• Lower Cliff Dwelling


    National Monument Arizona

Trees and Shrubs

palo verde

Palo Verde

NPS photo

Many people are surprised at the number of plant species at Tonto National Monument, especially trees and shrubs. This is due in part to two rainy seasons. We get an average of 16" of rain annually, with approximately half of it falling during the summer months. This is, of course, just when the trees are able to make use of it. The winter rains are responsible for our spring wildflowers (or lack thereof!)

Many of the trees and shrubs were used by native people for food, medicine, building materials, clothing, etc. The following is not a complete list of plants found here, but includes the more common trees and shrubs. Click on the links for more information about them.

Palo verde
Desert Willow
Arizona Walnut
Arizona Dewberry
Netleaf Hackberry
Mormon Tea
Desert Tobacco

Did You Know?

crested saguaro

Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Botanists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.