Watch for the appearance of the yucca at Wupatki. It consists of a cluster of long, pointed leaves, developing a tall stalk in the spring which is covered first with large white blossoms and later, seed pods. Mormon tea looks like a cluster of leafless green twigs, but there are actually tiny leaves at the joints of the stems. Sagebrush, identified by scent and pale-green, slightly hairy small leaves, grows in clumps throughout the area.
The warm spring weather and summer rains bring many otherwise nondescript plants into bloom. Many will flower once in the spring and again only if it rains. This is only a partial description of some of the more familiar and frequently seen plants of Wupatki National Monument, but we encourage you to learn more about the plant life of the area. Remember, when admiring the plants in the park, please leave the blossoms, seed pods, and fruit for others to see and also to produce another generation.
Did You Know?
The San Francisco Peaks, backdrop for Flagstaff and much of northern Arizona, were named in 1629 by Franciscan missionaries in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. This was more than 200 years before what was then a small town in California acquired a similar name.