Welcome to Texas Gulf Coast Plants! (Version 23.04)

The coastal marshes, dunes, and beaches of the Texas coast form a narrow belt adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. They represent the coastal edge of the Gulf Prairies and Marshes vegetation area of Texas (see Correll and Johnston, 1979). The landscape is low, flat, largely open, and marshy with numerous rivers and streams form estuaries as they enter the Gulf of Mexico. Occasional low rises support populations of live oak and other trees. Most of the coast occurs along thin barrier islands and peninsulas that are separated from the mainland by a bay. Large areas of the coast have become urbanized as the result of vacation home development. Subject to hurricanes and tropical storms, the area is increasingly vulnerable to erosion as a result of sea level rise and land subsidence. The climate is humid and the northeastern reaches of the Texas coast, the main area the gallery covers, receives roughly 50 inches (127 cm) of rainfall annually although rainfall along the southwestern portion of the coast is substantially less. This gallery represents plants commonly encountered on Texas beaches and in adjacent salt and brackish coastal marshes. Most of the photos are from Sea Rim State Park, Bolivar peninsula and Galveston Island. Botanical nomenclature follows The Flora of North America (FNA 1993+) series where possible and USDA PLANTS for groups not yet published in FNA. Family circumscriptions follow the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification (APG 1998, 2003, 2009, 2016). Correl and Johnston (1979), Jones (1975), and Richardson (2002) were among the many additional sources consulted.

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