Fire Restrictions in effect for Saguaro National Park
Due to increased fire danger in southern Arizona, Saguaro National Park will implement fire restrictions in both the Rincon and Tucson Mountain Districts, beginning Wednesday, May 22, 2013. More »
Bottled water no longer for sale in Saguaro National Park
Water bottle filling stations have been installed at both visitor centers and the Rincon Mountain District bike ramada for visitors to refill their reusable water bottles. A variety of BPA-free waterbottles are available inside the visitor centers. More »
Tucson Mountain District (west) road re-opened
The Golden Gate Road has been re-opened north of Sendero-Esperanza and is is now rated for high clearance vehicles due to the rough nature of the terrain. More »
Saguaro National Park is located within a desert, but contrary to what you might expect, there is an abundance of life. Plants here are adapted to drought, so during long dry periods they are able to go dormant, conserving their water. At these times, many plants appear lifeless, but shortly after a rainfall these plants are able to come to life sprouting new green leaves. If you like green, you will especially enjoy Saguaro National Park during the rainy seasons. Within just 48 hours after a rainfall, the ocotillo plant is able to change from what appeared to be a handful of dead sticks into a cheerful shrub with tall green branches, covered in new leaves.
The varied elevation within the park allows for a great variety of different species. Current research indicates there are approximately 1200 species in the Rincon Mountain District and approximately 400 species in the Tucson Mountain District. A precise number is difficult to ascertain given the complexity of the topography for sampling uniformly and changes in taxonomy, and the voucher specimens housed in unknown locations. To view a working plant list for Saguaro National Park, please click here.
If you are trying to identify a plant at Rincon Mountain District click here for an interactive key.
If you are trying to identify a plant at Tucson Mountain District click here for an interactive key.
For a guide to common plants at Saguaro National Park click here
Springtime in the park can be quite colorful. Click here for some local wildflower sightings.
Currently, there are no USFWS Threatened or Endangered plants within the park. The park does have rare and sensitive plant species. The park estimates there are approximately 80 non-native plant species some of which are quite invasive. The Restoration and Invasive Plant Management Program, with help from volunteers, maps and removes non-native invasive species from both districts of the park. See Invasive Plants to learn more about the invasive species of concern and how the park manages these harmful plants.
The Historic Section 17 Saguaro Census is currently underway
Results of the 2010 Saguaro Census at Saguaro National Park are now available online.
Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view plant lists. Click here to download.
Did You Know?
Saguaro National Park is more than just a desert park. In fact, the highest point in the eastern district is Mica Mountain at 8,666. There you will find a dense forest of Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, alligator-bark juniper, and aspen.