Texas Almanac, 1992-1993 Page: 71
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grama and threeawn grasses with sand sage and shinnery
on areas of deep sand.
4. ROLLING RED PRAIRIES SOILS
The Rolling Red Prairies occupy about 1 million acres
in North Central Texas adjoining Oklahoma. The area is
dominantly prairie. The principal soils are of the Ano-
con, Bluegrove, Kamay, Kirkland and Stoneburg series.
Bottomland soils are of the Gaddy, Yomont and
Native vegetation is mainly little bluestem, sideoats,
hairy and blue grama, Indiangrass and buffalograss. The
area is mainly used for cattle ranching and growing
S. NORTH CENTRAL PRAIRIE SOILS
The North Central Prairies occupy about 7 million
acres in Central North Texas. The area lies between the
Western Cross Timbers and Rolling Plains and was here-
tofore often referred to as the Reddish Prairie. The area
is dominantly prairie, but numerous small wooded areas
are intermixed. The principal soils are of the Truce,
Thurber, Bonti and Owens series. Narrow strips of
alluvial soils, mainly of the Bosque and Frio series, occur
in the flood plains of local streams. Small areas of other
soils similar to those of the West Cross Timbers and
Grand Prairie are intermixed. They are best suited for
growing small grains and native grasses.
Native vegetation is mainly little bluestem, side-
oats, hairy and blue grama, Indian and buffalo grass.
Scrubby trees and shrubs, mainly post oak and mesquite,
and cacti grow rather thickly in places.
6. EDWARDS PLATEAU SOILS
The 22.7 million acres of the Edwards Plateau are on
an extensive tableland of Southwest Texas. Many of the
soils are shallow over limestone, and streams have cut
many valleys and canyons. Upland soils are dark, calca-
reous clays and clay loams, mostly gravelly and stony.
Some deeper, less stony soils occur on the flat divides.
Main series: Tarrant, Eckrant, Brackett and Tobosa
(eastern two-thirds); Ector, Upton, Reagan (western
one-third). Bottomland soils include minor areas of
dark, calcareous, clayey alluvial soils. Main series: Frio,
Oakalla and Dev.
This is principally a livestock, ranching region, the
center of Texas' and the nation's mohair and wool pro-
duction. Except where there is limited irrigation, crop-
ping is largely confined to such drought-resistant crops
as grain sorghums and grasses. Grasses, shrubs and
scrubby trees dominate the native vegetation. There are
many cedar brakes.
7. CENTRAL BASIN SOILS
The Central Basin, also known as the Llano Basin,
occupies a relatively small area in Central Texas. It in-
cludes parts or all of Llano, Mason, Gillespie and adioin-
ing counties. The total area is about 1.6 million acres.
Upland soils are reddish brown to brown, mostly
gravelly and stony, sandy loams shallow over granite,
limestone, gneiss and schist; deeper, less stony, sandy
loam soils in the valleys. Main series: Pontotoc, Peder-
nales, Ligon, Castell, Katemcy, Hensley and Voca. Bot-
tomland soils are minor areas of dark gray, alluvial
soils. Main series: Frio and Oakalla.
The native vegetation consists of grass and small oak
and mesquite trees. On some rocky slopes, juniper forms
the principal growth. Ranching is the main enterprise,
with some farms producing peaches, grain sorghum and
8. NORTHERN RIO GRANDE PLAIN SOILS
The Northern Rio Grande Plain comprises about 6.3
million acres in an area of Southern Texas extending
from Uvalde to Beeville. The main soils are deep, red-
dish brown or dark grayish brown, loamy, and of the Cla-
reville, Elmendorf, Floresville, Miguel and Webb series
in the eastern part. Native range is grassland, thorny
brush and cacti. Most of the area is range grazed by beef
cattle. Grain sorghum, cotton, corn, flax and small grain
are grown in the eastern part. Irrigated cropland is in
the Winter Garden area of the western part and produc-
es corn, cotton, grain sorghum and truck crops such as
spinach, carrots and cabbage.
9. WESTERN RIO GRANDE PLAIN SOILS
The Western Rio Grande Plain comprises about 5.3
million acres in an area of Southwestern Texas from Del
Rio to Rio Grande City. The main upland soils are
clayey, saline and of the Catarina and Montell series.
The vegetation is mid and short grasses with low thorny
brush and cacti. Soils along the Rio Grande are mainly
the Laredo, Rio Grande and Zalla series. Most of the
soils along the river are used for growing vegetables and
sorghums. The upland soils are used for grazing beef
10. CENTRAL RIO GRANDE PLAIN SOILS
The Central Rio Grande Plain comprises about 5.9
million acres in an area of Southern Texas from Live
Oak to Hidalgo County. The main soils are Nueces and
Sarita series (sandy); Delfina, Delmita and Duval (loa-
my); Randado and Zapata series (shallow). The vege-
tation is tall and mid grasses with scattered trees and
shrubs. Much of the area is in large ranches used for
raising beef cattle. A few areas are used for growing
grain sorghum, cotton and small grain.
11. LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY SOILS
The Lower Rio Grande Valley comprises about 2.1
million acres in extreme Southern Texas. The main soils
are deep, loamy and clayey, and of the Brennan, Hidal-
go, Harlingen, Raymondville and Rio Grande series.
Most of the soils are used for growing irrigated vegeta-
bles and citrus, along with cotton, grain sorghum and
sugar cane. Some areas are in range and used for grow-
ing beef cattle.
12. WEST CROSS TIMBERS SOILS
The West Cross Timbers comprises a total of about 2.6
million acres. The area includes the wooded section west
of the Grand Prairie and extends from the Red River
southward to the north edge of Brown County. Small
areas also occur intermixed or interlaced with soils of
the western part of the Grand Prairie. The principal se-
ries are Windthorst, Nimrod and Duffau. Narrow areas
of alluvial soils, mainly of the Gowen series, occur in the
flood plains of local streams. Soils of the Ships, Yahola
and Weswood series occur in the flood plains of the
The native vegetation is mainly shinnery oak and post
oak trees and a few other hardwoods. The trees are
scrubby, of small size and unsuited for most uses other
than firewood or fence posts. In places, grasses, includ-
ing little bluestem, grama and threeawn, and scattered
mesquite trees form a thick ground cover where the oak
overstory is thin. Rangeland and pastures are used for
grazing beef and dairy cattle. Crops are peanuts, grain
sorghum, small grains, peaches, pecans and vegetables.
13. EAST CROSS TIMBERS SOILS
The East Cross Timbers includes a long narrow strip
of wooded soils that separates the northern parts of the
Blackland Prairie and Grand Prairie. This strip is only a
few miles wide and extends from the Red River south-
ward into Hill County and includes a total area of about 1
million acres. The soils are mainly of the Callisburg,
Crosstell, Silstid and Gasil series.
The native vegetation is mainly post oak trees and a
few other hardwoods.The trees are scrubby, of small size
and unsuited for most uses other than firewood or fence
posts. In places, grasses, including little bluestem, grama
and threeawn, and scattered mesquite trees form a thick
ground cover where the oak overstory is thin. Range-
lands and pastures are used for grazing beef and dairy
cattle. Crops are peanuts, grain sorghums, small grains,
peaches, pecans and vegetables.
14. GRAND PRAIRIE SOILS
The Grand Prairie includes the prairie just west of
the Blackland Prairie in North Central Texas. It extends
south from the Red River to about the Colorado River
and comprises about 6.3 million acres.
The principal soils of the Grand Prairie are of the
Eckrant, Slidell and Denton series. Small areas of soils of
the Crawford, Brackett, Krum and Lewisville series
occur also on the uplands. Alluvial soils, mainly of the
Frio and Bosque series, occur in the flood plains of
The native vegetation is mainly short grasses with
some mid and tall grasses on the deeper soils. Buffalo
and grama grasses, little bluestem and Indian grass are
the most widespread. In many places, especially on
rocky slopes of shallow soils, small oak and juniper trees
form a thick cover, and scattered mesquite trees occur
throughout the area. The area is mainly used for grow-
ing beef cattle. Some small grain, grain sorghum and
corn are grown.
15. BLACKLAND PRAIRIE SOILS
An almost treeless area, the Blackland Prairies con-
sist of about 12.6 million acres of East Central Texas ex-
tending southwesterly from the Red River to Bexar
County. There are smaller, similar areas to the south-
The soils of the greater portion of the Blackland Prai-
rie proper are mainly of the Houston Black, Heiden and
Austin series with smaller areas of Lewisville, Al-
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Kingston, Mike. Texas Almanac, 1992-1993, book, 1991; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth279642/m1/75/: accessed November 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.