Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research 19.1 (Spring 2009): 133. © 2009 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


The botanical diversity of Texas has been well documented, so it is surprising that few books focusing on the state’s endangered and threatened plants have been published. According to the authors of Rare Plants of Texas, this is because “most of these plants are too rare to be mentioned, much less pictured, in standard guidebooks.” Their book, attempting to remedy this situation, succeeds with photos, drawings, and descriptions of 225 taxa considered rare within the state.

Expanding on Poole and Riskand’s Endangered, Threatened or Protected Native Plants of Texas (1987), the majority of Rare Plants of Texas’s 640 pages are devoted to treatments of individual taxa. The information presented for each includes a county-level distribution map and line drawings, photos, or both. Each entry also contains sections on nomenclature and synonymy, ranking and status, morphology and phenology, habitat and range, and accounts of physically similar species. Nomenclature is primarily based on Vascular Plants of Texas (1997). Species are arranged alphabetically by genus.