The Woods Along Coal Creek

Although the day was nearly over, we had a couple of interesting plants left to find.

There was an oak tree with its lower branches just covered with Ball Moss, Tillandisa recurvata. This plant is a member of the Pineapple Family (Bromeliaceae) and is an epiphyte. It doesn't hurt the plants it grows on, it just uses them as a means of getting up into the sunlight. Most of its water is taken in directly from the air. The flowers are small and purple or greenish. The fruits are brown capsules full of parachute-equipped seeds.

Beneath the trees we found a "nifty" mint. This is Hedeoma acinoides (Slender Hedeoma). Other species smell of camphor or lemon, but this one doesn't have much of a scent.

Two members of the Mustard Family or Brassicaceae finished off our day. Descurainia pinnata, Tansymustard, is fairly common throughout Texas, in one form or another. It has yellow flowers and club-shaped fruits. This particular plant seems to have a good coat of glandular hairs on the stem.

Arabis petiolaris (Brazos Rockcress) is supposed to be a rare plant, but we saw several individuals on our trip. It can be recognized by its purple flowers, pinnately divided leaves, and long-but-lumpy fruits.

Thanks for sharing our trip. From here you can
Go back to the Introduction,
Look at the Taxa List for the Outcrop, or
Go to Fredericksburg, Texas for ice cream and shopping. (That's what we did!)

Last updated July 30, 1998 by Monique Reed