Anthony Baniaga, email
Jackie Taylor, email
meetings and evening programs are held
on the 2nd Thursday of each month from September through May,
beginning at 7:00 pm. Our monthly meetings are held at the City of Tucson
Ward 6 Office, 3202 East 1st Street, south of Speedway Boulevard and east
of Country Club Road. Please note that our meeting in December of 2017
will be held on the first Thursday December 7th.
the AZNPS sign board. We often have raffles for native plants, posters,
or related books at each meeting, so be prepared!
Chapter Meeting Presentations
7, 2017 – “The Arizona Trail in Southern Arizona”
by Wendy Lotze. The Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) is an amazing amenity that
offers hikers, bicyclists and equestrians an unparalleled opportunity to
experience Arizona's amazing biological and geological diversity. Come
with us on a virtual tour of the AZT, highlighting some of the best parts
of the trail in Southern Arizona. Wendy Lotze
is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Arizona Trail Association and also a
Landscape Architect with a passion for engendering love of Arizona's
native environment. Please note the
date change to the first Thursday of the month for this one month. Also our Annual dessert potluck!
January 11, 2018 – “Magueyes y Mezcales: The
ancient cultural link between humans and Agaves” by Jesus Garcia.
February 8, 2018 – TBA by Don Falk.
information about the Tucson Chapter, please contact Anthony Baniaga, email
JOIN OUR CHAPTER E-LIST
Our Chapter E-list: If you would like to receive reminders and
announcements about field trips and meetings via e-mail, send a note to Andrew Cordery to be added
to the list. Stay informed by joining us on Facebook.
Usually the most up-do-date information
about upcoming chapter events can be found on our Facebook page.
Volunteer for Pima County
Native Plant Nursery
Do you like native
plants? Caring for agave and baby cacti? Consider volunteer
opportunities at the Pima County Native Plant Nursery! Located at
5845 N. Camino de la Tierra, the Pima County Native Plant Nursery grows
native plants for public projects and is looking for volunteers to help
with weeding, watering and propagation. The nursery is open Monday to
Friday 7:00am to 3:30 pm. Call Jessie at 488-8022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for available
times/days and details.
Desert Plants: Seasonal Flowering Schedules
based on 20 years of data from 1966-1985
by William G. McGinnies
REPORTS OF FIELD TRIPS
April 8th 2017. Ferns and Lycophytes
of the Catalinas with Anthony Baniaga and Stacy
Stacy and Anthony led a healthy group of eager botanists
along the Catalina highway in the Catalina Mountains to point out native
fern and lycophyte species as well as the
important characters that define species and genera. We stopped at three
spots along the way in Molino Basin and in Bear Canyon, followed by lunch
under the pines, and a pleasant review of the fifteen species of ferns and
three species of lycophytes that we observed!
March 25th 2017. Spring Wildflower Botanizing with John Wiens. A nice group of desert plant lovers showed up on a
beautiful Saturday in March to take a hike up one of the mine
roads in the Waterman Mountains. With early winter rains, and not much rain
later in the winter, the bloom was not abundant but it was certainly
diverse. John treated hikers to some beautiful Waterman species like
Nichol’s Turk’s head cactus, big beautiful golden hedgehogs, desert agave,
elephant tree and others. There were many winter annuals, and John is a
master at finding and identifying those. There were a number of plants in
the Borage family, Euphorbs, Malvaceae,
and many more. And the views at the top were magnificent.
Saturday February 25th to Tuesday February
28th 2017. Botany/Paleontology camping trip to the Gran Desierto of Sonora. For four days and three nights from Feb 25 through Feb 28
we had the biggest annual botany camping trip yet, with thirty people led
by Tom van Devender and Ana Lilia Reina. Day 1 we traveled by convoy with a lunch stop at the Pinacate Museum with abundant Ajo
lilies in bloom en route. We arrived in
the late afternoon at the Salina Grande about 90 km east of Puerto Penasco. Day 2 we
explored the fabulous unique salt flats punctuated by dune islands
containing fresh water and supporting a surprising array of plant species
including screwbean mesquites, yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica), Phragmites australis,
various sedges and rushes, and abundant Distichlis saltgrass, and even a colossal cottonwood tree! In
the evening there were presentations by Dale Turner on habitat restoration
in the Colorado Delta following the big water release three years ago,
a presentation on the reverse estuaries of Sonora by Chad
Lockwood, and a presentation on the middle Pleistocene paleontogical
trove of the Gran Desierto by Fred Croxen. Day 3 we
traveled through the Gran Desierto with
botanizing stops in the dunes to enjoy the surprising array of flowering
plants following the abundant 2016 winter rains. In the afternoon, Fred Croxen displayed a set of bones he had recently
excavated and then led the group on an expedition of the badlands west
of Santa Clara where he has been excavating over the past fifteen years.
Several mid Pleistocene bones were unearthed by members of the group
and and identified for us by Fred. Day 4 we broke camp and traveled home with another stop at the Pinacate museum before crossing the border at Lukeville.
Saturday February 11th 2017.
Tour of the saguaro blowdown events in Ironwood
Forest with Bill Peachie.
Bill followed up on his fascinating February presentation for the monthly
chapter meeting on February 9th with a field tour to the sites
of the saguaro blowdowns that happened on
September 9th, 2011 in the Ironwood Forest. Bill and his team
have been studying and detailing the impact of a microburst storm preserved
through saguaro damage for over six years, and it was a pleasure to for
them to communicate their stories and observations of saguaro growth and
mortality with us. This was also a wonderful opportunity to botanize among
the early spring flower emergers and for us to
enjoy the greening up of the desert!
Saturday November 12th, 2016. Desert Mistletoe on Desert
Legume Woodies with Kelsey Yule.
After her informative November
8th presentation, Kelsey Yule (PhD Candidate in the Department of
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona) directed a
field trip for Tucson chapter members to the Ironwood Picnic Area at Tucson
Mountain Park. At that site, she was able to show the group desert
mistletoe growing on five different legume hosts: desert ironwood, velvet
mesquite, catclaw acacia, whitethorn acacia, and
foothills palo verde.
Attendees enjoyed seeing the differences between mistletoes infecting
different host species, learning to sex this dioecious
plant, and observing how mistletoes are transmitted between hosts.
Saturday October 29th, 2016. Salvaging, propagating, and
landscaping Native Desert Plants with Jesse Byrd.
Following up on an
excellent October 12th presentation, Jesse Byrd (Pima County
Native Plants Nursery Manager) led a group of Tucson chapter members and
Master Gardeners through the diversity of native plants and operations at
the nursery. Very cool to see the salvaged and flourishing cholla, opuntia, and saguaro
cacti as well as the extensive queen of the night collections. Later we
visited two recently landscaped sites on the westside
of Tucson; the Pima County Housing Extension
Office, and Las Iglesias Restoration Site along the Santa Cruz.
Saturday September 24th, 2016. Common Sense Water
event that highlights common sense passive water harvesting in Oro Valley
and Oracle. An eccentric mix of Tucson chapter members and Master Gardeners
visited several front yard and roadside water
capture berms in action throughout Oro Valley and Oracle. These included
Chuck LeFevre’s landscaped hillside at the Oracle
Community Center as well as several private home landscapes where Chuck has
made his lasting mark. We finished our tour with a sumptuous lunch at the
Patio Cafe in Oracle.
The Ragged Top Diversity
Wash with Ries Lindley, Saturday 19 March
This is an easy walk up a pristine desert
wash full of Spring wildflowers and native grasses. If you have
a high clearance vehicle, please bring it so we can carpool.
Wildflowers with Iris Rodden, Saturday
Iris is scouting out the best destination
based on this year's March flowering patterns.
Catalina State Park Wildflowers
with Frank Rose, Saturday 9 April
CSP will be awash in wildflowers and Frank
will lead the group to the best of the best.
Saturday, October 17, 2015:
Commonsense Water Harvesting
This popular annual event highlights
commonsense passive water harvesting in Oro Valley and
Oracle. Members of Master Gardeners joined AZNPS members.
Saturday, October 10, 2015: Tree
Walk with Frank Rose
Nine members joined Frank Rose on a
"Tree Walk" up the Catalina Highway. In ten stops they identified
over 40 species of trees.
photo: Larry Norris
Late Summer in the Chiricahua Mountains,
September 5, 6, and 7, 2015
The Cochise and Tucson Chapters of the
Arizona Native Plant Society held their fourth annual weekend at the
Southwestern Research Station in the Chiricahua
Mountains of southeastern Cochise County. 25 members enjoyed good food,
good company and perfect weather in these richly diverse mountains on one the
northern-most islands in the Madrean Archipelago
that encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua.
Photo: Ries Lindley
Saturday, August 16,
2014: AZNPS Wildflower Walk in Madera Canyon
For the third year in a row, the eminent
naturalist Doug Moore led 14 members of AZNPS to the Carrie Nation Mine in
the Santa Ritas. Click here for photos
now posted on Facebook of the flowers seen on the hike. Midway up the
trail, the group saw the biggest spread of red cinquefoils they had seen in
Saturday, March 29, 2014: Selaginella and
Ferns of the Catalinas
Fifteen people traveled up the Catalina
Highway to learn more about the local ferns and Selaginellaspecies.
Dr. Michael Barker discussed the evolution and genetics of ferns and Selaginella at Molina Basin Overlook along
Catalina Highway. Anthony Baniaga pointed out three
different Selaginella species and
ten fern species at different locations along the highway. We explored
canyons where there were pools and running water. For a photo report,
click here to see Sue
Carnahan's photo collection which includes
photos of the flowering plants as well.
Anthony explains how to ID fern species. He measures the
fronds to determine species.
Pellaea truncata is tucked under a boulder. Three
participants study ferns.
August 22-24, 2013: Chiricahua Workshop-Southwestern
This year’s August field trip to the Chiricahua Mountains yielded over 200 species to
21 participants, who hailed from four different chapters. The bloom was
richest in the high altitudes, but field trip diversity included plants
from the high Chihuahuan desert to
the montane forest at the top of the
mountain range. Explorers spent an entire morning just ferreting out plants
of the Paradise cemetery. Generous assistance was provided by area
residents P.D. Hulce, leading the trip to
his private paradise in the mouth of Horseshoe Canyon, and by Dave Jasper
who lead the trip on the gorgeous upper trail at Rustler’s Park.
Elaine Moisan led a great trip to the
Paradise Cemetery on that sunny and wonderful last day. The Southwestern
Research Station provided great accommodations, delicious food, a lovely
picnic area for wine sipping and a lab for the plant ID workshop.
For the list of species seen, click here. Sue Carnahan's
photo collection is here. Ries's photo album is here.
A group picture taken from the Crest Trail above Rustler's
March 1-3, 2014, Wildflower Foray
to Tinajas Altas
The Tinaja Altas (High Tanks) is located in southwestern
Arizona 65 km ESE of Yuma, and only 6 km N of the Sonora border. The Tinajas Altas Mountains
are the southeastern extension of the Gila Mountains.Tinajas Altas was always a crucial water source for
travelers along the Camino del Diablo, especially during the gold rush of
1849. Many unfortunate travelers were buried in stone covered graves on the
nearby Mesa de los Muertos.
Left. Tinajas Altas. Chip Hedgcock taking
photos. View to the east. Photos by Ana L. Reina-G.
In the early 1980s, Tom Van Devender and paleoecologists from the University of Arizona’s
Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill
visited Tinajas Altas to
collect ancient packrat middens. Plant
remains from 21 radiocarbon dated midden assemblages
provided a record of the vegetation in this area for the last 43,200 years!
During the last glacial period (the Wisconsin), a pinyon-juniper woodland with singleleaf pinyon(Pinus monophylla),
California juniper (Juniperus californica), and Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) was present. The lowest elevation
record for the pinyon in the
Pleistocene was 430 m in a Tinajas Altas sample dated at 11,040 B.P. Sonoran desertscrub became dominate about 8,900 years ago,
although the modern dominants foothills paloverde (Parkinsonia microphylla)
and ironwood (Olneya tesota) did not return until about 4,000 years ago.
A 14,000 year old packrat midden from Burro Canyon in the Kofa Mountains. Singleleaf pinyon needles and juniper twigs and seeds are visible.
Photo by Tom Van Devender.
On March 1-3, 2014 Tom and Ana Lilia Reina-G. led an Arizona Native Plant Society group of 25 people
from Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Y Junction to Tinajas Altas. This part of Arizona had very good winter rains,
and the landscape was in flower. The yellow flowers of brittlebush (Encelia farinosa)
and red flowers of chuparrosa (Justicia californica)
colored the landscape. Nearly 150 species of plants were seen atTinajas Altas, Tinajas Altas Pass,
desert flats east of Raven Butte along the road to Wellton,
the Mohawk Dunes, etc. The birders on the group were able to record 37
species of birds. Some lucky participants were treated to a pair bighorns
–mother and lamb on a high cliff at sunset. The observations and
images will go into the MABA database, available for use by land managers
in the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range.
Tom Van Devender and ANPS
participants. Brittlebush and Ajo lily
flowers (Hesperocallis undulata). Photos by Ana L. Reina-G.
Bighorn sheep ewe and lamb in Tinajas Altas Pass. Photo by Linda McNulty.
Tinajas Altas Snail
Tinajas Altas was a crucial water source along the Camino
del Diablo for travelers during the gold rush. In 1849, a man named Frick,
presumably in route to California, collected some land
snails at Tinajas Altas. The same year Wesley Newcomb, New York physician
and amateur malacologist, traveled to San
Francisco. Sixteen years later, he described the Tinajas Altas snails as Helix rowelli, probably the first terrestrial land snail
known from Arizona. The snail was later called Sonorella rowelli (1904) and today isEremarionta rowelli, the eastern desertsnail.
Sonorella and Eremariodonta are air-breathing land
snails that are well known for having species with small geographic ranges.
The San Xavier Talussnail (S. eremita) is only known from a deep, limestone
rockslide in Pima County, Arizona, and is protected by a Conservation
Agreement between El Paso Natural Gas Company, Arizona Electric Power
Cooperative, Inc., Arizona Game and Fish Commission, and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. The Saracachi talussnail (S. aguafriensis)
is only known from Arroyo Santo Domingo near Rancho Agua Fria and the Saracachi Ciénega southeast
of Magdalena, Sonora.
Tinajas Altas is in the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force
Range, administered by the U.S. Marine Corp. The eastern desertsnail was first found 165 years ago, and
current management will insure its survival.
Photo by Charles Hedgcock.