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?
Most of the wood seen in the Gila Cliff Dwellings today is original! Thirty-one core samples were taken from the wood. Dendrochronology (tree ring dating) indicates that the trees for the Cliff Dwellings were cut down from 1276 to 1287.