Introduction to Plants of Great Sand Dunes

Pink blossoms in grasslands, dunes in the background
Rocky Mountain beeplants blossom during the heavy rains of July and August.

NPS/Patrick Myers

Vegetation thrives in this sandy desert. Over 250 plant species call Great Sand Dunes home. Of those, 20 species can be found in the dunes – with four being more common than the others; the prairie sunflower, scurfpea, Indian ricegrass, and blowout grass. Keep your eyes out for the following common plants while exploring the park:

-Rocky Mountain beeplant
-Prickly-pear cactus
-Small-flowered sand verbena

Remember, all plants are marvels of nature and are protected. Please leave plants intact for those who follow in your footsteps.

Request a handout on common plants from the visitor center or visit the Great Sand Dunes plants webpage.

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Last updated: April 20, 2021