CPC Plant Profile: Texas Snowbell
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Plant Profile

Texas Snowbell (Styrax platanifolius ssp. texanus)

This shot shows the flowering plant with its glossy leaves. Photo Credit: San Antonio Botanical Garden
Description
  • Global Rank: T1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Styracaceae
  • State: TX
  • Nature Serve ID: 152043
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Nestling its roots deep into the limestone cliffs of the Edwards Plateau, the Texas Snowbells (Styrax texana) dangles its delicate white flowers over the crystal clear waters of a Hill Country stream below. This is a beautiful, 10-15 foot tall deciduous shrub with heart-shaped leaves, which are green on top and silky white below. Each flower sets fruit, which contain the seeds for future generations of this species. The problem lies in the location of mature trees: most seeds ripen and fall into the stream below and are carried away. Some seedlings do survive but are quickly eaten by deer, wild goats, sheep or rodents. Presently, most wild populations consist of only mature trees. (Cox 2000).

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 10/09/2020
  • Reintroduction

Two re-introduction experiments are currently in progress. Plants were grown in greenhouses at the San Antonio Botanical Garden and planted in their historic range with cages to prevent mammal herbivory. (McDonald 1996)

  • 10/09/2020
  • Living Collection

The San Antonio Botanical Garden currently maintains Texas Snowbells in test plots. Plants were grown in greenhouses at the San Antonio Botanical Garden and planted in their historic range with cages to prevent mammal herbivory. (McDonald 1996)

  • 10/09/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

The San Antonio Botanical Garden currently maintains Texas Snowbells in test plots. Seeds have been collected from the wild and sent to the National Seed Storage Lab for long term storage

  • 10/09/2020
  • Seed Collection

The San Antonio Botanical Garden currently maintains Texas Snowbells in test plots. Seeds have been collected from the wild and sent to the National Seed Storage Lab for long term storage.

Cindy Barrett
  • 01/01/2010

Browsing by domestic livestock, exotic game, and native wildlife. Seed and seedling predation. Flooding and erosion. (McDonald 1996)

Cindy Barrett
  • 01/01/2010

When this species was listed in 1984, only 39 plants were known in the Texas counties of Edwards and Real. As of 2002, Texas Parks and Wildlife reports 10 populations in Edwards, Real, and Val Verde counties in Texas. (Texas Parks and Wildlife 2002)

Cindy Barrett
  • 01/01/2010

Two re-introduction experiments are currently in progress. Plants were grown in greenhouses at the San Antonio Botanical Garden and planted in their historic range with cages to prevent mammal herbivory. (McDonald 1996)

Cindy Barrett
  • 01/01/2010

The San Antonio Botanical Garden currently maintains Texas Snowbells in test plots. Seeds have been collected from the wild and sent to the National Seed Storage Lab for long term storage.

Cindy Barrett
  • 01/01/2010

Monitor re-introduction sites. Landowners have shown an interest in new re-introduction studies.

Cindy Barrett
  • 01/01/2010

Collect seed from the various populations for storage at the National Seed Storage Lab. Germination and growth studies.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Styrax platanifolius ssp. texanus
Authority (Cory) P.W. Fritsch
Family Styracaceae
CPC Number 4162
ITIS 566099
USDA STPLT
Common Names Texas snowbells
Associated Scientific Names Styrax texanus | Styrax platanifolius ssp. texanus | Styrax texana | Styrax platanifolius var. texanus
Distribution Edwards Plateau area of Texas (Edwards, Real, and Val Verde counties)
State Rank
State State Rank
Texas S1
Habitat

Currently found on steep limestone cliffs or bluffs above stream channels in juniper-oak savannas on the Edwards Plateau as well as in creosote bush shrub habitat in the eastern Trans-Pecos basins. (USFWS 1984) Associates often include the Texas ash, sycamore, little walnut, Mexican silktassel, Lacey oak, Texas oak, Mexican buckeye, Texas mountain laurel, Texas persimmon, guajillo, and Ashe juniper. (Texas Parks and Wildlife 2002)

Ecological Relationships

A highly palatable species, the browsing of deer, goats and exotic ungulates are a serious threat to the survival of Texas snowbells.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Other
Insects Suspected Pollinator Floral Link

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