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State Soil

Houston Black

Proposed State Soil for Texas

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Houston Black soil photo

Houston Black soils are important agricultural soils used extensively for growing grain sorghum, cotton, corn, small grains, and forage grasses. They are also important soils in many urban areas. They occur throughout the Blackland Prairie region of Central Texas from Bonham to San Antonio.  Houston Black soils are not found in any other state.

Houston Black Soil (PDF; 123 KB).

Block diagram showing microvariability of Houston Black soils in Texas, and surface and subsurface features and terms. Surface features are microhigh (A), microslope (B) and microlow (C). Subsurface features bounded by major slickensides are chimney (D), intermediate (E), and bowl (F). Surface exposures of chimneys are called puffs (G).

Miller, Wesley L. and Amanda L. Bragg. 2007. Soil Characterization and Hydrological Monitoring Project, Brazoria County, Texas, Bottomland Hardwood Vertisols, United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Temple, Texas.

For a printable version of this diagram click on the link below.

Houston Black soils in Texas diagram and narrative (PDF; 70 KB)
If you have any questions, please email Soils Section.