Description: AZNPS




Tucson Chapter

President:  Jesse Byrd, email

Vice President: Andrew Cordery, email

Treasurer: Jackie Taylor, email

Secretary: Arlette Corderyemail

Chapter meetings and evening programs are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month from September through May, beginning at 7:00 pm. Our monthly meetings are held at the City of Tucson Ward 6 Office, 3202 East 1st Street, south of Speedway Boulevard and east of Country Club Road.

Look for the AZNPS sign board. We often have raffles for native plants, posters, or related books at each meeting, so be prepared!

UPCOMING Chapter Meeting Presentations

Thursday September 13th, Tom van Devender.

Tom will share highlights of our last six years of AZNPS botany campouts. In addition to the amazing botanizing, these trips have included birds, insects, geology, paleontology, archaeology, and some fine music!


Thursday October 11th, “Sara Plummer Lemmon, 19th Century Artist and Botanist” by Wynne Brown. Wynne is a freelance writer, editor, and graphic designer. She is the author of three books, in addition to many newspaper and magazine articles. She has written on many topics, including science, health, history, trails, environmental issues, horses, travel, the Southwest, and more. She will discuss her current project, a biography of Sara Plummer Lemmon, an 19th century artist and botanist.


Thursday November 8th, “Fossilized Plants” by Curvin Mettler.

The study of fossilized plants can inform us about taxonomic relationships, changes in ecosystems, and the formation of fossils. Curvin will discuss and share his collection of fossil plants.





Join Our Chapter E-list:  If you would like to receive reminders and announcements about field trips and meetings via e-mail, send a note to Andrew Cordery to be added to the list. Stay informed by joining us on Facebook.


Usually the most up-do-date information about upcoming chapter events can be found on our Facebook page.

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Volunteer for Pima County Native Plant Nursery

Do you like native plants?  Caring for agave and baby cacti?  Consider volunteer opportunities at the Pima County Native Plant Nursery!  Located at 5845 N. Camino de la Tierra, the Pima County Native Plant Nursery grows native plants for public projects and is looking for volunteers to help with weeding, watering and propagation.  The nursery is open Monday to Friday 7:00am to 3:30 pm. Call Jessie at 488-8022 or email for available times/days and details.


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Sonoran Desert Plants: Seasonal Flowering Schedules

based on 20 years of data from 1966-1985 by William G. McGinnies

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Saturday November 12th, 2016. Desert Mistletoe on Desert Legume Woodies with Kelsey Yule.

After her informative November 8th presentation, Kelsey Yule (PhD Candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona) directed a field trip for Tucson chapter members to the Ironwood Picnic Area at Tucson Mountain Park. At that site, she was able to show the group desert mistletoe growing on five different legume hosts: desert ironwood, velvet mesquite, catclaw acacia, whitethorn acacia, and foothills palo verde. Attendees enjoyed seeing the differences between mistletoes infecting different host species, learning to sex this dioecious plant, and observing how mistletoes are transmitted between hosts.


Saturday October 29th, 2016. Salvaging, propagating, and landscaping Native Desert Plants with Jesse Byrd.

Following up on an excellent October 12th presentation, Jesse Byrd (Pima County Native Plants Nursery Manager) led a group of Tucson chapter members and Master Gardeners through the diversity of native plants and operations at the nursery. Very cool to see the salvaged and flourishing cholla, opuntia, and saguaro cacti as well as the extensive queen of the night collections. Later we visited two recently landscaped sites on the westside of Tucson; the Pima County Housing Extension Office, and Las Iglesias Restoration Site along the Santa Cruz.


Saturday September 24th, 2016. Common Sense Water Harvesting Tour.

Our annual event that highlights common sense passive water harvesting in Oro Valley and Oracle. An eccentric mix of Tucson chapter members and Master Gardeners visited several front yard and roadside water capture berms in action throughout Oro Valley and Oracle. These included Chuck LeFevre’s landscaped hillside at the Oracle Community Center as well as several private home landscapes where Chuck has made his lasting mark. We finished our tour with a sumptuous lunch at the Patio Cafe in Oracle.


The Ragged Top Diversity Wash with Ries Lindley, Saturday 19 March

This is an easy walk up a pristine desert wash full of Spring wildflowers and native grasses.  If you have a high clearance vehicle, please bring it so we can carpool.


Wildflowers with Iris RoddenSaturday 26 March

Iris is scouting out the best destination based on this year's March flowering patterns.


Catalina State Park Wildflowers with Frank Rose, Saturday 9 April

CSP will be awash in wildflowers and Frank will lead the group to the best of the best.


Saturday, October 17, 2015: Commonsense Water Harvesting

This popular annual event highlights commonsense passive water harvesting in Oro Valley and Oracle.   Members of Master Gardeners joined AZNPS members.


Saturday, October 10, 2015: Tree Walk with Frank Rose

Nine members joined Frank Rose on a "Tree Walk" up the Catalina Highway. In ten stops they identified over 40 species of trees.

Description: Larry Norris

Late Summer in the Chiricahua Mountains, September 5, 6, and 7, 2015


The Cochise and Tucson Chapters of the Arizona Native Plant Society held their fourth annual weekend at the Southwestern Research Station in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Cochise County. 25 members enjoyed good food, good company and perfect weather in these richly diverse mountains on one the northern-most islands in the Madrean Archipelago that encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua.



Photo: Ries Lindley


Saturday, August 16, 2014: AZNPS Wildflower Walk in Madera Canyon

For the third year in a row, the eminent naturalist Doug Moore led 14 members of AZNPS to the Carrie Nation Mine in the Santa Ritas. Click here for photos now posted on Facebook of the flowers seen on the hike. Midway up the trail, the group saw the biggest spread of red cinquefoils they had seen in their lifetimes.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014: Selaginella and Ferns of the Catalinas

Fifteen people traveled up the Catalina Highway to learn more about the local ferns and Selaginellaspecies. Dr. Michael Barker discussed the evolution and genetics of ferns and Selaginella at Molina Basin Overlook along Catalina Highway. Anthony Baniaga pointed out three different Selaginella species and ten fern species at different locations along the highway. We explored canyons where there were pools and running water. For a photo report, click here to see Sue Carnahan's photo collection which includes photos of the flowering plants as well.

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Anthony explains how to ID fern species. He measures the fronds to determine species.

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Pellaea truncata is tucked under a boulder. Three participants study ferns.

August 22-24, 2013: Chiricahua Workshop-Southwestern Research Station

This year’s August field trip to the Chiricahua Mountains yielded over 200 species to 21 participants, who hailed from four different chapters. The bloom was richest in the high altitudes, but field trip diversity included plants from the high Chihuahuan desert to the montane forest at the top of the mountain range. Explorers spent an entire morning just ferreting out plants of the Paradise cemetery. Generous assistance was provided by area residents P.D. Hulce, leading the trip to his private paradise in the mouth of Horseshoe Canyon, and by Dave Jasper who lead the trip on the gorgeous upper trail at Rustler’s Park. Elaine Moisan led a great trip to the Paradise Cemetery on that sunny and wonderful last day. The Southwestern Research Station provided great accommodations, delicious food, a lovely picnic area for wine sipping and a lab for the plant ID workshop.

For the list of species seen, click here. Sue Carnahan's photo collection is hereRies's photo album is here.

A group picture taken from the Crest Trail above Rustler's Park.

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    Blue grama                             Bisbee beehive cactus              Cardinal catchfly



March 1-3, 2014, Wildflower Foray to Tinajas Altas


The Tinaja Altas (High Tanks) is located in southwestern Arizona 65 km ESE of Yuma, and only 6 km N of the Sonora border. The Tinajas Altas Mountains are the southeastern extension of the Gila Mountains.Tinajas Altas was always a crucial water source for travelers along the Camino del Diablo, especially during the gold rush of 1849. Many unfortunate travelers were buried in stone covered graves on the nearby Mesa de los Muertos.


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Left. Tinajas Altas. Chip Hedgcock taking photos. View to the east. Photos by Ana L. Reina-G.


In the early 1980s, Tom Van Devender and paleoecologists from the University of Arizona’s Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill visited Tinajas Altas to collect ancient packrat middens. Plant remains from 21 radiocarbon dated midden assemblages provided a record of the vegetation in this area for the last 43,200 years! During the last glacial period (the Wisconsin), a pinyon-juniper woodland with singleleaf pinyon(Pinus monophylla), California juniper (Juniperus californica), and Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) was present. The lowest elevation record for the pinyon in the Pleistocene was 430 m in a Tinajas Altas sample dated at 11,040 B.P. Sonoran desertscrub became dominate about 8,900 years ago, although the modern dominants foothills paloverde (Parkinsonia microphylla) and ironwood (Olneya tesota) did not return until about 4,000 years ago.

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A 14,000 year old packrat midden from Burro Canyon in the Kofa Mountains. Singleleaf pinyon needles and juniper twigs and seeds are visible. Photo by Tom Van Devender.


On March 1-3, 2014 Tom and Ana Lilia Reina-G. led an Arizona Native Plant Society group of 25 people from Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Y Junction to Tinajas Altas. This part of Arizona had very good winter rains, and the landscape was in flower. The yellow flowers of brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) and red flowers of chuparrosa (Justicia californica) colored the landscape. Nearly 150 species of plants were seen atTinajas AltasTinajas Altas Pass, desert flats east of Raven Butte along the road to Wellton, the Mohawk Dunes, etc. The birders on the group were able to record 37 species of birds. Some lucky participants were treated to a pair bighorns –mother and lamb on a high cliff at sunset. The observations and images will go into the MABA database, available for use by land managers in the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range.


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Tom Van Devender and ANPS participants. Brittlebush and Ajo lily flowers (Hesperocallis undulata). Photos by Ana L. Reina-G.


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Bighorn sheep ewe and lamb in Tinajas Altas Pass. Photo by Linda McNulty.


Tinajas Altas Snail

Tinajas Altas was a crucial water source along the Camino del Diablo for travelers during the gold rush. In 1849, a man named Frick, presumably in route to California, collected some land snails at Tinajas Altas. The same year Wesley Newcomb, New York physician and amateur malacologist, traveled to San Francisco. Sixteen years later, he described the Tinajas Altas snails as Helix rowelli, probably the first terrestrial land snail known from Arizona. The snail was later called Sonorella rowelli (1904) and today isEremarionta rowellithe eastern desertsnail.

Sonorella and Eremariodonta are air-breathing land snails that are well known for having species with small geographic ranges. The San Xavier Talussnail (S. eremita) is only known from a deep, limestone rockslide in Pima County, Arizona, and is protected by a Conservation Agreement between El Paso Natural Gas Company, Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., Arizona Game and Fish Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Saracachi talussnail (S. aguafriensis) is only known from Arroyo Santo Domingo near Rancho Agua Fria and the Saracachi Ciénega southeast of Magdalena, Sonora.

Tinajas Altas is in the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range, administered by the U.S. Marine Corp. The eastern desertsnail was first found 165 years ago, and current management will insure its survival.


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Photo by Charles Hedgcock.



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