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GoatLockerGuns

Honey Creek State Natural Area, Texas

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GoatLockerGuns

Pictures of Sabal minor growing in habitat at Honey Creek State Natural Area, Texas (approximate GPS coordinates: 29.859131138720375, -98.48455621328327).  These were taken on January 29, 2022.  There are some other specimens growing along the river at the adjacent Guadalupe River State Park; however, they are not as prevalent, or grow as large there.  These Sabal minor were observed growing in three distinct environments: 1. Along the creek side and close to water; 2. Along and on top of the rocky hillside/cliffs; and 3. Out in the open in the Live Oak savanna.

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Silas_Sancona

:greenthumb: Great shots..

Bet that place is quite a sight in spring once the Taxodium, and grassy  understory  is green / Water Lilies are flowering..

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GoatLockerGuns
7 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Bet that place is quite a sight in spring once the Taxodium, and grassy  understory  is green / Water Lilies are flowering..

Concur.  The Taxodium distichum leaves usually stay on the trees until mid to late December in this part of Texas.  The banks of many creeks/rivers in the Hill Country are lined with them (at least the ones that contain year round water flows).  The large ones are great top cover and shade producers for under-story plants.

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Austinpalm

Great photos!!  Taxodium along the creek and Ulmus crassiafolia farther away with spanish moss?

 

Did you see any trunk forming sabals?  Any reason to think some might be mexicana or palmetto?

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GoatLockerGuns
47 minutes ago, Austinpalm said:

Taxodium along the creek and Ulmus crassiafolia farther away with spanish moss?

There is definitely Ulmus crassiafolia there.  Not sure if I got any specific pictures of it (I was focused mainly on the Sabal minor).  For those reading that are unfamiliar with this area, Ulmus crassiafolia (Ulmus is the "Elm" genus) is also known as Cedar Elm (an elm tree whose vernacular name is presumably attributed to its growth habitat in close proximity with Juniperus ashei, also known as Mountain Cedar or Ash Juniper).  Together with Quercus fusiformis (Plateu Live Oak), Quercus virginiana (Southern Live Oak) and/or some hybridization of Quercus fusiformis x virginiana; these make up the core of the Texas Hill Country forests (obviously there are other trees; just too many to name, and these are the superstars).

47 minutes ago, Austinpalm said:

Did you see any trunk forming sabals?  Any reason to think some might be mexicana or palmetto?

None.  And have not seen any at nearby Guadalupe River State Park either.  I am pretty sure these are all Sabal minor; namely, due to the weak costapalmate appearance of the fronds, the tight grouping of the crowns, and the fact that many had inflorescence (or indications of recent inflorescence).  I do not believe Sabal mexicana or Sabal palmetto would produce inflorescence at this size (basically, juvenile size for both those species).

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amh
8 hours ago, Austinpalm said:

Great photos!!  Taxodium along the creek and Ulmus crassiafolia farther away with spanish moss?

 

Did you see any trunk forming sabals?  Any reason to think some might be mexicana or palmetto?

 

7 hours ago, GoatLockerGuns said:

There is definitely Ulmus crassiafolia there.  Not sure if I got any specific pictures of it (I was focused mainly on the Sabal minor).  For those reading that are unfamiliar with this area, Ulmus crassiafolia (Ulmus is the "Elm" genus) is also known as Cedar Elm (an elm tree whose vernacular name is presumably attributed to its growth habitat in close proximity with Juniperus ashei, also known as Mountain Cedar or Ash Juniper).  Together with Quercus fusiformis (Plateu Live Oak), Quercus virginiana (Southern Live Oak) and/or some hybridization of Quercus fusiformis x virginiana; these make up the core of the Texas Hill Country forests (obviously there are other trees; just too many to name, and these are the superstars).

None.  And have not seen any at nearby Guadalupe River State Park either.  I am pretty sure these are all Sabal minor; namely, due to the weak costapalmate appearance of the fronds, the tight grouping of the crowns, and the fact that many had inflorescence (or indications of recent inflorescence).  I do not believe Sabal mexicana or Sabal palmetto would produce inflorescence at this size (basically, juvenile size for both those species).

I live about 10 miles away and have not come across any naturalized palms in the area, but this may change as the areas upstream are developed. There are Sabal minor growing in the region that could be natural or feral. 

Edited by amh

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GoatLockerGuns
22 hours ago, amh said:

There are Sabal minor growing in the region that could be natural or feral. 

Edited 22 hours ago by amh

There definitely Sabal minor growing at Honey Creek....also at Guadalupe River State Park...the ones in the main "recreation" area may or may not have been planted as ornamentals at some time in the past...the ones further up along the banks of the Guadalupe (i.e., along the less accessible and utilized "fishermans" trail were definitely naturalized).  Whether this the western extent of the natural habitat of Sabal minor...I do not believe that is settled.  Supposedly, the Sabal minor growing in abundance at Palmetto State Park to the Southeast are growing within their natural habitat, or at least a "pocket" natural habitat.

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amh
25 minutes ago, GoatLockerGuns said:

There definitely Sabal minor growing at Honey Creek....also at Guadalupe River State Park...the ones in the main "recreation" area may or may not have been planted as ornamentals at some time in the past...the ones further up along the banks of the Guadalupe (i.e., along the less accessible and utilized "fishermans" trail were definitely naturalized).  Whether this the western extent of the natural habitat of Sabal minor...I do not believe that is settled.  Supposedly, the Sabal minor growing in abundance at Palmetto State Park to the Southeast are growing within their natural habitat, or at least a "pocket" natural habitat.

By naturalized I was referring to Sabal palmetto and Sabal mexicana.

The western extant is hard to determine because the area has been extremely overgrazed and the more recent development along the Guadalupe river and its tributaries, has destroyed a lot of natural habitat. There are populations along Joshua creek and around the various towns leading up to Kerrville, so it makes since that Sabal minor would naturally be growing in central and western Comal county.

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