Trees, Shrubs and Herbaceous Plants in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons

The trees, shrubs, perennial herbs and annuals described in this guide are those that occur in riparian woodlands within and adjacent to more-or-less permanent streams and watered canyons in Arizona. Many of the trees are Arizona Sycamore, Platanus wrightii. Depending on elevation and soil conditions a wide variety of other trees and woody shrubs are prevalent. In Arizona these sycamore-dominated canyons generally range in elevation from 1000 m to 2000 m. Interspersed between the trees are drier ledges and terraces that support vegetation typical of surrounding semi-arid habitats. These drier spots within the galleries are often shaded either by the trees or by high canyon walls and so as a result often support a rich variety of mesic flora. If a plant species is covered in detail in another guide on Arizona Naturalists an icon will so indicate. The user should use the 'back button' on the browser to return to this guide page.

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Arizona Sycamore

Arizona Sycamore

Tree of grand proportions with white peeling bark and large palmately lobed leaves. Pendulous spherical fruit. More ...

Arizona Walnut

Arizona Walnut

Medium to large-sized tree with large, alternate, compound leaves. Bark is dark and fissured. Fruit a thick-shelled, nut. More ...

Arizona Alder

Arizona Alder

Medium to large-sized tree with mostly smooth bark and simple, serrated-edge leaves. Fruit in short, dense catkins. More ...

Box Elder leaf

Box Elder

Medium to large-sized tree. Leaves are compound with 3 to 7 segments. Seeds with papery wings like other maples. More ...

Velvet Ash

Velvet Ash

Medium to large tree with compound, opposite leaves. Dark, fissured bark. Seeds with papery wing. More ...

Net-leaf Hackberry

Net-leaf Hackberry

Alternate elliptical leaves are prominently veined and tough. Med. to large tree with distinct warty bark. Small orange berries. More ...

Fremont Cottonwood

Fremont Cottonwood

Also occurs in the Sonoran Desert Large, deciduous tree in sycamore canyons mostly at the lower elevations. More ...

Tree of Heaven

Tree of Heaven

Fast growing tree with large, pinnately compound leaves and large clusters of winged fruits. Exotic invasive! More ...

Gooding's Willow Willow

Goodding's Willow

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Version of black willow; medium to large tree growing usu. close to water's edge . More ...

Red Willow

Red Willow

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Small tree or shrubby. Leaves distinctly whitish on reverse. Margin teeth minute. More ...

Coyote Willow

Coyote Willow

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Shrubby willow growing especially in zones that get scoured by flash floods frequently. More ...

Arizona Madrone

Arizona Madrone

Evergreen tree in canyons of southeastern Arizona. Dark green leaves with red petioles. Trunk also reddish brown. More ...

Gambel's Oak

Gambel Oak

Medium to large tree. Light green, deciduous leaves with several prominent, rounded lobes. Acorns. Bark fissured and scaly. More ...

Mistletoe

Mistletoe on Oaks

Woody parasite growing directly out of twigs and branches of mostly Quercus spp. Oaks). Minute green flowers in clusters. More ...

Shrub Live Oak

Scrub Live Oak

Medium-sized shrub or small tree. Sharp spines at margins of oval leaves. Acorns often present. Evergreen. More ...

Emory Oak

Emory Oak

Medium to large tree. Dark, evergreen leaves usu. have several sharp-pointed serrations. Acorns mature one year. More ...

Mexican Blue Oak

Mexican Blue Oak

Medium-sized trees with tough, blue-green leaves and deeply fissured bark. Leaf margins mostly smooth. Canyons along Mex. border. More ...

Silver-leaf Oak

Silver-leaf Oak

Medium sized tree in mountains near Arizona-Mexico borderlands. Elliptical leaves are mostly white below. Fruit an acorn. More ...

Net-leaf Oak, Quercus rugosa

Net-leaf Oak

Unique oak in moist canyons along the so. border. Velvety, oblong leaves are prominently net-veined, esp. below. More ...

Hop Tree

Hop Tree

Medium-sized tree or shrub with dark green, trifoliate, aromatic leaves. Small, cream flowers give rise to paper-winged seeds. More ...

California Buckthorn

California Buckthorn

Medium to large shrub with dark green, elliptic leaves. Fruit a small dark berry. Frequent in the understory along wooded canyons. More ...

Utah Juniper

Utah Juniper

Medium-sized tree with small, scale-like leaves. Seeds are embedded in berry-like aril. Bark is gray and fibrous. More ...

Aligator Juniper

Alligator Juniper

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Medium to large tree with dark bark divided into reptilian-like plates. Bright, glaucous berries. More ...

Juniper Mistletoe

Juniper Mistletoe

Pendulous shrub with numerous brittle stems with only scale-like leaves growing parasitically in juniper or cypress trees. More ...

Holy-leaf Buckthorn

Holy-leaf Buckthorn

Medium-sized shrub with evergreen, holly-like leaves and bright red berries in season. Small cream flowers. More ...

Ashy Silktassel

Ashy Silktassel

Intricately branched, large shrub with broadly elliptical, smooth-margined, opposite leaves. Leaves have an ashy cast due to minute hairs. More ...

Mountain Mahogany

Birch-leaf Mountain Mahogany

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Medium to large shrub on rocky sites. Tough leaves wedge-shaped. Whitish-cream flowers. More ...

Manzanita

Point-leaf Manzanita

Evergreen shrub on drier ledges and in chaparral. Urn-shaped, white flowers. Bark smooth, reddish. More ...

Smooth Sumac

Smooth Sumac

Thicket-forming shrub with long, compound leaves. Yellowish flowers in dense panicle later with red berries. More ...

Skunk Bush

Skunk Bush

Medium-sized shrub with three-parted leaves and strongly aromatic odor. Yellowish flowers followed by fuzzy red berries. More ...

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

Low shrubby plant or weakly climbing vine usually in partial shade. Three-parted, shiny, dark-green leaves. Small spikes of white flowers. More ...

New Mexico Locust

New Mexico Locust

Small trees often forming thickets with sharp thorns. Leaves pinnately compound. Clusters of showy pink pea-flowers. More ...

Wood's Rose

Wood's Rose

Medium-sized shrub with pink rose flowers with five petals. Numerous stamens and pistils. Leaves three or five parted and with serrate margins. More ...

Choke Cherry

Choke Cherry

Simple, alternate leaves with serrated margin. White flowers in spikes. Small tree or shrubby thicket. More ...

Common Apple

Apple

Medium sized deciduous tree with dark scaly bark and broadly elliptic, serrated leaves. Large 5-petaled, white flowers. More ...

Southern Catalpa

Southern Catalpa

In Arizona this non-native tree is usu. small. Large heart-shaped leaves, white-purple trumpet flowers and long seed pods. More ...

Apache Plume

Apache Plume

Intricately branched shrub with white rose-flowers and fruit with long, feathery plumes. More ...

Arizona Blackberry

Arizona Dewberry

White flowers on thorny, woody vine with palmately compound leaves. More ...

Western White Honeysuckle

White Honeysuckle

Leaves below flowers are opposite and joined together. Clusters of narrow white flowers. More ...

Canyon Grape

Canyon Grape

Woody vine climbing by tendrils. Broadly orbicular leaves with coarsely toothed leaves. Small grapes in cluster. More ...

False Indigo

False Indigo

Medium-sized shrub with a number of stems arising from crown and spreading into a small thicket. Very small dark purple flowers on a spike. Foliage smells unpleasant; leaves pinnately compound. More ...

Indian Hemp;Dogbane

Indian Hemp

Mostly herbaceous shrub with long, flexible stems that ooze milky sap when broken. Clusters of pink or white flowers. unpleasant; leaves pinnately compound. More ...

Velvet Mesquite

Velvet Mesquite

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Medium to large tree with straight thorns and double-compound, deciduous leaves. Flowers minute in dense, elongate spikes. Bean pods. More ...

Catclaw Acacia

Cat-Claw Acacia

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Rambling shrub with so-so-sharp hooked thorns. Short dense spikes of highly fragrant cream-colored flowers. More ...

Wait-a-Minute

Wait-a-Minute

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Viciously thorny shrub with pairs of hooked thorns on twigs. Flowers are very small, white and arranged into ball. More ...

Velvet-pod Mimosa

Velvet-pod Mimosa

Thorny shrubs, about a meter tall, with feathery leaves and spikes of pink flowers. Canyons and hillsides in the borderlands. More ...

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

Stiff-branched shrub of chaparral. Small, leathery leaves. Numerous white flowers in dense clusters. More ...

wolfberry

Pallid Wolfberry

Woody shrub with at first obscure green flowers. On closer look the flowers are really beautiful. Leaves are an odd gray-green. More ...

Tree Tobacco

Tree Tobacco

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Small tree with one or a few main stems. Large smooth leaves. Tubular yellow flowers. More ...

Golden-flowered Agave

Golden-flowered Agave

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Roseate of large sword-like leaves giving rise to very tall flower spike. More ...

Banana Yucca

Banana Yucca

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Leaves shaped like daggers with fibers shredding from margin. Big flowers with 6 white petals. More ...

Sotol

Numerous, tough, long, strap-like leaves from a basal rosette of on a short trunk. Margins of leaves with sharp prickles. More ...

Nolina Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Long, slender, grass-like leaves are much tougher in texture than any Arizona grass. Big panicles of small flowers. More ...

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons


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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2014,
page updated 23 Aug. 2014