Botany 620 - Field Trip Log
Sugarloaf Mountain/Port Sullivan
20 April 1996

This 'extra' Saturday trip included a look at the alpine flora of Sugarloaf Mountain in Milam County. As indicated by the trip map (left - select for larger map), this involved an initial survey of the xeric 'sandyland' flora at lower elevations, a look at the Beaver Creek drainage - especially a 'button bush' pond (below), some confusion with regard to proper path, with a final ascent to the summit (ca. 400').

Sugarloaf, and nearby peaks, reflect past interaction between the Carrizo Formation (see trip of 2 April) and the Brazos/Little River drainages, i.e., erosion events apparently similar to those that produced outcrops of another formation in the Navasota area (see trip of 26 March). The walk through open areas revealed plants of the Carrizo sands that are characteristic of this 'zone' (see Flynn Bog System - sandy pasture), lots of unknown yuccas producing asparagus-like inflorescence shoots, an unknown Carya with both staminate and pistillate inflorescences, and a different buckeye (Aesculus arguta) with both yellow and pink-flowered plants in the local population.

Wetlands in the Carrizo sands zone often carry interesting plants, but few were in flower around this button bush tank. From the top of Sugarloaf we had a nice view of this pondand the Little River Bridge and floodplain (this view of from the bridge to the peak). The summit of Sugarloaf is also provides a place to press plants, explore, and - unfortunately - see the recent destruction caused by bonehead treasure hunters.

Following exploration of the Sugarloaf Mountain area, we moved a few miles to the northeast to Port Sullivan, the point where the Brazos River and the Carizzo formation come into contact.


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Created on 29 April 1996