or evergreen. Leaves entire to serrate. Flowers solitary, in clusters, or racemose. Calyx persistent, (4-)5-merous, the sepals fused below. Corolla variously shaped, typically campanulate to urceolate, sympetalous, white to rose, 4- or 5-lobed. Stamens 8 to 10, distinct, anthers sometimes awned, dehiscent by "terminal" pores. Ovary inferior, 4- or 5-celled (sometimes appearing 8- or 10-celled due to the presence of false partitions), placentation axile. Fruit a berry, often edible.

About 450 species throughout the world; 5 in TX; 2 here.

V. corymbosum L. is the common cultivated blueberry of E. N. Amer. V. myrtilloides and V. angustifolium provide "wild" blueberries. V. macrcarpon Ait. is the best cranberry; V. oxycocos is an inferior substitute. Some species are grown for their flowers (Mabberley 1987). The berries of most species are an important wildlife food (Elias 1980).

1. Leaves thick and leathery, glossy; corolla short-urceolate; anthers awned on the back ........


1. Leaves thin, not glossy; corolla cylindric-urceolate; anthers not awned ...2.V.virgatum

1.V. arboreumERICACEAE VACCINIUM arboreum Marsh. Farkleberry, Sparkleberry. Large shrub or small tree to 8 or 9 m tall, well-branched; bark becoming gray and exfoliating on older trunks; twigs glabrous to puberulent. Leaves alternate, obovate to oblong-elliptic, (1)2 to 7 cm long, 1 to 4 cm broad, entire to denticulate, base generally cuneate, apex rounded to obtuse and apiculate, lustrous above, coriaceous, deciduous but in the far S. tending toward evergreen. Fall color (and sometimes new growth) reddish. Flowers scented, in leafy-bracted racemes or panicles, usually on second year wood; bracts shorter than the leaves and slightly differently shaped; pedicels filiform, jointed. Sepals (4)5, acute; corolla white, urceolate, 4 to 6 mm long, orifice open and the pointed lobes recurved or reflexed, 0.5 to 1 mm long; stamens (8)10, included, filaments pubescent, anther awns more than 1/2 the length of the tubular anther tips; gynoecium (4-)5-merous, style exserted. Berry black to bluish or reddish, 4 to 6 mm in diameter, becoming dry; seeds several, hard. Sandy soil of mixed woods, pine forests, thickets, clearings, coastal scrub thickets, etc., frequent along drainages. Unusual in the family for tolerating basic soils. E. and S. Cen. TX; IN, IL, and MO, to VA and KS, S. to FL and TX. Mar.-May. [Batodendron arboreum (Marsh.) Nutt.].

The fruit is reported to be inedible (GPFA 1986; Mabberley 1987). It is edible but rather seedy and dry, better in some years than others and on some trees than others. Bears, foxes, opossums, raccoons, skunks, gamebirds, and songbirds all eat the fruit, while deer browse the foliage and fruit (Elias, 1980). Farkleberry has been used with some success as a rootstock for commercial blueberries by those wishing to grow them in the local basic soils.

2.V. virgatumERICACEAE VACCINIUM virgatum Ait. Rabbiteye Blueberry. Small shrub to ca. 1 m tall, often colonial. Leaves deciduous, thin-textured, (2)3 to 4.5(5) cm long, 1 to 1.5(2) cm broad, spatulate to oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, basally narrowly cuneate, apically acute to acuminate, lower surface glandular or with glandular hairs (use strong magnification), commonly pubescent also along the midrib or sometimes glabrous, margin sharply serrate to minutely serrulate. Corolla whitish, pink-tinged, cylindrical-urceolate, 6 to 9 mm long, with very short lobes; stamens not exserted, anthers unawned; tip of style exserted. Berry usually glossy black, 6 to 10 mm in diameter. Primarily in open woods, along streams, in boggy areas, and bottomland woods; known from a bog in Leon Co.; E. TX; N. FL, GA, and AL, W. to TX and AR. Mar.-Apr. [Included by some in V. corymbosum L., and listed as such by Hatch, et al. (1990), but retained as V. virgatum by Kartesz (1998) and Smith (1994). There seems to be the possibility of combining some of the taxa of the SE. U.S., but different sources do it differently. The name V. virgatum will suffice as a place-holder for our plants until a consensus is reached.]

The fruit is said to be of poor flavor and quality (Correll & Johnston 1970).


Sapodilla Family

Trees or shrubs, usually with milky latex and often with 2-armed hairs. Leaves simple, alternate petiolate, usually estipulate. Flowers usually perfect and regular, in panicles. Calyx of (4)5 (12) more or less free sepals, sometimes in 2 whorls. Corolla of 4 to 8 fused petals, sometimes each with paired appendages. Stamens epipetalous, in 1 to 3 whorls, sometimes scales, appendages, or petaloid staminodia present, fertile stamens commonly as many as the corolla lobes and opposite them, anthers commonly extrorse. Ovary superior, of 2 to 14(30) united carpels, multilocular, placentae usually axile or axile-basal, with 1 ovule per locule; style 1. Fruit drupe-like or berry-like. Seeds often with a hollow hilum.

A primarily tropical family with 107 genera and 1,000 species listed, but the taxonomy admittedly confused and the taxa probably fewer (Mabberley 1987). There is 1 genus with 3 species in TX; 1 species is found here.

The family produces some edible fruits, including Manilkara (Sapodilla) and Pouteria (Sapote). Other species are timber trees (Mabberley 1987).


Texas material small trees or shrubs, often, but not always spiny. Leaves often in fascicles on short spur shoots, often pubescent beneath. Flowers whitish to yellowish to greenish, usually 5-merous. Corolla lobes each with a pair of basal, lateral appendages. Petaloid staminodia present, entire to erose or laciniate. Ovary usually somewhat pubescent, occasionally glabrous. Fruit 1-seeded, fleshy. Seeds with endosperm absent.

About 49 species of the warmer W. Hemis.; 3 in TX; 1 here. Long treated in texas as the genus Bumelia (Pennington 1991).

Some species have edible fruit, while some are a source of gum or chicle (Mabberley 1987).

1. S. lanuginosum Michx. Gum Bumelia, Gum Elastic, Coma, Woolly Buckthorn. Shrub or small tree to 15 m or more tall, usually more or less thorny or spiny. Leaves oblanceolate to obovate or elliptic, apically rounded to sometimes acute, basally acute to cuneate, to 10 cm long and 35 mm broad, often smaller, definitely reticulate-veiny on both surfaces, loosely woolly or villous with whitish to tawny or rusty hairs when young, becoming glabrate above and remaining hairy or becoming glabrate below. Flowers usually many in axillary clusters; pedicels subglabrous to definitely hairy, to 1.5 cm long. Sepals 5, free, 1.5 to 3.2 mm long, persistent in fruit, hairy to glabrous; corolla 3 to 4.7 mm long, tube 1.3 to 2 mm long; staminodia 5, white, deltoid-ovate, 1.9 to 2.7 mm long, about as long as and alternate with the corolla lobes; fertile stamens 5, anthers 1 to 1.5 mm long, yellow; ovary globose, pilose, ca. 1 mm long; style 1.5 mm long. Fruits borne singly or clustered, obovoid to ellipsoid or subglobose, 7 to 13 mm long, commonly black or purple-black at maturity, sometimes topped with the remains of the style; seed 1. A woodland, upland, or bottomland species. FL to MO and KS, S. to TX, S. AZ, and N. Mex. [Bumelia lanuginosa (Michx.) Pers.].

The fruits are edible raw and make good jelly, according to Tull (1987), although she recommends being sure to eat only fully ripe fruits. Dark blue, blue-green, and gray-green dyes can be made from the berries (Tull 1987). Turkey, quail, and other birds eat the fruit. Deer eat the fruit too, and will sometimes browse the branches (Elias 1980).

Represented in TX by 4 subspecies; 2 in our area.

subsp. albicans (Sarg.) Kartesz & Gandhi The tallest U.S. Bumelia, sometimes reaching 20 m. Lower leaf surface densely covered by loosely tangled whitish hairs; pedicels commonly slender and about as long as or longer than the fruit. Often on sandy soils of woods, slopes, rock outcrops, and shell ridges. E. 1/2 TX; S. IL to TX and LA. May-July. [B. lanuginosa (Michx.) Pers. var albicans Sarg. or subsp. oblongifolia (Nutt.) Cronq. var. albicans Sarg.; sometimes included in the following variety.].

subsp. oblongifolium (Nutt.) T. D. Pennington Lower leaf surface covered thinly by very tangled grayish to tawny hairs; pedicels sometimes stoutish, much shorter than the fruit. Sandy or rocky soils of woods, hills, and along streams. E. and N. TX; from W. LA and TX to MO and KS. May-July. [Bumelia oblongifolia Nutt.; B. lanuginosa (Michx.) Pers. var. oblongfifolia (Nutt.) Clark or subsp. oblongifolia (Nutt.) Cronq. var. oblongifolia (Nutt.) Clark; said by some to include the above variety.].


Ebony or Persimmon Family

Trees or shrubs. Leaves simple, alternate, estipulate, evergreen or deciduous. Flowers unisexual and plants dioecious, or occasionally some flowers perfect. Flowers usually hypogynous, regular, solitary or in cymose or fasciculate arrangements. Calyx of 3 to 7 fused sepals, persistent. Corolla of 3 to 7 fused petals, urceolate to campanulate or salverform, lobes spreading or recurved. Stamens 3 to many, epipetalous. Ovary of 2 to 5(more) fused carpels, each locule biovulate, more or less divided in two by false septa; styles more or less distinct. Fruit usually a berry with large seeds.

Two genera and 485 species, primarily in tropical and warm regions, a few in the temperate zone; 1 genus with 2 species in TX, both of which we have.

The family is important for timber trees, species of Diospyros and Euclea being sold as ebony. The fruit of some Diospyros are edible (Mabberley 1987).


Shrubs or trees, leaves persistent or deciduous. Plants dioecious or occasionally polygamodioecious. Flowers as described above; calyx with 4 or 5 lobes, stamens usually 15 or 16. Fruit fleshy, with up to about 10 seeds.

About 475 species of the tropics; 2 in TX; both here.

D. ebenum is the true ebony of commerce, with dense, black wood, but the wood of other species is also sold as ebony. Other species have wood which is marbled or zebra-striped. D. kaki is the Japanese persimmon, grown for its large fruit (Mabberley 1987). Persimmon fruits are famous for being horribly astringent until fully ripe.

1. Leaves mostly longer than 3 cm, petiolate, more or less glabrous below; fruit orange when ripe ...1.D.virginiana

1. Leaves mostly less than 3 cm long, essentially sessile, pubescent below; fruit black when ripe ...2.D.texana

1.D. virginianaEBENACEAE DIOSPYROS virginiana L. Common or Eastern Persimmon. Tree to 20(30)m tall, crown cylindrical to spreading and open; wood blackish and very hard, twigs dark gray to brown, pubescent or glabrous. Petioles generally 1 to 2 cm long, glabrous to pubescent; blades rather thick, ovate to oblong, to ca. 15 cm long and 8 cm broad, acute to short acuminate, basally obtuse to rounded, truncate, or subcordate, margin ciliate, glabrate above, glabrous or nearly so below, the midrib above often with necrotic spots or dark glands. Flowers solitary in the axils or the male flowers in clusters of 2 to 3, short pedicellate. Calyx 4-lobed. Corolla leathery, yellow-green or pale yellow, urceolate-campanulate, lobes broad-based, spreading or recurved, 1 to 1.5 cm long in pistillate flowers; staminate flowers smaller, 5 to 8 mm long; stamens usually 16 in 2 whorls; 6 to 10 staminodes often present in female flowers; styles 4, connate about 1/2 their length, bilobed at the apex, ovary 4- to 8-celled, a rudimentary ovary may be present in male flowers. Fruit fleshy-pulpy, 2 to 6 cm in diameter, globose, yellow-brown to burnt orange or bright orange when mature, commonly with a whitish bloom, very astringent when green, edible when ripe (usually after falling or after frost); seeds few to several, large, oval, flat, brown. Dry woods, clearings, fencerows. Primarily in E. TX but W. to the Rolling Plains; CT and NY to KS, S. to FL, OK, and TX. Apr.-June, fruit maturing in the fall. Fall color includes yellows. [Includes var. pubescens (Pursh) Dipp. and var. platycarpa Sarg.].

The fruit is delicious when ripe. Its flavor, described as a blend of pumpkin, orange, and apricot, is thought by some to be better than that of Japanese persimmons. The fruits are good raw or in puddings, breads, jams, etc. They are a valuable food for deer, raccoons, foxes, skunks, birds, and rodents (Elias 1980). Tull (1987) describes a tea made from the leaves.

2.D. texanaEBENACEAE DIOSPYROS texana Scheele Texas, Black, or Mexican Persimmon. Shrub or small tree to 16 m but usually much smaller; trunk usually straight, crown narrowly rounded; bark of mature specimens exfoliating to reveal the light reddish-gray inner bark; wood hard, dense, nearly black. Leaves essentially sessile or with petioles to a few mm long; blades coriaceous, ovate to oblong-obovate, to ca. 5 cm long and 3 cm broad, base acute to cuneate, apically rounded to emarginate, margin revolute, dark green and glabrous to sparsely pubescent above, densely pubescent below. Staminate flowers in clusters of 1 to 3 on slender, drooping, pubescent peduncles, calyx 2 to 4 mm long with 5 lanceolate lobes. Female flowers 1 or 2 on clavate stalks, calyx 6 to 8 mm long with uniformly-wide lobes. Corolla white, sericeous, with short, spreading lobes, 6 to 12 mm long in female flowers, shorter in male; stamens 16 in 2 rows. Fruit a black berry 2 to 2.5 cm in diameter, pulp juicy, black, edible; seeds 3 to 8, 6 to 8 mm long, triangular, somewhat flat, with a bright red, lustrous seed coat. Rocky open woods, slopes, arroyos, etc. Mostly in the W. 2/3 of TX (excluding the Panhandle), E. to Grimes and Refugio Cos., in our area usually associated with limestone or sandstone outcrops; also N. Mex. Flowering Feb.-June; fruit ripening in Aug. [Brayodendron texanum (Scheele) Small.].

The fruit is edible, though astringent when immature. It can be used in breads, pudding, jams, etc. (Tull 1987). The fruits are relished by ring-tailed cats, opossums, skunks, etc. White-tail deer browse the leaves. The wood can be used for small objects and lathework (Elias 1980). Tull (1987) mentions that black dyes are supposedly obtainable from the fruits.


Primrose Family

Annual or perennial herbs. Leaves simple, opposite, whorled, alternate, or often basal, entire to toothed (rarely dissected), estipulate. Flowers usually regular, perfect, solitary or in umbels, panicles, or heads, (3-)5-(9-) merous, often heterostylous. Calyx often persistent, free of ovary or partially adherent basally, sepals strongly united or free nearly to the base. Corolla sympetalous (though sometimes very deeply lobed, as in Anagallis), rotate to tubular or salverform. Stamens opposite the corolla lobes, epipetalous at base of tube or base of lobes, anthers introrse, opening by slits or pores, stami-nodia sometimes present. Ovary superior or half inferior (as in Samolus), of 5 united carpels, unilocular but with rudimentary partitions at the base, placentation free-central, style 1, stigma capitate to truncate. Fruit a capsule, commonly 5-valved, sometimes circumscissile or indehiscent, seeds few to many.

About 22 genera and 800 species nearly worldwide, but more abundant in the N. hemis.; 7

genera and 12 species in TX; 3 genera and 3 species confirmed from our area (see note below genus key).

The family includes many cultivated ornamentals. Some Cyclamen species are popular florist's pot plants, while species and hybrids of Primula (Primrose) are favorite garden and greenhouse plants (Mabberley 1987).

1. Flowers in racemes; calyx adnate to ovary below ................................................1. Samolus

1. Flowers axillary; calyx wholly free of ovary ..............................................................................2

2(1) Leaves opposite; flowers pedicellate; corolla longer than calyx .........................2. Anagallis

2. Leaves alternate; flowers sessile; corolla shorter than calyx ........................3. Centunculus

NOTE: Mention must be made of 2 species which the author has not seen from our area. Dodecatheon meadia L., Shooting Star, is an herbaceous perennial with basal leaves and a scape bearing an umbel of showy flowers whose lilac-pink petal are strongly reflexed, and with stamens exserted and connivent into a cone. It is found in the E. 1/3 of TX, occasionally W. to Travis Co., and may be found here. Hottonia inflata L., American Featherfoil, is an aquatic herb with submersed, filiform-dissected leaves and leafless, hollow flowering stems with the internodes inflated. The white, pedicellate flowers are subtended by sepaloid bracts and occur in whorls at the nodes. Found in E. TX, it may occur in the far E. portion of our region.

PRIMULACEAE SAMOLUS1. SAMOLUS L. Water Pimpernel, Brookweed

Perennial herbs, caulescent or subscapose. Stems simple or with ascending branches; herbage somewhat succulent. Leaves in a basal rosette and then alternate above, entire. Inflorescence a bracteate or naked raceme or panicle, pedicels wiry. Flowers 5-merous. Calyx campanulate, persistent. Corolla in ours white to pinkish, campanulate with a short tube and imbricate, rounded lobes, often with a staminodium in each sinus. Stamens 5, included, inserted on the corolla tube below, filaments short, anthers oval. Ovary 1/2 to 2/3 inferior; stigma obtuse to capitate. Capsule globose to ovoid; seeds many.

Fifteen species worldwide, common in salt marshes; 2 in TX; 1 here.

1. S. valerandi L. subsp. parviflorus (Raf.) Hultén Water Pimpernel. Plant light green, glabrous, 1 to 4(6) dm tall; stems simple to branched in the upper 1/2 and usually also from the base. Leaves in a basal rosette and cauline, spatulate or oblanceolate to oblong, the upper usually sessile and the lower commonly narrowed into a winged petiole, apically rounded to obtuse, to 15 cm long and 4 cm broad. Racemes sessile or essentially so, simple or usually branched, pedicels filiform, spreading or ascending, to ca. 2 cm long, each with a minute bract at or above the middle. Calyx tube ca. 1.5 mm long, equalling or a little longer than the ovate to ovate-triangular lobes; corolla white, 2 to 3 mm broad, lobes longer than the tube, oblong, rounded to emarginate; staminodia 5; style short, stout. Capsule 2 to 3 mm in diameter; seeds minute, flat apically and angled-tapered to the base, surface more or less granular, brown. Wet soils, along springs, streams, and seepages, in marshes, and around wet rocks. Throughout TX; FL to CA, N. to E. Can., MI, IL, B.C.; also Mex., W.I., and tropical Amer. Mar.-Sept. [S. parviflorus Raf.; S. floribundus H.B.K. or Kunth].


About 20 to 28 species worldwide; we have the 1 found in TX.

1. A. arvensis L. Scarlet Pimpernel, Hierba del Pájaro, Poorman's Weatherglass. Annual herb; stems spreading or procumbent, commonly branched from the base, to 2 to 3 dm long, more or less 4-angled; herbage glabrous. Leaves opposite (occasionally 3 per node), sessile or somewhat clasping, ovate to elliptic, to 2 cm long and 1 cm wide, acute to obtuse, major veins arising from the base. Flowers closed in cloudy or cold weather, solitary in the axils; pedicels filiform, to 2.5 cm long, usually longer than the subtending leaves, ascending at anthesis and recurved in fruit, ebracteate. Flower color varying from salmon to scarlet, blue, or white, the reddish colors commonly with a purple "eye". Calyx lobes 5, lanceolate, somewhat keeled, margins hyaline, 3 to 4 mm long, persistent; corolla rotate, 5-lobed nearly to base, equalling or slightly longer than the calyx, lobes convolute in bud, obovate to cuneate-obovate, obtuse to rounded, apex somewhat fringed with minute teeth and stalked glands; stamens 5, inserted near the base of the corolla tube, filaments slender, bearded; ovary wholly superior, globose. Capsule globose, ca. 4 mm in diameter, membranaceous, circumscissile; seeds many, dark red-brown, 1 side flat and the other 2- or 3-angled, scurfy. Moist places, prairies, vacant lots, roadsides, etc. Primarily in E. and S. TX; native to Eurasia and widely naturalized; Newf. to B.C., S. to FL, OK, TX, and CA; also Mex. Mar.-May.

Blue-flowered forms have been described as subsp. foemina (P. Mill.) Schinz & Thellung or as f. caerulea (Schreb.) Baumg.


A monotypic genus sometimes included in Anagallis [as by Kartesz (1998)].

1. C. minimus L. Low annual herb; stems often mat- or clump-forming, decumbent to ascending or erect, rooting at the nodes, to ca. 12 cm long. Leaves small, 3 to 5(10) mm long, to ca. 3 mm broad, subsessile or with short petiolar bases, alternate or the lower ones opposite, obovate to oblanceolate or oblong-spatulate, entire. Flowers solitary in the axils, nearly sessile, with very short, thick pedicels, ephemeral, 4- or sometimes 5-merous. Calyx lobed nearly to the base, lobes linear-lanceolate, attenuate, ca. 2 mm long, minutely serrulate; corolla rotate, translucent, pinkish, ca. 1.5 mm long, scarcely longer than the calyx, tube shortly urceolate, lobes ovate-lanceolate, ca. 1 mm broad; stamens 4 or 5, inserted in the corolla throat, included, filaments beardless. Capsule topped with the withered corolla, subglobose, to ca. 2 mm in diameter, circumscissile; seeds many, brown, obpyramidal, tops flat and circular, surfaces finely pebbly. Damp mud and sand of seepage areas, bogs, grasslands, and depressions, and along streams, etc. Primarily in E. and S. TX; FL to TX, CA, and Mex., N. to N.S., Sask, OH, IL, MN; irregularly cosmopolitan. Feb.-May. [Anagallis minima (L.) Krause in Sturm.].