Tent Rocks/Cottonwood Basin


Allium bigelovii

Cymopterus multinervatus

Anisacanthus thurberi

Funastrum crispum



Coordinating Botanist:  Max Licher


Status:  In Progress


Started:  2009


Taxa List






The Tent Rocks / Cottonwood Basin area contains a combination of unique geological features and several perennial springs in the lower elevations of the Verde Valley, southeast of Camp Verde. The underlying volcanic tuff soils seem to support an unusually rich flora of both annual and perennial wildflowers in Upper Sonoran Desert Scrub habitat, and the springs add riparian diversity and interest (as well as shade) to the study site. The site is under Coconino National Forest management, and is accessed via State Highway 260 as it heads east from Camp Verde. Take USFS Road # 708 south towards Childs one mile to Rd. # 500, which skirts the north edge of the Tent Rocks tuff formations, before turning south to Cottonwood and Mesquite Springs and ultimately the Verde River. Rd.#708 is well graded and passable in most vehicles, but #500 requires high clearance. Hiking is of moderate difficulty, and is all cross-country with little shade except near the springs, but with only modest elevation differences.

A working list based on previous observations in the area contains over 324 species of vascular plants, of which 268 have been documented with voucher collections so far. At this point, fieldwork is targeted on filling the known gaps, although a few new species have also been added to the list each year.