Dragoon Mountains



Erythrina flabelliformis


Ipomea longiflora


Aquilegia chrysantha


Cupressus arizonica



Coordinating Botanist:  Doug Ripley                          


Status:  In Progress


Started:  2012


Taxa List




One of Arizona’s famous Sky Islands, the Dragoon Mountains are located in Southeastern Arizona in the Coronado National Forest.  They are bordered on the east by the Sulphur Springs Valley and on the west by the San Pedro Valley. They measure about 25 miles in length with their highest point being Mount Glenn at 7,512 feet.  The Dragoon Mountains are named for the 3rd U.S. Cavalry Dragoons, so named for the short musket dragoon which was their principal weapon.  The mountains have a rich history owing to their long association  with the Chiricahua Apaches, and in particular the fabled Chief Cochise who long used the mountains as his most important stronghold, made his final surrender at Council Rock on the mountain’s Western slopes, and who is believed to be buried somewhere in the mountains following his death in 1874.


The geology of the Dragoons is dominated by spectacular  lichen–covered granitic rock formations that have been beautifully weathered and sculptured.  Significant area of limestone are also present.  Some permanent, and many intermittent, streams flow from the many canyons of the Dragoons. In several places small dams have been constructed which provide  year-round water. Individual habitats in the Dragoons range from semi-desert grasslands on the western and eastern slopes, oak-woodlands, washes and riparian areas, steep canyons, and woodlands at the highest elevations.  A working flora list consists of over 550 species, many of which represent collections dating back to the 1950’s and earlier.  The current study endeavors to provide additional documentation for the plants already identified and to eventually develop and document a comprehensive flora of the mountains.