for eastern Wise County, Texas
Why? and a Diary 2012 to 2019
October 17, 2012 with later edits:
Decided now was the time to put my wildflower photos to use.
I also needed to make the native wildflowers I've located in my neck of the "woods" more easily accessible as a future resource for myself and that others may use as well. I do reserve the rights to these photos so have marked them with my brand. There will be changes over time as past floral photos get organized. Each species will also be on a Family page, sometimes by color, and show the different phases of each plant as they are gathered (my small piece of land has a great variety of local plants, apparently natural and easily accessible for watching growth)
The flora will be shown with common names, scientific names, and by color with my own notes accompanying many of the slim descriptions, which you may or may not find on other websites of Texas Flora. Note that there is a link page so you may find other, more comprehensive resources for identifying Texas wildflowers. There may also be some flowers listed that are not native to either Texas or the USA; they will be noted. I will try to show photos of the plant, flower & seeds through various stages of their lives so that might make it easier for you to ID. Species names may be updated in the future to the newer established species names or to correct mis-identified plants.
Be aware that these are not official descriptions or photos of these flowers & plants as that resides with the scientific community. Some flowers may only be identified with their Genus as there may be several species of the same genus that have similar descriptions and I haven't studied them enough to figure out the differences. Also, many of these have not been keyed out but id'd thru photos in books and on websites catering to plant identification. Because of that, there may be mistaken IDs (correcting as I find more evidence of correct name).
Do not let common names fool you as common names change between regions within a state and between states and between people so one species may have the same common name as an entirely unrelated species or it may apply to several different species in a genus. I do now have a large key for North Central Texas and that is helping me make corrections on scientific names as needed. At least the scientific names, even if different, will describe the same plant so can be id'd with more accuracy than a common name.
factor on even scientific names. Since many colleges are now interconnected
via the internet (the original purpose of the internet), you will find
a number of species with two or more scientific names. Rule of thumb
when I was in college is that the oldest known scientific name of plant
takes precedence but I don't have access to that information. I go
by the key that I now have which is a fairly recently researched key and
published in 1999..
There are hundreds of native Texas wildflowers and most will not be represented here since they may not be found in my general area of North Texas. My pages will cover flowers I find in my local area, a part of east Wise County, TX, east of the National LBJ Grasslands Reserve. I do reserve the right to add in other flowers in Texas as I find them though, and will mark them with location then. Recall, these are my field notes & photos.
that has occurred to me over time and reading about Texas Flora.
We are in the fly-way for the annual bird (and other wildlife) migrations.
It may be the reason I see the same flora here that is also found in more
northern states in the plains. It's why I found the Kansas State
Wildflower website a useful resource for iding many of the plants I've
found here. Another theory was presented by a facebook friend who
mentioned that the various Indian tribes also may have contributed greatly
to the spreading of seeds and plants. On another thought, even the
encroaching and receding glaciers during the last ice age may have had
a hand in the spreading of many species,
May 2014: Update on identifications: As this site is still under construction, I have finally picked up a very large book with keys. It is the Shiner & Mahler Flora of North Central Texas by Diggs, Lipscomb, & O'Kennon. I have found thru the keys, that some identification changes needed to be made. This just points out that though a photo is very helpful for identifying a plant, a key that leads to scientifically researched descriptions is even better. Of note is that the latest research is now being done on the DNA level of plants. There will be changes to how we ID many plants. Not to worry about for the time being as research thru DNA will take time.
May 2015: Update on identifications: Where plant labels are in bold, I am satisfied that the ID is correct. Please don't use my pages as absolutely correct.
thru my fields this spring, also found that I had several different genuses
with 2 species represented in the fields with very similar flower types.
That made me dig deeper into their differences, finding that one had been
mis-identified (I had used a flower photo to id it). That really
brought out the reason to use keys with plant descriptions. It's
also made me re-learn more technical botanical terms.
About my background. Have always had an interest in nature because of my mother's guidance, being a Girl Scout, taking high school botany and ecology classes and then onto college. Took plant ID courses along with Botany studies at the college level in California (San Jose State & Foothill College) and 12 years later at Everett Junior College in Everett, WA., (it was not my major though, just my personal interest in plants).
|Weather & Seasonal Diary (with latest first):|
Winter thru March, on the wet side. The lake flooded a couple of times but not too far into the lower field. It did however, bring in a bunch of floating manure and straw from a neighboring field and deposited in on the lower shale shelf where the more delicate pink flower live. Covered half the shelf. Have to remove as it's fire hazard and I do want to see the pink flowers come back. Other plants have been able to peek above the straw layer such as the onions and a few of the white
Lots of other flowers have come into bloom so far this spring; I especially welcomed the Celestials. They have made a great showing even though they are only open for about 4 hours each day in the early afternoon. Another flower that made a spectacular showing in neighboring fields & ditches were the Stemless Evening Primroses,
The Wild Hyacinths are just about finished blooming. Will have to check the plants to see how well the seeds set this year as that is the only way they spread. Two white ones showed up this year. I tagged them.
A few Milkweeds
are showning up. Hope they weren't too late coming up to attract
the Monarch and Queen butterflies hatching out or traveling through.
They do host the Monarch and Queen caterpillars.
September 26 Apparently didn't update this year until now. Spring was low in rain, Summer was hot 92 to 100+ from mid June through to early September and mostly dry. In week into September, we started to get into the 80s and it felt good. Some rain fell and temps stayed mostly in the high 70s to low 90s. Had one day with lots of rain, 4.1 inches. The wild flowers started blooming again. Then today came along and the wind picked up from the north and the temperature dropped into the 50s- 56 right now! 1pm!. Fall is here.
Along with the wet weather for the last few weeks, it's brought out the insects. Lots of butterflies flitting about where they were few and far between. In invasion of army worms showed up in our back yard. Yesterday, I discovered that our Yaupon Holly had in infestation of Puss catepillars, a deceptive looking catepillar with the mulitple stingers buried in the fur that covers their body. The fur makes them look so soft and cuddly. Not for picking up! Last time I spotted them was back in 2009 on the same Holly. With today's cold, windy weather though, they have tightened up themselves on the tree, trying to keep warm. At least this cold snap will slow the mosquitos down.
Two of my roses are still struggling to stay alive, a third died, and the other two are doing OK. Apparently I'm not a rose gardener. It did not help that I was gone for a month in the spring, when my flower bed needed me the most.
July 15 Summer and late spring has
me following the growth of the Rain Lilies, only because I'm finally cleaning
out my overgrown, weed infested flower & rose beds. A number
of years ago I had collected seeds from rain lilies sprouting around the
yard. Ended up hurriedly putting a batch of them in my rose bed in
one spot. They survived and every year have produced a bouquet of
white flowers after rains in the summer however, the weeds were too high
to take photos. Not any more, cleared out this spring and the rain
lilies are giving me an education in how they grow. This one clump
has been producing flowers after just about every rainfall we've had since
the beginning of June. I have let them go to seed and plan to reseed them
in other spots in the newly cleared bed. I may even get around
to digging up some lawn liles to see what their bulbs look like and how
far down in the ground they are. Spring was rather dry but since
June we've had several rain showers, enough to help the roses along and
Winter 2017 was decently wet (4 inches) and unseasonably warm along with roller coaster highs and lows, so early spring plants started blooming even earlier than normal but by the time Spring arrived officially (March 22),, the weather went dry.
Spring 2016: Still wet but not enough to flood the lake again so far. April 6 found another plant growing in the lower field that I had not noticed before. It was id'd for me by Floyd Waller on fb. You don't know how excited I was to learn the ID for this one as somehow, the plant and seed triggered an old 48 year old memory with the name "arvense" which was Veronica arvense though I couldn't put my finger on the name Veronica. Thank you, Floyd W. 48 years ago I was taking a plant ID class in CA and had a small collection (7) of different Veronica species I had found & id'd in CA including 1 that the instructor kept for the college collection. Of course, this one isn't V. arvense but a native plant! Veronica peregrina ssp. xalapensis.That heart-shaped seed pod had somehow triggered that old memory. If only I had believed what my brain was telling me to look for. Well, actually I did but didn't think that it was a Veronica species so didn't bother to look at that genus' descriptions. Is that a lesson? I've also located more plants/seeds that survived the flooding to sprout this last fall/winter/ or even this spring. Even found a variation of a Packera tampicana with white petals, not the normal yellow; it's not listed as a color found with that species in the Shiner/Mahler book.
The Sandwort seedlings have all been blooming this year afterall.
At the end of May, and early June, noticed
2 more plants new to me, both in the Gentian
family. Also found a new plant, not previously found on my land.
It's a tall Gaura with tiny flowers,
Spotted one last year in Taylor County well west of here (Abilene, TX).
Winter 2016, Warm winter, dry at first
but by mid February, became wet. Lake flooded again in mid-February
but this time went right back down. The sandwort seedlings survived
so if all goes well this next year, they may bloom again in 2017.
Will have to tranplant some of the seedlings to an area that doesn't flood.
Summer 2015, Wet spring continued until July
rolled around. It's been fairly dry since and reaching the point
of being hot. Flooded plants that survived are coming back well.
Even found another new flower today. Working on it's id as it's another
small one. Will have to ask for help on it. Also got a couple of
other plants id'd for me. Still wondering about two species of Grindelia.
key I'm using and other sites are not agreeing with the id
some experts in the field give one of them.
Spring 2015, may end up being known as the soggy spring. 18 inches in May alone at our place. June has started out dry and finally getting into the 90s by afternoon.
June 17 and another flood (#3) of the lake into our lower field. We had about 7 inches of rain in 2 days. Didn't come up as high as the last one but still did damage to plants that had survived the 2nd one. Took the high water into summer time as the water was still on the shelf on the 22 but showing that it was receding. This time the Prairie Flameflowers seemed to succomb for the most part. Did find one that survived and it had been a healthy one with a large tuber(comparitive for it's small size). Hopefully we've had all the heavy rainfalls for the year. The pecans are struggling again but there is still green on both so maybe they'll recover. The local trees did not like it either and any leaves on branches in the water, turned brown. The wind blew quite a bit so there is a lot of debris that floated in over the fence line this time. Easy to spot how high it got. The white Rosinweed had just started to flower and the plant was covered by water. It affected the blooms so there may not be any pretty flowers from it this year but it still has blooms on it.
June 6 and another walk down to the lower field showed that both Pecans are recovering. Yeah! We don't need another flooding. We had a 2nd Lake flood after two days that brought over 4 inches of rain on May 28-30. At least this time the lake came up and went right back down as the rain ended on May 31. A vine that has been tentatively id'd as "snailseed" also survived. Still have not seen this flower or go to seed in the years we have been here but it is creeping about. The "clasping leaf coneflowers" appear to have all been killed off so may have to find seed to get them back here.
May 24 as I posted on fb: The ground is soggy wet again. Steady rain, like that in Wa. State. Hope all these plants can survive wet feet.
Plant report of those
plants that were affected by the flooding lake:
The milkweeds in the
upper part of that field survived but were in the midst of blooming. Most
of the blooms were lost. Maybe they'll re-bloom this summer. A few
set seed. The Two-Leaved Senna ( Senna roemeriana) survived
and are blooming well. The Salvia texana (Texas Sage) did not make it if
it was under water but those that were in the field higher up and not covered
by water are still ok. The Thelesperma are still blooming. The Spiranthes
magnicamporum (Ladies Tresses Orchid) look very healthy, though they were
under water for only a couple of days.
May 9, 10, Downpours, even 1 hour accumulated 3". Lake in flood. May 11: We ended up with 5.71 inches in the last 48 hours. 3 inches in 1 hour on Saturday! A neighbor up the street reported 6 inches in that same hour, just the difference in the spot of the storm I guess! Over the last 6 days we received 8.25 inches. We are soggy wet. The lake is still up but we are SUNNY today! The county is no longer considered in drought stage.
May 1: Lake level is back up to normal. Finally! Local draught has ended but whole county is still considered in drought as rain storms were not wide spread around the county. Found another "Fairy Thimbles" plant so am up to 6 now. The Prairie Bishop's Weed is starting to bloom as is the Puchella (Indian Blanket). The Prairie Flameflower is also getting ready to bloom but it's a night bloomer so it's pink flowers are usually only easy to spot in the late evening or very early morning. Lots of milkweed are blooming in the area and my fields. Banner year for them and hopefully they will provide nectar for the wandering butterflies.
that each day I find more species blooming. The Celestials bloomed
this year like they never have since we moved here. The Wild Hyacinths
are also blooming quite well and easy to spot because of the wet winter
and spring we've been having so far.
Late March: I noticed the White Rosinweed coming up and the Big Fruit Primrose showing signs of new growth. This may also be the year that I get the Stemless Primroses blooming again as I spotted lots of seedlings that look like that's what they will be. The Ceanothus finally started blooming on the last day of March.
Winter 2015 started
out wet with good but cold rains about every 7-10 days until February 1,
then a dry spell until middle of February. Then the cold hit again with
rain, sleet and snow off and on into March. It didn't start to really
warm up until after the first day of spring. The only flowers showing
up would be what most home gardners view as weeds. Mainly Dandelions
and Henbit. Drabas also started blooming, along with Veronicas and
Cranebills. As spring approached, I also spotted chickweed and False
Garlic (Crow's Poison) along with some Spring Beauties and the 10-petal
Anenome. Seedlings of future wildflowers were also coming up.
Spotted lots of the Blue Flax plants sprouting up and watched 2 nice sized
plants of those that are growing in ideal conditions.
Summer 2014: The perennial False Gaura finallly made a showing this year, one of my favorite summer plants and did much better than expected.
Spring 2014 was on the dry side but we had some weekly rains in August and a couple in September. It's been basiclly dry since but enough moisture to find some spring bloomers blooming again this fall.
Winter/spring 2014 was rather harsh at my place with longer than normal cold spells reaching into the single digits (Farenheit) several times and below freezing for many days. January was decent for rain but February and March were relatively dry. April and May have also been relatively dry. This past week (2nd week of May) gave us two separate days of rain and the plants behaved like they had not seen water for weeks (2.5 weeks of hot weather) and with the rain came cool early spring like temps in the 50s at night and 60s during the day. All of my "Fairy Thimbles" bloomed this year and I noted more of them in the nearby fields and near the freeways. Other plants appear to show that they enjoyed the harsh winter and look very healthy while others, namely the Gaura, didn't take too well to the late hard frost we had in April. They finally came back but not well.
Winter through Summer 2013 was relatively dry as we are in a drought plus a grasshopper invasion again. It affects the plants in blooming and reseeding.
|List of wildflowers that I have begun to use in my flower beds:
1. Red Yucca: perennial
|List of wildflowers I want to use in my flower beds:
Some of these may depend on how well their seeds will germinate for me.
1. Ceanothus (one is already growing in the correct spot on it's own;
just have to save it from the lawnmower. Seeds would work if they
will germinate for me.
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