Central Texas Coast River Terrace Sandyland Grassland

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Nature Serve ID: Previously Undescribed System


This system occurs on Quaternary alluvium of stream deposited sands.


Terraces and benches representing local highs within the level and ridge and swale topography of river floodplains.


Deep sands (typically > 1 meter (3 feet) in depth). The ecological site type is characterized as Sand Hill on soils such as Sarita-Falfurrias fine sands, but other coarse, deep sand sites on river terraces are also occupied by this system.

Parent Description

This system occurs on deep sands on the terraces of rivers and streams of the coastal prairie from Austin to Refugio Counties. These sites are typically dominated by graminoids including species such as Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem), Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass), Paspalum plicatulum (brownseed paspalum), and Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem). Other grass species that may be present to dominant include Paspalum setaceum (thin paspalum), Trachypogon spicatus (crinkleawn), Paspalum monostachyum (gulfdune paspalum), Elionurus tripsacoides (Pan American balsamscale), Cenchrus spinifex (common sandbur), Eragrostis secundiflora (red lovegrass), Aristida spp. (threeawns), and Triplasis purpurea (purple sandgrass). Characteristic forbs of the system include Aphanostephus skirrhobasis (lazy daisy), Heterotheca subaxillaris (camphor weed), Cnidoscolus texanus (Texas bullnettle), Stillingia sylvatica (queen’s delight), Gaillardia aestivalis (prairie gaillardia), Croton argyranthemus (silverleaf croton), Acalypha radians (cardinal’s feather), Croton parksii (Park’s croton), Croton capitatus (hog croton), Phyllanthus abnormis (sand leaf-flower), Physalis cinerascens (smallflower groundcherry), Helianthus argophyllus (silverleaf sunflower), Verbesina encelioides (cowpen daisy), Eriogonum multiflorum (heartsepal wildbuckwheat), Froelichia floridana (Florida snake-cotton), Croptilon divaricatum (scratch-daisy), Diodia teres (poor joe), Polanisia erosa (large clammyweed), and Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea). Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite) is a common woody invader on these sites, but other woody species such as Zanthoxylum fagara (colima), Celtis ehrenbergiana (granjeno), and the uncommon Prunus texana (Texas peachbush) may also be present.

Ecological Mapping Systems

Coastal Plain: Terrace Sandyland Grassland

Mapping System ID: 7907

As described for system.

Distribution Map

Coastal Plain: Terrace Sandyland Grassland


Example_Coastal Plain Terrace Sandyland Grassland.png

Public Land Occurrence

  • None.