Big Bend National Park is a great place to learn about plants! Many of the plants here in the Chihuahuan desert have spines or barbs that might catch on your clothes as you walk by them. These spines are to protect the plant from animals that might be after their water or fruits. Those that do not have spines will catch your eyes with their flowers or general appearance. Over 1,000 species of plants are found within Big Bend National Park. In recent years park botanists, technicians, and volunteers have found many new species and rediscovered some that haven't been seen in years. One of those plants, Hidalgo ladies tresses hasn't been seen in over 60 years!
Did You Know?
Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt visited Big Bend in 1971 to study the regions geology in preparation for their mission to the moon. This was one of four field trips to Big Bend that Apollo astronauts participated in between 1964 and 1971.