Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes

A narrow band about 60 miles wide along the Texas coast from the Louisiana border to Brownsville roughly outlines the Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes. This area is characterized by long and continual confrontations with the sea, wind and rain. These confrontations shape this place creating a tapestry of shallow bays, estuaries, salt marshes, dunes and tidal flats. Because of this proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, the plants of this region must be highly salt tolerant or halophytic.

Coastal areas are rich in wildlife. Coastal marshes harbor hundreds of thousands of wintering geese and ducks and provide critical landfall in the spring for neotropical migratory birds. Several important wildlife sanctuaries and refuges are located in this region including refuges for the endangered Attwater’s Prairie-chicken and the Whooping Crane. Coastal dunes may serve as sentry roosts for north bound Peregrine Falcons in the fall. Coastal waters are often graced by willets, sanderlings, gulls, terns and Black Skimmers.

Plants for the Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes

  • Trees
    • Sugarberry
    • Water oak
    • Willow oak
    • Shumard red oak
    • Southern live oak
    • American elm
    • Yaupon
    • Red mulberry
    • Wax myrtle
    • Flameleaf sumac
    • Red buckeye
    • Eastern red cedar
    • Short-leaf pine
    • Loblolly pine
    • Shrubs
      American beautyberry
      Dwarf Palmetto
  • Succulents
    • Prickly-pear cactus
    • Spanish dagger
  • Vines
    • Pipevine
    • Cross-vine
    • Trumpet creeper
    • Carolina Jessamine
    • Coral honeysuckle
    • May-pop
    • Muscadine grape
  • Grasses
    • Big blue stem
    • Bushy bluestem
    • Inland sea-oats
    • Sugarcane plumegrass
    • Gulf cordgrass
    • Eastern gammagrass
  • Wildflowers
    • Lance-leaf coreopsis
    • Coralbean
    • Spider lily
    • Cardinal flower
    • Turk’s cap
    • Gulf Coast penstemon
    • Scarlet sage
    • Indian paintbrush
    • Beach evening primrose
    • Showy evening primrose
    • Meadow pink