Cucurbita texana Gray
Synonyms: Cucurbita pepo ssp. ovifera var. texana (Scheele) D.S.
Decker (Econ. Bot. 42:12. 1988); Tristemon texanum Scheele
Distribution: A Texas endemic (according to Texas A&M Bioinformatics
Working Group web page). Texas Distribution: Aransas, Bell, Bexar,
Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Comal, Denton, Dewitt, Fayette,
Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Hamilton, Jackson, Kinney, Kleberg,
Lee, Llano, Madison, Menard, Milam, Navarro, Refugio, Robertson,
San Jacinto, San Patricio, Sutton, Travis, Val Verde, and Washington
counties. Correll and Johnston (1970), state that this species is found along
several rivers, especially the Guadalupe, that drain the
Edwards Plateau in central Texas. Tom Wendt (pers. comm 1998) states, "This description of range
does not say that it is restricted to the Edwards Plateau in Texas,
only that it is along rivers that originate there. Some of the
above mentioned counties are E or SE of the Plateau, but in most
the species occurs there along rivers coming from there; river-wise,
our specimens are from along the Devil's (Sutton Co.), Guadalupe
(Comal, DeWitt) and Colorado (Travis). On the other hand, the
Brazos Co. specimen is on the Navasota River, which doesn't rise
or flow through the Edwards Plateau. The Calhoun Co. one is
from Matagorda Island, a barrier island where the Guadalupe hits
Plants Seen or Cited: UNM: none. Apparently one collection was made in Eddy Co., New
Mexico. I don't know if this specimen identification has been
verified or where this specimen is vouchered. TEX-LL: Sutton,
Comal, Dewitt, Travis, Brazos, Calhoun Counties. Two specimens
from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, determined as C. texana by Denis Kearns,
who was a grad student working on Cucurbitaceae (but not Cucurbita
specifically). These specimens are from the region of Iturbide,
N.L. There is no indication that they came from along a river,
but habitat data is quite brief (Tom Wendt pers. comm 1998).
Habitat: In debris and piles of driftwood, often climbing into trees, along
several rivers, especially the Guadalupe, that drain the Edwards Plateau in central Texas.
Discussion: Hugh Wilson has written extensively on Cucurbita. "The
'Texas Gourd' has not been treated as a distinct species by specialists
since the formal name change in 1988. Consideration of both classification
and phylogeny reveals that the biological entity defined by the
name 'C. texana' constitutes only a portion of a broader system
of free-living C. pepo populations that inhabit eastern North
America. Plants carrying this name are not biologically distinct
or reproductively isolated from other elements of C. pepo, both
domesticated and free-living. ... The U.S. populations show levels
of genetic differentiation that allow classification as C. pepo
ssp. ovifera var. texana (Texas) and C. pepo ssp. ovifera var.
ozarkana (Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana).
Populations from other areas of the U.S. distribution are difficult
to classify, possibly because of hybridization or other connections
to domesticated elements of the species" (Wilson 1998). This taxon is
no longer considered rare in Texas. Remove from the New Mexico rare list.
Important Information Sources:
Bailey, L.H. 1943. Species of Cucurbita. Gertes Herbarum 6(5).
Correll, D.S. and M.C. Johnston. 1970. Manual of the Vascular
Plants of Texas.
Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular
flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Second edition.
New Mexico Natural Heritage Program. 1998. Plants in Heritage Database.
The Gray Index. 1998. Web database.
Wendt, Tom. 1998. Curator of the TEX-LL Herbarium, Austin, TX. (Personal
Wilson, Hugh. 1998. Texas Endemics: Distribution of Cucurbita texana. In: website
publication at http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/endemics/endemic1.htm.
Information Compiled By: Jane Mygatt, 1998