Spring Wildflowers in Kings Canyon near Tucson

Posted Mar 11, 2022

Jillian Cowles shared her photos from a walk on March 3, 2022.

“After a long, cold, windy, and dry winter, the urge to bask in the sun and see some spring wildflowers becomes irresistible. Luckily, there is a special place where flowers can be found this spring, despite the lack of rain. Kings Canyon is accessible and relatively close to Tucson, and an easy one mile stroll up the wash will reward the diligent and observant botany buff with a number of gems: blue, red, purple, pink, yellow, orange, and white. Some are tiny, while others are quite conspicuous. In some cases, only a single example of a species might be all that can be found, so it does take a bit of careful inspection not to miss them.”

Sphaeralcea laxa (Coulter’s Globemallow). This Andrena bee, a native bee, is a specialist on mallows.

Adding to the interest are the life and death dramas of insects nectaring, courting, and hunting on the brittlebush flowers, along with the occasional crab spider lying in wait for the less alert pollinators.

Zelus renardii, Leafhopper Assasin Bug (Hemiptera)
Dalea parryi, Perry’s False Prairie Clover

As you walk along the wash, you might see a zebra tail lizard scampering ahead, waving its distinctive black and white tail.

Mentzelia albicaulis, White-stem Blazing Star

Walk in beauty. Life can be beautiful.

A Mecaphesa crab spider waits on this Stemodia durantifolia, White-wooly Twin Tip
Butterfly is Calephelis nemesis, Fatal Metalmark