Our Prairie People: The Self-taught Botanist

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Jeff can be seen in the very middle of the above photo with his crew of intrepid prairie hikers who helped him celebrate one of his birthdays with a “trek around the sun” at Meridian State Park.

Jeff Quayle
Self-taught botanist for over 37 years
Texas naturalist, flora expert, and a long-time volunteer for Native Prairies Association of Texas

NPAT Member since the 1990s

NPAT Member Jeff Quayle

By Jody Cross

Since he was a boy, Jeff Quayle has had a long-standing passion for nature and plants. He has spent many years learning about the flora around him, devoting innumerable hours of his own time to research, and he enjoys sharing that educational information with others.

Jeff dedicated over 20 years to volunteering at the Fort Worth Nature Center, being mentored by Wayne Clark during that time. Jeff’s commitment to this level of participation shows his passion for nature and his willingness to contribute to the preservation and understanding of native plants and habitats.

He has worked as a volunteer for the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) for decades.  His role there involves surveying and mapping plant communities and contributing to ongoing research efforts. Jeff operates a side business as a professional botanist, conducting private plant surveys. His expertise in plant taxonomy, and his commitment to staying updated on the constant changes in the field, make him a valuable resource for his colleagues and the community. 

Jeff joined Native Prairies Association of Texas in the early 1990s to help support their mission and is an active Fort Worth chapter member where he leads his famous Prairie Tours across areas of North Texas.  He loves being outdoors and educating others about nature.  When he isn’t out enjoying prairies, he spends his time taking plant inventories. His favorite prairie species are the purple Shooting Stars flower (Primula meadia), and one of his most memorable experiences in nature is his time spent in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma.    

“I am an avid naturalist and botanist from Fort Worth and a Texas Master Naturalist, class of 1998. In October of 2000, a species I found in Mineral Wells, Texas, was described as new to science, thus named as a new species, named Quayle’s Ragwort (Senecio quaylei). The only occurrence is in Parker County, Texas.” – Jeff Quayle

People say if you want to know what native Texas plant you are looking at, just ask Jeff!

Thank you, Jeff, for bringing your talents and enthusiasm for native prairies to Texas! We are grateful to you and all of our members. If you are not yet an NPAT member, learn more about it HERE.