• Natural Bridge Trail

    Chiricahua

    National Monument Arizona

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  • Visitor Center Fall Hours in Effect Beginning October 13, 2014

    Fall hours are in effect for the visitor center from October 13 - November 30, 2014 from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. The hikers' shuttle will leave the visitor center at 9 am. For more information call 520-824-3560 x0. More »

  • Mushroom Rock Trail Closed to Horses, Hikers Use Caution

    Mushroom Rock Trail is closed to horses due to hazardous conditions caused by recent flooding. Hikers use caution. Trail is washed out in place and may be difficult to follow.

Plants

Pointleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens) is a common shrub at the monument.  It blossoms in the early spring, which is why a late snowfall was blanketing the blossoms in this photo.  The flowers produce berries that are utilized by many animals.
Manzanita blossoms in the snow NPS photo

Chiricahua National Monument is an area of tremendous diversity, where four biogeographical regions come together. Because of this, over 1000 plant species grow within the Monument's boundary, and many are endemic only to the Chiricahua Mountains.

As you enter the Monument from the west, you will drive through grasslands with over 50 species of grasses, as well as many cacti and succulent species of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. Fingers of riparian vegetation cut through all areas, dominated by Arizona cypress, Arizona sycamore, oaks and juniper. The interior chaparral shrublands are dominated by pointleaf manzanita, leading into the encinal oak woodlands, which are characterized by 7 species of oaks as well as madrone and juniper. Finally, you will arrive in the conifer forests of pines and cypress. Through all of these communities, wildflowers are prolific in the late spring and summer months - creating a truly spectacular array of color and diversity. The understory consists of several varities of ferns as well as shade-tolerant grasses, broad-leaf plants, mushrooms, and mosses. Lichens can be seen growing on trees as well as on the rock pinnacles.

Distribution of these plants is dependent on many factors, such as elevation, soils, aspect, slope, and water availability. Because these factors change so drastically over short distances, the Monument is truly a mosaic of plant communities and assemblages.

 
 
 

Click the link below for an online list of plants in Chiricahua National Monument.

http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/checklists/checklist.php?cl=25&proj=5

Did You Know?

Four biomes meet in Chiricahua National Monument

The Chiricahua Mountains are a crossroads for plants and animals from four ecosystems; the Rocky Mountains to the north, Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains to the south, the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts.