Southern Arizona and Tucson
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2017 Southern AZ Wildflower Reports
Jan 13, 2017 Saguaro National Park reports: Storms rolling in this weekend, be ready Tucson!
Jan 1, 2017 DUSA reports: More rain in the Tucson area and in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument this weekend good start for the upcoming wildflower season.
2016 Southern AZ Wildflower Reports
Sept 1, 2016 John Reports: Mt. Lemmon Wildflowers are peaking now (Tucson area)
Yesterday along the Marshall Gulch Trail just past Summerhaven we saw over twenty different blooms, mostly concentrated near the wooded v-bend area roughly 1/2 mile along the trail. Bring a macro lens for many closeup photography opportunities. We saw some plants in bloom that we have never seen flowering here before, plus old friends such as yellow columbine, red paintbrush, blue lupine, pink thistle, and many others.
Bonus! The trailhead ranger said that last Saturday he and some other flower scouts counted 83 different flower types in bloom in profusion along the ORACLE RIDGE Trail, with parking near the firehouse, clearly marked along the road almost to the top of the mountain.
Splendid blooming won’t last long. Bring your water, boots, snack, walking sticks, sunscreen, and layers of clothes for changing weather at over 8,000 feet elevation.
We saw several wild turkeys crossing the road just in front of us as we headed down from the top of the mountain. They were happily going from one part of the thick forest into another. Never saw anything like this before, ever!
May 23, 2016 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: The ironwood trees are blooming nicely right now. This beautiful tree is actually made of wood that is denser that water, and will actually sink! The subtle purple flowers mean one thing- the lesser- long nosed bats should be arriving soon for their pollen feast.
May 17, 2016 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: The saguaros are blooming! While this photos was taken near the Kris Eggle Visitor Center, the saguaro can now be seen blooming all over the park. We are still seeing more buds than flowers, so the peak of the bloom is still a little ways off. -sb
April 13, 2016 Wesley Reports: Right now prickly pear plants are surrounded by occasional nice patches of a yellow and white flowering shrub which none of my guides identify, but which in good years permeates the desert off of Wentworth, Sahuarita and Houghton roads between New Tucson and Corona de Tucson. There are still enough palo verdes in bloom to provide a good backdrop.
In the next few weeks the seas of prickly pear surrounding Corona will begin to bloom, and the ocotillos at the Ocotillo Preserve to the east of South Houghton Rd south of Corona are in full flower, if not in full leaf, right now (note well, this is the otherwise unmarked environmentally sensitive land east of Houghton, not the off-limits neighborhood at the south end of Houghton). Recent rains on Thursday and today will preserve the bloom. Visit soon, this area is quickly being overrun by buffelgrass and development, but if you go, please respect property owners' rights as well as the environmentally sensitive lands at the preserve - stay in front of the fences and park safely off the roads. Photos were taken on 4/9/16.
April 13, 2016 Saguaro National Park Reports: Flower frenzy at the park! All of these flowers were spotted during a morning hike along Javelina wash which is in Rincon Mountain District(East).
April 7, 2016 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: One of the best times of the year is fast approaching- our saguaros are blooming! Come visit the park and check out these spectacular flowers!
April 1, 2016 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Reports: Spring heat sparks the saguaros to bloom, and once again they are flowering earlier than the previous year. The saguaros seem to keep up with our warming world, but can the pollinators?
Photo Courtesy Donna Smith, VIP
March 7, 2016 Nemo Reports: This spring is not a super wildflower season so far. You have to snoop around the places known for great flowers in previous years. This morning we found twenty different plants in bloom along the unmarked Alamo Canyon trail in Catalina State Park. Weather in Tucson has been exceptionally warm for late February and March, without any recent rain, so flowering is advanced but not abundant. For Alamo Canyon, park in Romero Ruins parking lot, then cross the road and keep slightly to the right after you cross the wash and head gradually upward toward the mountains. It’s roughly one hour each way to the tiny pools at the far end of the attractive hike, with most of the flowering in the first third of the distance. Early in the day is always best, with hat, water, sunscreen, and sturdy shoes, in addition to your desert wildflower guide and camera with closeup lens.
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