Along Coal Creek

Coal Creek runs along the foot of the outcrop. It is a clear, shallow, beautiful watercourse, lined with a very interesting assortment of plants.

Several members of the Scrophulariaceae or Figwort Family can be found here. One plant familiar to us was Texas Toadflax, Linaria canadensis var. texensis. The lavender-blue corolla has a deliate curved spur that arches from the rear of the calyx. When fresh, these flowers can be made to snap like miniature Snapdragons.

A plant we did not expect to see, one that we didn't recognize at first, was Mimulus glabratus, Roundleaf Monkey Flower. The spotted calyx is pleated and there are four stamens tucked inside the two-lipped corolla.

Two species of Veronica can be found along the creek. The first, Veronica peregrina (Purslane Speedwell), is widespread in Texas. It has tiny white flowers.

Veronica anagallis-aquatica (Water Speedwell or Brook-pimpernel) is less widespread and was a "good find". It has beautiful little purply-blue flowers. The common name 'Speedwell' means 'goodbye' and refers to the plants' habit of dropping its corollas the moment it is picked.

Another good find was Houstonia humifusa, commonly called Mat Bluets. The small pink flowers are of two kinds: Pins have a long-exserted style and short stamens. Thrums have a short style and long stamens. Each type is self-infertile and for seed seet to occur, a cross between the two types is necessary.

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Last updated July 30, 1998 by Monique Reed