Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
In addition to gardening books, cacti and succulent growers will find regional books are very helpful as well. Texas A & M University Press has released a very helpful title.
“Plants of the Texas Coastal Bend” by Roy L. Lehman et al features around 70 drawings by Eveline May Jackson and Kim Keplar. This paperback includes a CD with 750 color photos. This volume is part of the Gulf Coast Series.
The Texas Coastal Bend area, which covers all or parts of 12 counties, is very rich in plant diversity. All in all, this title features over a thousand species both native and introduced.
This new volume updates and expands on a classic released in 1975, which was by Fred B. Jones. This revision also involved reorganizing the material.
Originally released in 2005, this new edition is now in its second printing.
At the beginning of the book are maps showing the area. The introduction provides all sorts of background material on the region, including the climate, soils, geology, and topography. There is also a brief account of how the vegetation has changed during the last couple centuries.
This book has keys to the plant families that can help you easily identify the plants. The plant descriptions make up most of the book. For each class or plant family, there is a general description along with a complete profile for each species. The plant profiles give the common name, a complete description, habitats and locations where they’re found, and the bloom time. Measurements are given in the metric system.
The appendix has a list of color photos that are on the CD. The list organizes the plants by family. This title also has an easy to follow glossary of terms that are used in the book.
This title will be of interest to cacti and succulent growers because it features a wide number of cacti and succulents that are native to the area. In addition, this volume also explains which have escaped from cultivation or naturalized in the region. Among the featured plants are the agaves and yuccas along with various related species. This also has a large number of cacti as well. In addition, it features the kalanchoes, portulacas or moss rose, sedums, crassulas, euphorbias, and others.