Phoenix

Chapter Meetings & Events

We host events periodically throughout the year. Our events are announced at least 2 weeks in advance to our email list subscribers, and posted here on our Chapter webpage. To join our email list, please contact [email protected].

Our activities are open to Chapter members as well as the general public, unless stated otherwise. If you’re interested in becoming a Chapter member, please view the Membership page. Yearly membership is just $30 for individuals, $15 for students, and $35 for families.

Additional Events

View the AZNPS Events Calendar to learn about upcoming events hosted by other Chapters throughout the state. Also, recordings of many presentations are available to watch on the AZNPS YouTube page.

 

Join our virtual community!

To stay up to date on our meetings and other activities, please join our email list.

Follow the AZNPS Phoenix Chapter’s Facebook page for more information about local native plants news, research, and events!

We also invite you to follow our Chapter on Instagram and use the hashtag #aznativeplants to help us raise awareness of Arizona’s amazing native plants!

         

 

Join in on a fall season nature walk!

Several local organizations host free or low-cost seasonal wildflower walks, interpretive hikes, and educational activities. Learn more by clicking on the links below.

McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

Maricopa County Parks & Recreation

Phoenix Parks & Recreation

Lost Dutchman State Park

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Skyline Regional Park

 

Seeking native plants to use in landscaping?

Native Landscaping Plants

If you would like to learn which plants are native to our area, we invite you to view our Chapter’s List of Recommended Native Landscaping Plants (draft version). It highlights plants that are: 1) native to the Phoenix metro area, 2) beneficial to wildlife, 3) low-water-use, 4) relatively easy to care for, and 5) generally available at local nurseries or seed suppliers.

The AZNPS Grow Native resources provide additional information about landscaping with native plants, including planning your garden and pamphlets available to download.

Local Nurseries & Plant Sales

We’ve compiled a list of metro Phoenix nurseries that generally offer a selection of native plants. Some have more variety than others, and inventory changes frequently or may be seasonal. So, it is best to inquire with a few nurseries by phone or email to determine which one suits your needs.

In addition, several organizations hold desert plant sale fundraisers in the Spring and Fall. We’ll update this announcement if/when additional local native plant sales are scheduled.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum – Spring Plant Sale: March 10 (Arboretum members), March 11-27 (public).

Desert Botanical Garden – Spring Plant Sale: March 16 (members), March 17 – 19 (public). Reservations required for entry.

Wildflower Seeds

Monsoon season and fall are terrific times to add wildflower seeds to your landscape, assuming it rains! For a wide variety of Arizona native plant seeds, we recommend the following sources:

Maricopa Native Seed Library – This new local project offers native seeds for free! Similar in format to other seed libraries, the public may obtain up to 3 seed packets per month. Available at several Maricopa Community Colleges libraries.

Desert Botanical Garden – Purchase seeds online or in person at their Garden Shop.

Native Seeds/SEARCH – Purchase seeds online from their conservation farm in southern Arizona.

Borderlands Restoration Network – Purchase seeds online or visit their nursery in Patagonia.

If you feel there’s a local nursery, native plant fundraiser, or seed supplier we should add to our list, please let us know!

 

Additional Chapter Announcements

Invasive Species Alert: Fountain Grass

Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) is a popular landscaping plant, but a dangerous invasive weed. Its seeds easily spread and invade roadsides, washes, and natural areas. As a result, Fountain grass pushes out native plants and wildlife, disrupts water flow and availability, and increases the risk and severity of wildfires. Therefore, it was listed as an Arizona noxious weed in early 2020 and is no longer sold by the nursery trade.

The Arizona Native Plant Society, along with several partners, created an informational pamphlet to help the community learn how to identify and control Fountain grass. Please download, read, and share this important information with others!

The Fountain grass pamphlet is available in two formats. The digital format is best for viewing electronically. The printable format is best for viewing as a tri-fold pamphlet. In addition, there is a Spanish version of the pamphlet.

Fountain grass is a popular landscaping plant, but a dangerous invasive weed. If you have it in your landscape, please remove it.

Chapter Leadership

Name Role Contact
Lisa Rivera President [email protected]
Vice President
Danielle Carlock Treasurer
Secretary


Volunteering Opportunities

Want to get involved? We've got just the thing!

Outdoor Opportunities

If you are interested in volunteer activities related to restoration, invasive species control, gardening, conservation, or scientific research, we recommend contacting the following organizations.

Citizen Science Opportunities

These are citizen science and community science projects you can participate in on your own at home, during a walk in your neighborhood, or while visiting Arizona’s public lands.

Desert Refuge – Monarchs and Milkweeds in Arizona

Document the presence of monarchs and the seasonal changes of milkweed at a location of your choosing, now until June 2023.

Saguaro Census

Help the Desert Botanical Garden document urban saguaro cactus in metro Phoenix and take notes on their overall health.

Nature’s Notebook

Document the seasonal changes in plants or animals near your home by becoming a USA – National Phenology Network observer.

Desert Defenders

A special initiative in metro Phoenix to identify and map invasive plants. There is also a special project dedicated to locating stinknet (Oncosiphon piluliferum/pilulifer).

Buffelgrass Green-up

Contribute invasive buffelgrass observations to the USA – National Phenology Network’s Buffelgrass Green-Up phenophase map.

Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper

If you see milkweed plants or monarch butterflies, eggs, or caterpillars while outdoors, take a photo and submit your sighting to this regional project.

Southwest Monarch Study

Monarchs need milkweed and nectar plants, so hopefully you have these growing in your yard or neighborhood! Join this monarch “tagging” project to help document Western monarch migration.

eBird

Native plants attract a variety of birds. Report the type of birds you see in your yard, neighborhood, or local park.

Bumble Bee Watch

Native flowering plants are essential for bumble bees. Help scientists track their populations by submitting photos of the ones you see.

Rainlog.org

If you have a rain gauge at home (or decide to purchase one), join this Arizona rainfall monitoring network to submit your daily rainfall totals.

DigiVol

Access digitized natural history data online to help transcribe and decipher field notebooks, photographs, museum labels, and data sheets from around the world.

Zooniverse

Select from a variety of online projects to contribute to real academic research from your own computer.

Libraries as Hubs for Citizen Science

Visit one of six local libraries loaning out citizen science tools and supplies.

Chapter News

Plant Press Arizona – Summer 2022

Posted on Jul 27, 2022

The Summer 2022 edition of Plant Press Arizona is now available to view or download for free from our website.

Read to learn about The Desert Legume Program, plants of the Arizona strip and the Kaibab Plateau, secrets of the Grand Canyon, and more!

Past editions of Plant Press Arizona are also available to view or download from our online archive.

Plant Profile: Flattop Buckwheat

Posted on Jun 20, 2022

Who Put the ‘B’ in Buckwheat?

By Kathleen M. McCoy, AZNPS Phoenix Chapter Member

Leer en español

Does “flattop buckwheat” summon visions of stacks of pancakes dripping in delicious honey? If so, your mouthwatering vision is partially correct. Flattop buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium), also known as Eastern Mojave buckwheat, is a low, rounded, fast-growing shrub not to be confused with common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), a domestic crop cultivated for edible seeds.

Across the entire Southwest over 355 members of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae), often difficult to distinguish structurally, find their home in sunny coarse and well drained soils along washes and rocky slopes. In the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, E. fasciculatum is the most common buckwheat.

Although lots of Flattop buckwheat decorate the desert, this miniature evergreen fully grown is usually only 1 foot tall by 2 feet wide with typical desert gray-green foliage. Arriving in late spring, clusters of flat-topped white flowers gradually turn pink in summer, then rust colored in fall.

The ‘B’ in buckwheat is for butterflies, bees, and birds. The slightly fragrant flowers are a wildly popular lure for several butterflies, most notably the Mormon metalmark (Apodemia mormo), the Rocky Mountain dotted-blue (Euphilotes ancilla) and the Lupine blue (Icaricia lupini). These butterflies also use Flattop buckwheat as a host plant for their caterpillars.

Mormon metalmark on Flattop buckwheat bloom.

A favorite of bees, native and nonnative, this pollinator plant provides a good source of nectar. Luckily for humans, bees use these plants predominantly as a basis for tasty honey. Not only is this honey healthy for our diets, but also for the economy. E. fasciculatum is the principal honey-producing plant in southern California. When other flowers have long gone to seed, flattop buckwheat still supplies food for hungry birds due to its extensive growing season.

In fact, some farmers use buckwheat for a dual purpose, making honey and as a form of integrated pest management. When planted next to crops or in cultivated gardens, their nectar attracts beneficial insects that in turn reduce pests. Pest reduction means less need for chemicals in our flower beds and vegetables. Flattop buckwheat can also serve as a ground cover crop, helping to improve soil health plus providing crops protection from soilborne pathogens.

Wild E. fasciculatum is a low-profile desert plant, often overlooked and underappreciated. If you want to enhance and create an almost year-round pollinator garden, raise Flattop buckwheat… a low maintenance, easy-to-grow plant that sweetens the pot for butterflies, bees, birds, and possibly your buckwheat pancakes.

Photo credits: Lisa Rivera

Sources:

SEINnet. Eriogonum fasciculatum. https://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxon=3474&clid=8

SEINnet. Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium. https://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxauthid=1&taxon=12915&clid=15#

Southwest Desert Flora. (2017). Eriogonum fasciculatum, flat-top buckwheat. http://southwestdesertflora.com/WebsiteFolders/All_Species/Polygonaceae/Eriogonum%20fasciculatum,%20Flat-top%20Buckwheat.html

Xerces Society. (n.d.). Who are the pollinators? https://www.xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/about-pollinators

Happenings – Summer 2022 newsletter

Posted on Jun 04, 2022

The Summer 2022 edition of Happenings is now available! Download a copy to learn more about activities of Arizona Native Plant Society chapters around the state.


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