Boxelder (Acer negundo) – Often a companion tree to the cottonwood in riparian areas, the boxelder is a member of the maple family, which you can tell by its double-winged fruits called samaras. Its soft white wood is used to make boxes, while its syrup has been tapped or “boxed” for sugar and syrup. It has been cultivated as a shade tree for hundreds of years because of its rapid growth. Although it is neither as tall nor as graceful as its neighbor cottonwood, boxelder leaves turn a bright yellow in autumn. In the spring, their showy flowers look like big, dangly earrings.
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California Condors, which were released in Vermillion Cliffs, Arizona, in the late 1990's, are increasingly being sighted in Zion National Park. More...