The Green Desert

Beautiful orange and gold wildflowers surround desert cacti, creating a colorful carpet across the desert floor.
The Sonoran Desert is also known as "The Green Desert" due to the amount of vegetation that grows here during its five distinct seasons. During the spring and monsoon summer, wildflowers such as Mexican gold poppies cover the desert landscape.

NPS Photo


Close your eyes and think of a desert, what colors come to mind? Brown? Tan? Sand and rock? The Sonoran Desert is the wettest desert in the world, and many first-time visitorsare very surprised to find it lush with cacti, flowers, grasses and other desert vegetation.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument preserves over 330,000 acres that serve as home to over 650 plant species that decorate the landscape and provide habitat for wildlife. Because of the amazing biodiversity found Organ Pipe Cactus, this monument is considered a mecca for Sonoran Desert research and is honored with a designation by UNESCO as an International Biosphere Reserve.

An organ pipe cactus on rocks under a beautiful azul sky with a puffy white cloud.
Cacti & Desert Succulents

Learn more about the cacti and succulents found at Organ Pipe Cactus!

Beautiful orange poppies cover the desert floor.

Discover the beautiful wildflowers blooming at Organ Pipe Cactus.

A large cottonwood tree with palo verde trees behind it sit near Quitobaquito pond.
Trees & Shrubs

Learn more about the Sonoran Desert trees and shrubs of the monument.

An older female botanist wearing a green sun hat and grey shirt pulls buffelgrass out of the ground.
Invasive Plants

Learn more about invasive and non-native species found in the monument and how you can help!


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    Last updated: July 14, 2023

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    Mailing Address:

    10 Organ Pipe Drive
    Ajo, AZ 85321



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