History of Botanical Exploration in the Texas Panhandle Region

Presentation Details

Characterization of the native plants of the Panhandle Region began with the Long Expedition of 1820. In early August of 1820 the members of the Long Expedition followed the Canadian River across the panhandle. Notable plants seen on this traverse were Sand sage (Artimisia filifolia), and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa).

The journal of Lieutenant Abert provides a thorough account of the flora, fauna and landscapes and native inhabitants along their route from Bents Fort in southeastern Colorado, across Raton Pass, down Ute Creek to its confluence with the Canadian then down the Canadian River into the Texas Panhandle. This journey was undertaken in 1845.

The exploration of the Red River of Louisiana by Captain Randolph B. Marcy in 1852 included Dr. George Shumard who was responsible for the collection of specimens of rocks, minerals, fossils, soils and plants. The plants collected were forwarded to Dr. John Torrey of New York. The report of the trip from Fort Smith to the headwaters of the Red River in the central Texas Panhandle references the abundant trees and shrubs encountered along the route.

Other more recent surveys of the Caprock canyonlands in 1905 and a survey done for the National Park Service in 1935 helped to complete the survey of native plants in the Panhandle.
And last but not least, Dr. Larry Higgins began the West Texan A&M University Herbarium in 1969.

Equipment Required:
Additional Requirements:
Ecoregions Covered:
Central Great Plains, Chihuahuan Deserts, Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, High Plains, Southern Texas Plains, Southwestern Tablelands, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain

Presenter Information