Whitehouse, Eula. Texas Wildflowers in Natural Colors. 1936. Available from Project Gutenberg here.
This was my favorite botanical book for March….and maybe beyond that too. Eula Whitehouse lived from 1892-1974 and spent the latter part of her career in Dallas – working at Southern Methodist University from 1946 until her retirement; her books and collections are the core of what became BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas). She assisted in organizing the Dallas County Audubon Society in 1954.
The book was self-published first in 1936 and remains a favorite among many Texas botanists. It was published privately and distributed through the Texas Book Store in Austin and then, in 1948, through Cokesbury Bookstore in Dallas. The version available online at Project Gutenberg shows both dates. I’ve included a few sample images below.
I grew up in Texas and found myself wondering why the nature day camps I attended during my elementary and middle school summers didn’t use her book as a reference as we tried to learn about the wildflowers we saw around us.
Eula Whitehouse published a study on the evolution, or succession, of plant communities at Enchanted Rock (in Texas) as part of her doctoral research at the University of Texas in the 1930s. In the late 1970s, Lady Bird Johnson urged The Nature Conservancy to purchase Enchanted Rock to be set aside for posterity. I like that there is a linkage via Enchanted Rock between Eula Whitehouse and Lady Bird Johnson – two women that were deeply involved in preserving wildflowers of Texas.