Plants and Trees

Horse crippler cactus (Echinocactus texensis) 02-APR-11
Different cacti species flourish on the high, rocky areas above the valleys at Gault. This one is near the lower gate, almost invisible until it blooms.

Prickly pear cactus (Optunia engelmannii) 30-APR-11
The 'official' Texas State Plant is ubiquitous at Gault. This bloom was captured near the field house.

Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) 22-DEC-11
These are some of the largest trees in the valley, generally hugging the creek. Below is some of the leaf litter.

Western soapberry (Sapindus drummondii) 22-DEC-11
The poisonous berries of this tree stay attached through the winter.

Black oak (Quercus velutina) 22-DEC-11
Several large specimens are dotted along the valleys at Gault. In winter, they stand out because they cling to their yellow-brown to dull-red leaves. Below are acorns from this species, in leaf litter.

Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) 22-DEC-11
This species produces the large acorns (below) that the squirrels find plenty of  at Gault.

Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana) 22-FEB-12
Located along the lane from the house to the site, this plum tree began blossoming a few weeks ago.

Texas blue bonnet (Lupinus texensis) 10-MAR-12

Though not fully in bloom, this first sighting of a Texas blue bonnet at Gault this spring(2012) brightened up a cold and rainy weekend.

Prairie fleabane (Erigeron strigosus) 14-MAR-12
Spring is awakening the various flowers at Gault, including these showy blossoms.

Dakota mock vervain, aka prairie verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida) 12-MAR-12
These pink-flowered plants tower over the yellow-flowered black medic (Medicago lupulina).

Western primrose, aka Hartweg's sundrop (Calylophus hartweggii) 04-APR-12
By April, these tend to close up early in the morning at Gault. This one was photographed one foggy day at 7:45 am, and was beginning to close.

Pink primrose (oenothera speciosa) 07-APR-12 
The showy flowers remain open on this primrose until late afternoon, when the new flowers begin to open.

Smallflower desert-chicory, aka Texas dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus) 07-APR-12
The seeds of this plant are dispersed much the same as true dandelions (Taraxacum sp.), after the showy flowers give way to a puffy seed head that disperses with the wind.

Drummond's onion, aka prairie onion (Allium drummondii) 07-APR-12
An onion with a small bulb, these were eaten raw by natives, or cooked to convert their inulin to digestible sugars.

Spider milkweed, aka antelope horns (Asclepias asperula) 07-APR-12
A large, showy flower tops this milkweed, a favorite for Monarch caterpillars.

Mustang grape (Vitis mustangensis) 07-APR-12
Tiny grapes are beginning to form near the upper gate at Gault.

Lace cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii) 28-APR-12
As the other plants dry up around them on the rocky uplands of Gault, the lace cactus thrives. unfortunately, we missed the bloom this year.

Red mulberry (Morus rubra) 28-APR-12
Berries are already starting to drop from the mulberry trees around the valley. Those pictured below are still in the tree, though.

Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) 07-MAY-12
The Indian blankets took over from the earlier-blooming blue bonnets as the reigning flowers in fields around Gault, but their time is ending as well. Note the spider hanging from the seedhead above. Does anybody know what species it is?

Prairie Coneflower, aka Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera) 02-MAY-12
These flowers are prolific in the valley during summer, mainly because the longhorns don't eat them.

Horsemint (Monarda citriodora) 22-MAY-12
The torch has been passed. Indian blankets, have now waned, and the fields around Gault are now turning lavender with the blooming of horsemint.

Four-nerve daisy (Tetraneuris scaposa) 22-MAY-12
These bright yellow flowers add some color to the browning fields around the Gault house.

Common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) 09-JUN-12
The wild version of the familiar flower is blooming all over the uplands at Gault.

Buffalobur nightshade (Solanum rostratum) 31-AUG-12
The late summer color at Gault is provided by some otherwise not-so-friendly nightshades like buffalobur and melonleaf (Solanum heterodoxum), pictured below.

 Frostweed (Verbesina virginica) 02-OCT-12
Autumn brings the prolific white blossoms of the frostweed, which will form "ice ribbons" with the first frost.

Rusty blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum) 29-MAR-12
These are just beginning to bloom, and the leaves are a little behind, perhaps due to the late frost we had earlier this week. They will produce dark blue berries for the cedar waxwings and other birds.

Anemone (Anemone berlandieri) 15-APR-13
Anemone are found sporadically in bright wooded areas at Gault. The flowers can range from purple or blue to pink or white.


Honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) 12-JUN-13
This thorny bush resides in a corner of the meadow, out of the way.

American elm (Ulmus americana) 12-JUN-13
Our stately elm suffered some wind damage over the winter (below), but appears to be doing fine this year.

Boxelder (Acer negundo) 12-JUN-13
Quite a few of these relatives of the maple dot the Gault landscape. Plains Indians were known to have tapped the sap to make sugar.

Black walnut (Juglans nigra) 12-JUN-13
While the pecan trees dominate the valleys, the walnuts do well in the uplands at Gault, though the trees remain fairly small.

1 comment:

  1. Different cacti species flourish on the high, rocky areas above the valleys at Gault. This one is near the lower gate, almost invisible until it blooms.flowering shrubs