Photograph taken at Mesquite Wash, eastern Maricopa Co., Arizona, Oct 26, 2002.
Bosque is a Spanish word for woodland
and is used in the Desert Southwest to describe an often closed-canopy woodland
that develops adjacent to desert streams and rivers. It is one type of riparian
habitat where the desert gives way to an oasislike verdance. The most frequent
trees are mesquites, especially Velvet Mesquite, Prosopis vellutina.
These are mostly low trees rarely exceeding 15 meters and because there is
rarely more than one canopy layer, the understory gets plenty of light. After
periods of rain or during the winter months when the deciduous trees are
leafless, a variety of lower shrubs and herbs can be found.
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