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CDRI Desert NewsFlash
July 2021
At the Pollinator Garden, photo  by Alan Wintz.    
The Pollinator Garden gets a facelift.
 Thanks to a grant we received from an extremely generous Family Foundation, and one that wishes to remain anonymous, we leaped at the opportunity this year to give the Pollinator Garden a facelift. The signage in the garden had faded over the years, and we were ready for a bright, new look that we think will appeal to visitors of all ages. 
Guided by CDRI's Mission (reprinted below), we began the project with the intent to create visually captivating signs that also contain information about the importance of pollinators, including the relationship between native pollinators with native plants.  We hope the new exhibit sparks interest in visitors of all ages to learn and care about the future of pollinators. 
We are grateful to Jim Fissel, who designed the signs. Photography is by Andy Morgan and Alan Wintz. And, the forms supporting the panels were hand-crafted by Dale Pilcher.
Mission Statement
Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute
The mission of the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute is to promote
public awareness, appreciation, and concern for nature generally and
the natural diversity of  the Chihuahuan Desert region specifically,
through education, the visitor experience, and through the support of research.

Attracting native pollinators in your garden
You can make a difference in your home garden by choosing native plants that will attract native pollinators. Pollinator.org provides a free Ecoregional Planting Guide that you can download here
We look forward to welcoming you to the CDRI Pollinator Garden soon!
New trail & garden guide booklets are available now at the Powell Visitor Center.
We're thrilled to introduce our newest editions of CDRI's Trail and Garden Guide booklets. Designer Jim Fissel redesigned each booklet, giving them a fresh update and a contemporary look. Individual guide booklets are available for the Modesta Canyon Trail, Clayton's Overlook Trail, Geology Guide, and the Botanical Gardens. In addition, a new guide booklet to the Maxie Templeton Cactus Museum Collection is nearing completion. Booklets may be purchased at the CDRI Information Desk for $2 each, or three for $5. 

CDRI BBQ & Auction

It's time to have fun and raise some funds!

Please join us for a fun evening with friends on
Saturday, September 25th! 

BBQ brisket dinner 
catered by Lisa and Mark Sanchez of Sanchez BBQ.
Beer, wine, and tea

We'll start with a Silent Auction, 
followed by a guaranteed-to-be-lively Live Auction
led by auctioneer, Martin Stringer.

$25 per person

Purchase tickets at www.cdri.org.
Discover mindful morning walks each Monday.
Join us each Monday at 9:30 a.m. for an unscripted walk -- where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the early morning and where you'll make discoveries and possibly new connections to nature.
Reservations are not required.
Regular admission fee of $6.50 per person applies. 
Make plans to attend CDRI's
volunteer interpretive guide training.
An Interpretive Guide training class will be held on Saturday, July 10, starting at 9:00 a.m.
CDRI volunteer and Tierra Grande Master Naturalist, Martin Havran, will lead the training session to feature Clayton's Overlook Trail. The moderate, 1.5-mile, round-trip hike includes a hilltop Geology Exhibit, breathtaking vistas, and spectacular rock formations.
The class is open to anyone interested in learning how to be an Interpretive Guide for CDRI school groups and adult tour groups.  Please contact Lisa Gordon at lgordon@cdri.org to reserve your space at the training session. 
Garden Notes:
Wild Roses of the Trans-Pecos
by Seth Hamby
The Rose Family (Rosaceae) is a cosmopolitan plant family, but is especially species-rich in the temperate regions of North America, Europe, and eastern Asia. The Rosaceae has around 3,100 species in roughly 90 genera. Rosaceae is named for its “type genus,” Rosa, which includes the myriad varieties of domesticated garden roses.
Above: Purshia plicata, antelope bush, CDRI
Cultivation and domestication of roses likely began around 5,000 years ago in Asia. For centuries, roses have been a symbol of love, passion, purity, and beauty. The vast majority of species within the Rosaceae family bear no superficial resemblance to garden roses. Instead, they include herbs, shrubs, and trees, in addition to many edible fruits (including peaches, apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, and strawberries).
Many people are surprised when they come to the CDRI Botanical Garden and witness the native “roses” of the Trans-Pecos region because they are so different from the conception of what a rose “should look like” in their minds. Woods’ rose, antelope bush, desert wild rose, and Apache plume are among the plants represented in the family Rosaceae.
There is incredible morphological diversity within the family, so much so that many botanists have called it “undefinable.” However, enough morphological, chemical, and genetic similarity exists to unify the family into a monophyletic group. A monophyletic group includes a common ancestor and all of its descendants (See figure).
Fig.1: Cladogram based on genetic studies of the Order Rosales showing the monophylly of the Family Rosaceae. From “Rosaceae: Taxonomy, Economic Importance, Genomics,” by Kim E. Hummer & Jules Janick.
Traditionally, six subfamilies within Rosaceae were recognized. These subfamilies were predominantly diagnosed by the differences in the structure of their fruits. Molecular studies have since altered the traditional phylogeny. The modern rose family is organized into three subfamilies: Amygdaloideae, Dryadoideae, and Rosoideae. In the Botanical Garden, there are representatives from each of these three subfamilies.
A unifying morphological characteristic for the Rose Family is the existence of the hypanthium. The hypanthium, or floral cup, is a structure where the basal portions of the floral parts form an often cup-shaped structure.
Most Rosaceae have trichomes (plant hairs), alternate leavesstipules, bisexual (perfect) flowers, pentamerous sepals and petals, fifteen or more stamens, and an absence of endospermFruits of the family can be a follicle, achene, pome, drupe, aggregate, or accessory with drupelets or achenes, or rarely, a capsule. 
Herbaceous rose species grow as understory plants, in marshes, in tundra, in abandoned fields, and along roadsides. Woody Rosaceae are often pioneer species, meaning they are some of the first to colonize areas after a disturbance. Because of this tendency, multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) and McCartney rose (Rosa bracteata) have become harmful invasive species in North America.
Twenty-eight species from 17 genera occur in the Trans-Pecos, including non-native scarlet firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea) and the common pear (Pyrus communis). All of the species we have in the Botanical Gardens are shrubs or small trees hailing from 9 of the 17 genera. We have a total of 13 species from the Rose Family in CDRI’s accessioned collection:
  • Amelanchier utahensis, Utah serviceberry
  • Cercocarpus breviflorus, desert mountain mahogany
  • Cercocarpus montanus, alderleaf mountain mahogany
  • Crataegus traceyi, Tracy’s Hawthorn
  • Fallugia paradoxa, Apache plume
  • Malacomeles pringlei, toothed serviceberry
  • Prunus havardii, Havard’s plum
  • Prunus serotina var. rufula, Southwestern chokecherry
  • Purshia plicata, antelope bush (Nuevo Leon, Mexico) (not a Trans-Pecos species)
  • Rosa stellata, desert rose
  • Rosa woodsii, Wood’s rose
  • Vauquelinia corymbosa subsp. angustifolia, slimleaf vauquelinia
  • Vauquelinia corymbosa subsp. heterodon, Neuvo Leon rosewood (not a Trans-Pecos species)
According to reports from CDRI visitors and firsthand experience, 2021 has been a fantastic year for members of the Rose Family in the Trans-Pecos region. After the historical freeze in February 2021, and the ensuing drought, we were all concerned about how the plants in the Botanical Garden would respond and recover. The roses took it all in stride and have put on one of the best floral shows in recent memory. We feel certain that you, too, will appreciate the variety of plants within the family Rosaceae. Come visit CDRI Nature Center and Botanical Gardens and experience the magic and allure of roses.  
June 2021 Visiting Groups

Marfa Agave Festival
Festival participants arrived early Sunday, June 27, for a guided tour of the Botanical Gardens, led by landscape designer, author, and Vice-President on the CDRI Board of Directors, Jim Martinez. Jim is a mainstay of the festival, having led a hike at CDRI's Botanical Gardens each year since the inception of the Marfa Agave Festival.
Hayter Family Reunion
Exploring Far West Texas, some family members ventured over to the Nature Center for an afternoon of hiking. 
SRSU Summer STEM Class 
 Twenty-five high school students from across the region, including Presidio, Pecos, and Del Rio, participated in the week-long Sul Ross State University - STEM program. Their visit to CDRI included the Botanical Gardens and a hike to Clayton's Overlook.  The program was led by Ida Hoelscher, Stephanie Weintraut, and Chris Valenzuela. 
Franklin Apartment Management Group
The Franklin Apartment Management team from San Antonio, Texas, enjoyed a team-building mini-vacation to the region. Ryan Baldwin led his group on a hike to Modesta Canyon. 
Alpine ISD - Pre-K & Kinder class
Led by Alpine Elementary School teacher Julie Wise, Pre-K and Kinder students enjoyed exploring the Botanical Gardens while visiting the Nature Center. 

"the best rural nature center in Texas,"
we hope you have a safe
and fun
4th of July!

Happy trails! 

Happy fox photo by Carol DiQuilio, Carol's Nature Photography.
Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, P.O. Box 905, Fort Davis, TX 79734


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