E. missouriensis in Lubbock County, Texas's Journal

April 19, 2020

E. missouriensis in Bloom!

Most if not all Missouri Foxtail Cacti in Lubbock are in bloom today. One outside the city was reported by kayakqueen eight days ago. Interestingly, of three Horse Crippler cacti I observed today, two had single flowers and the third small buds looking like flowering will not be immediate.

Posted on April 19, 2020 22:56 by thebark thebark | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 07, 2020

E. missouriensis Found at Amarillo

Starrgirl this day found a cluster of 8 E. missouriensis cacti on the East side of Amarillo on the old air base property. This is a first iNat report of the species in the Texas Panhandle. So far on the Llano Estacado the species has been found only there and in and around the Yellowhouse Canyon in Lubbock. See https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41634134

Posted on April 07, 2020 20:50 by thebark thebark | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 06, 2020

An Index of Virgin Land?

Finding an uncommon lizard (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41468432) near the most abundant cluster of these cacti helps support the supposition that they are found only in area undisturbed by human activity and likely never plowed or graded. If I knew more about the age and growth rate of E. missouriensis that conclusion would be more firm.

But E. missouriensis is not a perfect index of never-disturbed land because it will not grow just anywhere; it needs the caliche graveled slopes of canyonsides and outcrops for their drainage and possibly soul pH. It only seems that E. missouriensis is such an index because virtually every part of the South Plains has been plowed or scraped and developed except in some instances the caliche canyonsides. The Yellowhouse Canyon in the City of Lubbock has mostly in its 130 year history of European occupation been subject to scraping, digging, and filling, except in the few places where E. missouriensis is found.

Posted on April 06, 2020 14:43 by thebark thebark | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 26, 2020

Relict Species

So far E. missouriensis has been found in six separate small, relatively inaccessible areas in city parklands along Yellowhouse Canyon. This suggests these were not planted by human agency but are a relict species, survivors in remote places of a population that was more common and widespread before farming, ranching, and urban development. When I first found the species at Mackenzie Park Wilds I imagined they might have descended from cacti planted there, a view I have since discarded.

Are they found farther up or down the canyon? I have looked for the species at Lubbock Lake Landmark, along the edges of the Buddy Holly Recreation Area and east of Hell's Gate but have not found any. It is possible that I overlooked them. Others are invited to join in the search, which is easier when these cacti are blooming.

Posted on March 26, 2020 06:01 by thebark thebark | 0 comments | Leave a comment