Book Review: Woody Plants of the Big Bend and Trans-Pecos
This is a very useful book to the far-West Texas and Southern New Mexico landowner. Every landowner should try to know these plants by sight.
Over 100 common trees, shrubs, cacti and other plants are identified and described. These are photographed as shrubs, in leaf detail, flower detail and seed development.
There is excellent narrative description and taxonomic detail. Useful descriptions of the specific habitats in which the plants occur are also very informative.
Remarks on the value of each of these plants to wildlife are also useful and in the aggregate show that there is almost no plant that is not helpful to some wild animal.
The book is marred by it’s invasive species biases – the widely-accepted assumption that most all wild animals compete with one another and that so-called exotics are by definition harmful to most all native plants and animals. This reflects that while our agencies have developed a wealth of knowledge about wild plants and animals of the Northern Chihuahuan Desert, that knowledge is organized around misunderstandings as to how biodiversity functions in nature.
Nevertheless, this well organized and easy-to-access reference belongs on board everyone’s ranch truck.