• Sunlight illuminates the top of historic Mission San José de Tumacácori church.

    Tumacácori

    National Historical Park Arizona

Plants of the Mission Garden

Visitor Center Garden

Tumacácori visitor center garden

NPS Photo

The "mission garden" at Tumacácori was built in 1937 as part of the visitor center construction. In the garden are many plants that were imported from Europe and brought to their missions by the padres.

Attached to any mission church was a convento - an open square of rooms surrounding a courtyard. The convento housed workshops, classrooms, and the priest's personal quarters. In the courtyard there would be a garden, often with a fountain.

 
Pomegranite

Ornamental Pomegranite Flower

The Tumacácori garden and grounds have both ornamental pomegranate trees, with carnation – like flowers and fruit – bearing pomegranates.

The pomegranate is a small tree native to the Middle East. It has been cultivated in the Mediterranean region since ancient times. Spanish settlers brought it to the new world, and the priests carried it north with the missions.

 
Pomegranite fruits

Pomegranite fruits

As befits a fruit with many seeds, the pomegranate is a traditional symbol of fertility.

 

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

The Santa Cruz River begins in the Patagonia Mountains of southern Arizona, runs south into Mexico, makes a sweeping U-turn and continues north through Sonora, Mexico and Arizona to join the Gila River and eventually the Colorado River which empties into the Gulf of California.