NPS Photo by Barry Nielsen
To view an interactive working plant list for Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and other surrounding southwest national parks, please visit the Southwest Environmental Information Network.
Some of the most common trees are Ponderosa pine, Gambel's oak, Douglas fir, New Mexico juniper, pinon pine, and alligator juniper. Cactus are common, with the most frequently observed being prickly pear and cholla. Two abundant species, which many visitors have never seen and therefore frequently inquire about, are buffalo gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima, also known as coyote melon) and prickly poppy (Argemne platycepas).
Did You Know?
The ancient Puebloans of the area are often referred to as the "Mogollon people" by archeologists. This name was applied because of the nearby Mogollon Mountains. These mountains, in turn, were named for Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, the Spanish Governor, from 1712 to 1715, of what is now New Mexico.