Native Plant Garden Tour

A green plant blooms with dozens of bright purple flowers
The Colorado four o’clock, also called the desert four o’clock, has large, showy, magenta purple flowers that open in late afternoon and close in the morning.

NPS Photo

Although White Sands is located in the arid Chihuahuan desert, it is also a place of amazing life and diversity. Learn about some of the native plants of the Chihuahuan desert by taking a walking tour of our native plant garden located in front of the visitor center. This self-guided tour is free.

Printed copies of the native plant garden guide are available. Download these products and more below.

The best time for touring the native plant garden is from mid-March through late November. Many plants are dormant during the winter months. Most wildflowers begin blooming around the middle of April. The soaptree yucca is the star of the spring flowers and typically blooms in late April through May. Some plants may continue to bloom throughout the summer, such as the Colorado four o’ clock. Many plants, including the ocotillo, burst into bloom after monsoon rains. Fall colors can begin to appear as early as October and last through November. This is the time when the Rio Grande cottonwood trees begin to turn a beautiful orange and the skunkbush sumac start to turn a vibrant red.

Additional information can be found in our Desert in Color and Native Plants of the Northern Chihuahuan Desert publications.
Image of native plant garden guide publication

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Native Plant Garden Guide

Our garden guide explains the fascinating features of many of the plants in the native plant garden in detail. Available as a download..
Black and white drawing of yucca plant with spikey leaves

NPS Photo

Native Plant Garden Field Journal

Use this field journal to document your exploration of the native plant garden. This document is available for download. It is not regularly stocked at the visitor center.
Image of phone with earbuds

NPS Photo

Native Plant Garden Audio Tour

Listen to an audio tour of the native plant garden, which can be downloaded as an mp3 file on most cell phones.

Last updated: January 3, 2020

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 1086
Holloman AFB, NM 88330


(575) 479-6124

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