The mezquital is an ecoregion in southwestern Texas through which the Lower Rio Grande flows. While it contains coastal tidal flats and brush-covered dunes, the mezquital is characteristically a savannalike grassland broken by open woods of mesquite trees with an understory of lesser shrubs. Mezquital also describes the scrub vegetation that reclaims rangeland, often with relatively uniform stands of the mesquite trees that outperform other early colonizers of abandoned land in southwestern Texas. A mezquital is an unruly and haphazard zone, as remembered by one Laredo resident to his local newspaper: “If we got some beer, we would cruise the streets being ever wary of the police. . . . Our favorite drinking spot was the lush mezquital where Nixon High School now stands.”

D. J. Waldie