Illustrated Flora of East Texas

    The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) and Austin College are collaborating on the project. This team-oriented project will result in a comprehensive, fully illustrated, easy-to-use guide to the plants that occur in the 87-county area that defines East Texas [see map]. The region covered extends from the state's eastern border westward to include Dallas and Waco, and southwestward to include Austin, and portions of Bexar County north of San Antonio. All plants known from the Pineywoods, the Post Oak Savannah, and the Blackland Prairie will be covered. Because of the diverse ecosystems and extreme biological richness, the area has sometimes been called the biological crossroads of North America and includes such magnificent areas as Caddo Lake in the northeast and the Big Thicket [see map] in the southeast. Due to this richness the flora will require three volumes. The first volume, which covers the monocots (lilies, orchids, irises, grasses, etc.), ferns, and gymnosperms (pines, bald cypress), was published in May 2006. Each of its approximately 1,060 species is illustrated with a line drawing, and there are color photographs of nearly 200 of the more showy species. The second and third volumes will follow at a later date and cover nearly 2,350 species of dicots (oaks, pecans, beeches, daises, beans, mints, roses, etc.).

    The team is cooperating with botanists, agronomists, and foresters throughout East Texas to make the flora as useful as possible to farmers, landscapers, gardeners, nurserymen, hobbyists, builders, and others - everyone who deals with wild and cultivated plants! Information about poisonous and useful plants, weedy species, presettlement conditions, habitats, geology, soils, and climate will also make this a reference for use in schools for a variety of subjects from history to botany. While the general public will find the format very user friendly, the book will also be the definitive work on the plants of the region and can be used as a textbook for college courses as well. Cooperating with local institutions throughout the region, the team hopes this work will give everyone a deeper understanding of the rich natural heritage of East Texas.

    The BRIT Press is pleased to announce our second online flora. Volume 1 of the East Texas flora is now available in-print and online in Adobe PDF format. The entire book, including extensive introductory materials, color photographs, maps, taxonomic keys, and descriptions, appendices, glossary, literature cited, and an index are all available here.


    Introductory Information

    The same team that produced the Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas is involved, with the addition of Monique D. Reed of Texas A&M University. For the purpose of this study, East Texas is a region of about 54,000 square miles (roughly the size of North Carolina). As mentioned above, it includes the Pineywoods, the Post Oak Savannah, the Red River Zone, and the Blackland Prairie (also included in the Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas, see map). The flora is dedicated to Dr. Elray Nixon (previously of Stephen F. Austin State University), widely recognized as one of the foremost authorities on the plants of East Texas.

    A number of features have been incorporated to make the book more useful to non-specialists. Line drawing illustrations are provided for all species, with color photographs for nearly 200 species. The inviting layout, vegetations maps, and extensive introductory materials make the book useful to a wide audience.

    Illustrated Flora of East Texas Links