Hill Country Naturalist

Edgar's picture
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I have written before about the more common Hill Country trees and shrubs. Here are some that are not rare, but certainly not very common either.

• Carolina Basswoood, or Linden tree (Tilia caroliniana) can be a rather large tree of rich, deep moist soils. It is fairly common throughout the whole eastern half of the U.S., into east Texas. Surprisingly, it also occurs as an uncommon tree in the Hill Country. It has large round to heart-shaped leaves with an asymmetrical base, a pointed tip and toothed margins, and is sometimes confused with mulberries. Its blooms, however, are quite unique clusters hanging down from leaf-like bracts underneath small branches and maturing into 1/4 inch fruits in the fall.

• Red Mulberry (Morus rubra) is another large tree with leaves somewhat similar in general appearance to the basswood discussed above, except usually at least some of the leaves will be lobed, most often a single lobed on one side giving the appearance of a mitten. It grows from central Texas to the Atlantic. Mulberries are most often seen along creek bottoms or other moist areas. The birds love the fruit, as do humans.



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Less-Common Trees and Shrubs of the Hill Country: Part I