Trees, Shrubs and Herbaceous Plants in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons (Page 2)

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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Spider Milkweed

Spider Milkweed

Herbaceous perennial bearing clusters of green-purple flowers and leaves that exude milky sap from breaks. More ...

Desert Mariposa Lily

Mariposa Lily

Huge bright orange or yellow flowers appearing like magic on dry, grassy mesas and slopes in spring. More ...

Doubting Mariposa Lily

Mariposa Lily

Low growing, herbaceous, with large showy flowers. Three white petals. Rocky slopes in southeast Arizona. More ...

Yellow Columbine

Herbaceous perennial with large, bright yellow flowers. Long spurs from base of each petal. Leaves compound. More ...

Jones' Spiderflower

Jones Spiderflower

Tall herbaceous plant with palmately compound leaves and clusters of yellow, long-stamen, flowers. Late summer to fall. More ...

Hartweg's Sundrops

Hartweg's Sundrops

Stunning yellow chiffon flowers with four petals. Low growing spring perennial on sunny slopes. More ...

Plains Flax

Small, spring annual of slopes and grassy areas. Narrow, grass-like leaves. Five free petals and five stamens. More ...

New Mexico Groundsel

Bright yellow daisies on perennial with oblong, toothed, tomentose leaves. Seeds with capillary bristles. More ...

Silver Puffs

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Spring wildflower looks like a tall dandelion resulting in a big, silvery puff of seeds. More ...

Annual Sunflower

Also occurs in Sonoran Desert Tall herbaceous plants with several branches ending in small to large heads with bright yellow rays. Leaves simple. More ...

Camphor Weed

Also occurs in Sonoran Desert Broad, tough leaves have a rough, sandy texture and are very aromatic. Late summer bloomer. More ...

AZ Sunflower-weed

Similar to Mex sunflower but rays are fewer and short. Leaves mostly unlobed with crenulate margins. More ...

Golden Crownbeard, Verbesina encelioides

Golden
Crownbeard

Yellow daisy-like heads with yellow centers. Herbaceous in dense stands, about 1½meters tall. More ...

Silver Wormwood

Related to sage brush of Great Basin. Stems and leaves silvery and mostly herbaceous except about woody crown. Small, rayless flower heads with yellow disc. More ...

Wright's Goldenrod

Tall panicles of numerous small heads of bright yellow florets. Several species of goldenrod expected. More ...

Groundcherry

Low growing herbaceous plant from a perennial with yellow flowers usu. obscured by leaves. Fruit in a papery sac. More ...

Common Mullein

Common Mullein

Large, elliptical, mostly basal leaves are covered with thick, silky pubescence. Yellow flowers on tall spikes. More ...

Rattlebox

Trifoliate herb with orange-yellow flowers and inflated bubble-like pods. Border areas and Mexico. More ...

Yellow Sweet Clover

Tall herbaceous perennial with trifoliate leaves and spikes of small yellow pea-flowers. Grows in moist soil adjacent to riparian streams. More ...

Seep Monkey Flower

Seep Monkey Flower

Herbaceous annual or perennial growing in moist to wet sand. Bright yellow, monkey-faced flowers. Nearly orbicular leaves with rounded lobes. More ...

Buffalo Gourd

Robust vine with large triangular leaves runs along ground. Leaves and fruit with strong odor. More ...

Spreading Fanpetals

Spreading Fanpetals

Narrowly triangular leaf with rounded teeth. Flower 1 cm wide. Five yellow petals with prominent stamen column. More ...

Mexican Yellow-Show

Bright yellow flowers and palmately lobed leaves on a monsoon season perennial herb. Southeast Arizona. More ...

Orange Flame-Flower

Succulent perennial with showy flowers with five free petals and numerous stamens. Rocky slopes in SE Arizona. More ...

London Rocket

London Rocket

Also occurs in Sonoran Desert Weedy mustard with small, four-petaled flowers followed by long slender pods. More ...

Mojave Spurge

Mojave Spurge

Green and yellow inflorescence looks like one complex flower. Milky sap from broken stems. Herbaceous. More ...

Warty Spurge

Warty Spurge

Herbaceous, yellow-green foliage releases milky sap when broken. Clusters of green flowers. Fruit with warts. More ...

Wild Balsam Apple

Slender vine with small white flowers producing ovoid fruit with long prickles. More ...

Mexican Fire Plant

The upper leaves below green flowers have varied shapes and are partly white, red or only green. More ...

Mala-mujer

Mala-Mujer

Conspicuous plant with large lobed leaves set with long, white, stinging needle-spines. Flower white. More ...

Miner's Lettuce

Miner's Lettuce

Also occurs in Sonoran Desert Low annual growing from shady crevices among rocks up the canyon walls. Small white flowers above joined leaves. More ...

Yerba Santa

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Medium shrub on dry, rocky sites in and near sycamore woods. Leaves linear, shiny resinous. Inflorescence scorpioid. More ...

Wright's Thelypody

Wright's Thelypody

Also occurs in Sonoran Desert Very tall plant with clusters of fragrant whitish flowers at tips of long, drooping branches. Long slender seed pods. More ...

Watercress

Watercress

Semi-aquatic plant rooted in wet or submerged soil along gently flowing streams. Small white flowers and small turgid pods. More ...

Water Speedwell

Water Speedwell

Herbaceous plant of wet sandy soil along streams. Light blue, symmetrical flowers on open, branching spikes. Seed in dry capsules. More ...

Spearmint

Spearmint

Mid-height, herbaceous perennial with highly aromatic foliage. Leaves opposite, serrate. Small white flowers clustered in spikes at branch tips. More ...

Tufted Evening Primrose

Tufted Evening Primrose

Also occurs in Sonoran Desert Over-sized white flowers that open at night, fade pink and shrivel by noon. Herbaceous perennial on sandy margins of sycamore creeks. More ...

Longleaf Phlox

Longleaf Phlox

Mostly herbaceous perennial with showy pink or white, tubular flowers. Leaves opposite and long-linear. More ...

Slender Phlox

Slender Phlox

Diminutive and ephemeral herb of springtime. Flowers minute with five pale petals. More ...

California Chicory

California Chicory

Herbaceous annual with white, strap-shaped florets and seeds with a plumose top. Milky sap from broken stems. More ...

Bigelow's Begars Ticks

Beggarticks

Small composite heads with just a few white rays. Awns on black seeds catch into clothing. More ...

Blackfoot Daisy

Low perennial forming hemispheric mounds covered in season with numerous white daisies. More ...

Fleabane

Fleabane

Also occurs in Sonoran Desert Many, many white ray flowers around a yellow-center of disc flowers. Mostly smaller than a nickel in diameter. Several similar and common species. More ...

desert zinnia

Desert Zinnia

Four to eight broad white rays surround a center of yellow disc florets on a low perennial. More ...

Mariola

Shrubby plant of limestone soils. Numerous small heads of white florets. Leaves odorous and divided into rounded lobes. More ...

Lewis Flax

Lewis Flax

Herbaceous spring perennial growing in open sunny areas. Five free petals and five stamens. More ...

Perennial Rock-Cress

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Small lavender-pink flowers on tall stems from a leafy, perennial base. Long flat seed pods. More ...

Purple Bladderpod

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Flowers with four white petals that become purplish after blooming. Seeds within a spherical, airy pod. More ...

Tetramerium

The slender white flowers wilt eary in day. Small, slightly shrubby. Borderland canyons. More ...

Flat-topped Buckwheat

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Shrubby plant with linear leaves and dense, flat-topped clusters of small white and pink flowers. More ...

Tufted Globe Amaranth

Low growing herb with dense head-like spikes of white-looking flowers. More ...

Pearly Globe Amaranth

The clustered papery flowers may be white or pink, often on the same plant. Erect but low herbs, less than 30cm. flowers. More ...

Sweet Four O'clock

Herbaceous plant growing with summer rains. Flowers white or pale pink with very long slender tubes and opposite leaves heart-shaped. More ...

Pink-Throat Morning-glory

Morning-Glory without twining stems and large flowers. Trails along on sandy soil. More ...

Dwarf Morning-glory

Slender herbaceous stems supporting small morning-glories. Leaves elyptic with pointed tip. Leaf underside pubescent. More ...

Desert Larkspur

Spikes of dark purple flowers on herbaceous perennial. Spur from base of flower. More ...

Small Seaside Germander

Small Seaside Germander

Herbaceous annual with small bluish flowers, squarish stems, fruit four-nutlets. Leaves with petiole winged. More ...

Ashen Milkvetch

Several milkvetch species occur in AZ sycamore canyons. Leaves pinnately compound and pea flowers are pink to purple. More ...

Pine-lands Figwort

Above ground herbaceous with triangular, serrated leaves. Small, short-tubed, two-lipped flowers in red to pale purple. More ...

Desert Beard-tongue

Desert Beard-tongue

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Robust perennial herb with large glossy leaves and spikes of bright pink blooms in spring. More ...

Rothrock's Knapweed

Rothrock's Knapweed

The disc flowers around the head perimeter are very long-tubular and thereby resemble rays. SE Arizona canyons. More ...

Thurber's Brown-foot

The coarse leaves are sharply toothed on the margins and are largest lower on tall stems. The pink to lavender flowers are very fragrant. More ...

New Mexico Thistle

New Mexico Thistle

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Biennial grows a rosette of elongate spiny leaves then shoots up a tall flowering stalk with lavender-pink flower heads. Butterfly favorite. More ...

Arizona Bluecurls

A delicate-flowered, small perennial. Leaves elliptic and relatively small. Blooming after start of monsoon. More ...

Birdbill Dayflower

Bird-bill Dayflower

Low growing herb in partial shade with 3-petaled flowers and bill-shaped bract. Parallel vein leaves. More ...

Prairie Spiderwort

Herbaceous plant from below-ground corms. Purple flowers have 3 stamens with long fringe on filaments. More ...

Bluedicks

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Purple to lavender flowers at top of long stem. Fleshy grass-like leaves emerge early spring from bulb. More ...

Ivy-leaf Morning-Glory

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Herbaceous vine with large 3-lobed leaves and big blue-violet blossums. Fruit a capsule with 4 seeds. More ...

Wood Sorrel

Herbaceous with almost no branching above ground. Leaves w/ 3 parts. Five petals per flower. More ...

Sta. Rita Bean

Vine-like herb with pink flowers, bean pod fruit and broad leaflets. S. Arizona. More ...

Piney Woods Geranium

Piney Woods Geranium

Palmately cleft leaves have strong geranium scent. Fruit consists of 5 long-beaked segments. More ...

Hummingbird Trumpet

Hummingbird Trumpet

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Tall, slender, herbaceous stems with bright red tubular flowers at summit. Four, bilobed petals. Seeds with long silk hairs. More ...

Firecracker Bush

Bright red, long tubular flowers on shrubby plants in the partial shade along margins of wooded canyons. Leaves 3 per node. More ...

Foothills Paintbrush

Foothills Paintbrush

Low herbaceous perennial with bright red bracts hide smaller, less colorful flowers and hairy leaves. More ...

Coralbells

Coral Bells

Leaves on slender petioles have distinct rounded, toothed lobes and are clustered at ground level. S. Arizona canyons. More ...

Peruvian Zinnia

Unique wine-colored ray flowers and yellow discs. Upper leaves opposite and fused around stem. More ...

Trans-Pecos Morning-glory

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Slender twinning vine blooming mostly after summer rains have brought water into canyons. More ...

Brickell Bush

Leafy, mostly herbaceous bush with triangular leaves and white-green flower heads. Seeds with long, fine bristles. More ...

False Boneset

Another kind of Brickell Bush that resembles boneset. Leaves linear and flowers white-green. More ...

Slim-leaf Bur Ragweed

Slim-leaf Ragweed

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Spikes of green flowers are not showy, bloom late summer and cause hayfever. Hebaceous annual. More ...

Yerba Porosa

The flower heads barely open at the tip revealing purple-brown with the rest appearing green. Crushed foliage emits strong odor. More ...

Horehound

Horehound

Herbaceous perennial possibly a meter tall forming clumps of many stems. Gray-green leaves opposite and intricately textured. Clustered white-pink flowers. More ...

New Mexico Copperleaf

New Mexico Copper-leaf

Herbaceous annual with thin, oblanceolate leaves. Green flowers as seen through a hand magnifier are fascinating! More ...

Hornbeam Copperleaf

Flowers and the bracts are bright green. Leaves are broad and with serrate margins - the leaves resemble those of the unrelated hornbeam. More ...

Washerwoman

Prostrate herb that thrives in trampled areas. Short spikes of many white papery flowers. More ...

small matweed

Small Mat-weed

Among a number of mat-forming plants found in areas that are sometimes wet. Minute greenish-white flowers. More ...

Clustered Dock

Perennial herb regrowing in early spring from underground root. Elliptical leaves and dense spikes of small greenish-red flowers. More ...

Canairge

Canaigre

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Large, almost rubbery leaves occur in clusters at ground level. Reddish stems and bracts. Also called wild rhubarb. More ...

Broadleaf Plantain

Broadleaf Plantain

Leaves with broad blade are clustered together in a roseate at ground. Spikes of green-white flowers. More ...

irisleaf rush

Iris-leaf Rush

Herbaceous plant with grass or iris-like leaves. Small reddish-green flowers in panicles. More ...

Red Brome Grass

Red Brome Grass

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Moderately tall grass of springtime with long reddish awns on the spikelets. When dried these awns and barbed seeds catch into clothing. More ...

weeping brome grass

Weeping Brome

Medium-size grass with graceful, weeping panicles of spikelets. More ...

Sand Spur

The seeds develop very sharp projections all around. An average-looking grass other­wise. More ...

Arizona Cotton-top

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert A beautiful bunch grass with long cottony plume-inflorescences. Native grass grows in response to monsoon rains. More ...

Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass

Also occurs in upland Sonoran Desert Tall bunch grass with long feathery plume-inflorescences. Invasive weed often within riparian corridors. More ...

squirrel-tail grass

Squirrel-tail

Bunch grass with many dozens of stems when mature. Spikes with long, wiry bristle-awns. Mostly on terraces and hillsides near sycamore canyons. More ...

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Ponderosa / Montane Plants
Sonoran Desert Plants


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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2017,
page updated 4 Sept. 2017