Plant Press Arizona, Summer 2023

Posted Aug 15, 2023

Plan a Road Trip! Read all about the many Botanical Gardens and Arboreta of Arizona in our online version of Plant Press Arizona.

If you love nature, then Arizona is a great place to live. Its diversity is broad and deep. Where the Colorado River leaves Arizona and flows into Mexico, the elevation is about 70 feet, and the top of Humphrey’s Peak north of Flagstaff is 12,637 above sea level. Annual rainfall in the state ranges from less than 3 inches, near Yuma, to the record 58.92 inches at Hawley Lake in 1978. The topography can be flat or mountainous, and the geology is a very busy scramble.

These contrasts in elevation, precipitation, terrain, and substrate result in a great deal of contrast in ecological zones. That contrast leads to a lot of different plant species — 4,260 according to the Arizona checklist on the website for the Southwest Environmental Information Network (SEINet).