People Who Make A Difference: Benito Treviño

Local News

Benito Trevino is one of the Rio Grande Valleys most respected native plant experts. He and his wife Toni own Rancho Las Lomitas, west of Rio Grande City. They have been tending a nursery for the past 30 years and have grown approximately 856,000 native plants, so far.
 
He says, “I always wanted to say, I wanted to do something for South Texas, and once I hit a million I say well, I have done something for South Texas.”
 
Treviño’s native plants have helped restore habitat for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, local ranches, landscaping for business properties and homeowners.
 
Treviño’s love of native plants was born of necessity, as throughout his boyhood, living on a ranch in Starr County those plants were an essential part of his family’s diet.
 
“A great majority of the time we literally survived on the native plants, the ebonies, mesquites, tunas, nopalitos.”
 
Treviño’s passion now is working with rare native plants like Walker’s manioc and Star cactus.
 
“This is a Walker’s manioc, and it is so rare that only a handful of people have actually seen the plant and even less people have seen it blooming and here it is in bloom.”
 
Another rare plant that Treviño has discovered how to propagate is Star cactus that only grows in the United States in a handful of locations in Starr and Hidalgo Counties.
 
“A lot of times I refer to them as my babies, because it is like such a labor of love.”
 
 If you ask Treviño what he is most proud of he has a ready response.
 
“Even though I have grown a lot of plants, I think that my greatest satisfaction is that I have taught thousands of people what I know.”

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