ScheduleFieldtripsField Trip Reports Wildflower Walks

Tucson Chapter

President:  Ries Lindley, email  

Treasurer: Diane Kelly, email                        

Secretary: Liz Fairchild, email                     

Chapter meetings and evening programs are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from August through June , 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.

Look for the AZNPS sign board. We often have raffles for native plants or related books at each meeting, so be prepared! Download our 2013-2014 Speaker Schedule by clicking here.

For information about the Tucson Chapter, please contact Ries Lindley.

New PAPAZ Site: Salero Ranch in Santa Cruz County
Come help explore and collect on a privately owned, 20,000-acre ranch in Santa Cruz County. Sandwiched between the Santa Rita Mountains to the north and Sonoita Creek State Natural Area to the south, Salero Ranch lies in diverse desert grassland habitat, with seasonal riparian areas, mountain canyons, and oak woodland also well represented. Elevations range from 3900 to 5300 feet. The Salero has been actively ranched since the late 1800s, but the current owners run only about 200 head of cattle. There are also 19 private homes scattered across the landscape. Because of the Salero's private status, there were only 5 herbarium collections prior to the start of this PAPAZ project. If you are interested in helping with this project, or for more information, contact Sue Carnahan by email or 520-591-0740. Collecting dates and times TBD.
 We have winners!! Who? Click here.
The Tucson Chapter of AZNPS has teamed up with Tucson Clean and Beautiful and the Southern Arizona Environmental Management Society,
Inc. to provide grants of $100 - $500 for teachers to enhance environmental education in our schools.
The more information and application form is available here.

Sonoran Desert Plants: Seasonal Flowering Schedules

based on 20 years of data from 1966-1985 by William G. McGinnies.


Join 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 our email list or “like” us on Facebook.

Enjoy some "eye candy" by clicking HERE to see what is blooming at Tohono Chul Park.


The speaker schedule for the 2013-2014 monthly meetings is now available on a flyer. Please make a copy for yourself and spread the word to others. Consider posting the schedule on appropriate locations around Tucson. For a copy of the schedule, click here.

Chapter meetings and evening programs are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from August through June , 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.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014: Tony Knight, “Poisonous Plants of Arizona”

Dr. Tony Knight, Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University, was born and raised in Kenya and received his veterinary degree at the University of Nairobi in 1968. He earned an MS from Colorado State University in 1971 before accepting a faculty position in large animal medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. After 40 years as a faculty member at Colorado State University, he retired and moved to Tucson. His interests lie in livestock disease investigation, foreign animal diseases, zoonotic diseases and plant toxicology. He has published two books on plant poisoning: A Guide to Plant Poisoning of Animals in North America and A Guide to Poisonous House and Garden Plants.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014: Steve Buckley, “The Flora Project: Building a Flora of Protected Areas in the Desert Southwest”

Steve Buckley is the botanist for the National Park Service's Southwest Network Collaborative (SWNC) and is based in Tucson. His research focuses on the systematics and floristic biogeography of National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management lands in the desert southwestern United States. Steve is especially interested in how the technologies of floristic information systems generate novel solutions for the distribution of information and develop critical data sets to address the challenges of botanical conservation on Department of Interior lands.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014: Charlotte Pearson, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, “Tree Rings, People and Volcanic Eruptions”

Charlotte Pearson presents an introduction to dendrochronology and some case studies for what the record from the bristlecone pine and other chronological records can tell us about the impact of volcanic events and climatic changes on human populations. Charlotte came to the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (LTRR) from Cornell University, where she worked as Laboratory Manager and Research Associate in the The Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener Laboratory for Aegean and Near Eastern Dendrochronology. Her main interests lie in Mediterranean dendroarchaeology, as she works with others at LTRR to build a continuous oak tree-ring chronology for the Mediterranean for the last 10,000 years. She hopes to contribute to wider research on human and environmental interactions and investigate the causalities of major turning points in human history.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014: Yue Max Li, "Knowing your enemy: the strength and weakness of invasive Sahara Mustard"

Max Li is a doctoral student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of the University of Arizona. He studies theories of stable coexistence of competing species through empirical tests and mathematical modeling and applies the theories to the management of invasive species.

2014 Spring Field Trips and Tours

Saturday, March 22, 2014: Plant Walk in Sutherland Wash

Join Carianne Campbell on a botany walk to the Genius Loci Foundation Riparian Reserve in Sutherland Wash in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Genius Loci Foundation explores the connections between ecological protection and art; check out their website: Our goal is to build a plant list for the reserve, beginning with this trip in the spring, and a follow-up one in the fall. Be prepared for a leisurely stroll on easy terrain. Binoculars and a picnic lunch are recommended! We will finish at approximately noon.

Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the shopping center on the northeast corner of Oracle and Golder Ranch Road. Look for us at the southern end of the parking lot, near the entrance from Golder Ranch Road; we will group up and carpool to the reserve from there.

Group size limit: 15

Please RSVP to Diane Kelly:

Saturday, March 29, 2014: Selaginella and Ferns of the Catalinas

Join Anthony Baniaga and Dr. Michael S. Barker on a multi-stop review of Selaginella and fern species at various exposures and elevations in the Catalinas. Due to tight parking at many stops, we will carpool to the extent possible. Bring drink and lunch. Return in the early/mid afternoon. Visit Dr. Barker's UofA Evolutionary Biology research website at

Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the north parking area of the McDonalds on the NE corner of Tanque Verde Rd and the Catalina Highway turnoff.

Group size limit: 15

Please RSVP to Diane Kelly:

Saturday, May 10, 2014: Tour of the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research

Meet at the Bannister Building on the University of Arizona Campus, 1215 E. Lowell Street at 10AM.
The closest parking garage is the Sixth Street Garage, located directly across (south) from the Bannister Building.

In association with our May 2014 speaker, Dr. Charlotte Pearson, Assistant Research Professor with the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, AZNPS members may tour the new LTRR facility on Saturday, May 10th beginning at 10:00 a.m. The following Wednesday is our regularly scheduled general meeting, featuring Dr. Pearson. Dendrochronology, a dating method employing systematic study of growth rings of trees, was born at the UA. Many of our beloved mountain trees have been used in this study: oak, pinyon, pine and fir. Come explore this historic lab in their new building with AZNPS! (For more info, call Liz at 990-1208).

Stay abreast of other trips and tours that may be organized at the last minute by joining our email announcement list! Contact Andrew by email.

NOTE: If there are those who do not have email and want to register for one of the following field trips, please call Diane Kelly at 520-531-0963.


Save the Watermans

AZNPS has been leading an effort to eradicate buffelgrass from the Waterman Mountains. We have removed all major patches and are now scouting for remote patches and mopping up all buffelgrass toeholds that we come across. This work is a great opportunity to hike in a pristine area amidst Nichols Turkshead cacti and Elephant trees. We go out on weekdays and weekends, depending on volunteer availability, for 3-4 hours per trip.

If you are interested, please contact John Scheuring at

Santa Cruz River Work Days

The restoration site north of Cortaro Road is looking great: All of our trees and shrubs are becoming well established. Upcoming work days will focus on removing buffelgrass and other invasive plants and seeding areas that have been cleared. Check out the Facebook Photo Album. For a photo report showing the history of the work at the site, click here.
Contact Marilyn Hanson for details.

Weed Warrior Activities

1) Sonoran Desert Weedwackers, Tucson Mountain Park work, third Saturday of each month. To volunteer, contact Marilyn Hanson by email.
2) Sonoran Desert Weedwackers, Saguaro National Park East work the second Saturday of each month, meeting at the Visitor Center of the Rincon Mt. District. To volunteer, contact their coordinator by email.
3) Oro Valley Buffel Busters work the second Saturday of each month. For more info, contact Carmen Ryan, 229-5070.


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 Selaginella species. 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 Research Station

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 Park.


    Blue grama                             Bisbee beehive cactus              Cardinal catchfly

March 24, 2013: Meg Quinn Wildflowers in the Tortolitas

Meg Quinn led a full field trip on a wildflower walk in Wild Burro Canyon where there was
an impressive spring wildflower display this week. For a photo report, check out Sue Carnahan's photo album here.
Emmenanthe penduliflora, yellow whispering bells/ Eriastrum diffusum, miniature woollystar


Saturday, March 9, 2013 Pima Pineapple Cactus Mitigation Site

Who knew a bad year could be so much fun? Despite the dry year, the cold weather, and the surprise storm from nowhere, there are plants to be ogled and ecology to be pondered. Iris Rodden, Conservation Biologist with Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation, led seven very interested botanizers on a fact-filled tour of a Pima Pineapple Cactus (PPC) mitigation site. The year has been a tough one for spring bloomers, yet there are still some to be found. In addition to PPC, field-trippers got to know some of those little belly-crawler plants like Pectocarya, bladderpod, and micro-versions of Mexican poppy. There was also plenty of informative discourse on plant ecology and the history of the mitigation site itself.
Tucson Chapter Budding Botanists                          Consulting over a Pima Pineapple Cactus

 Coryphantha robustispina                          Lepidium sp.                    Lesquerella gordonii

February 23- 25, 2013 El Pinacate Botany Field Trip

Sixteen members of AZNPS took a spring field trip to the Pinacates, led by Tom & Ana Lilia van Devender and Pinau Merlin. They explored the west side of the Pinacates for three days. They recorded 127 plant taxa. For a more detailed report, click here.
For photo reports, check out Sue Carnahan's Flickr accounts. Photos are arranged from newest to oldest.
Robert Villa's photos for this 2013 Pinacate Trip on his Facebook page.

Saturday, January 26: Kino Ecological Restoration Project (KERP)

Eight hardy plant people joined Julia Fonseca on a rainy walk within a local stormwater detention basin to look for spring annuals.  Although the annuals were minute in size, Jonathan Horst was able to add Lesquerella gordonii to the plant list, using only the cotyledons and one leaf for identification!  This was a species that had been in the original seed mix for the Kino Ecosystem Restoration Project.  Jonathan also found Matthiola parviflora, a recently arrived non-native annual that John has studied previously.  The group saw three coyotes, a green heron and stormwater capture in action after the sky opened up in a downpour!
BELOW:Julia Fonseca providing an overview.

Walking along the revegged wetland.

October 26, 2012: Grass ID In Tucson Mountain Park

On October 26 Tucson AZNPS members went on a fantastic field trip with the incomparable Meg Quinn, desert botanist extraordinaire. Meg distributed a plant list of grass species in Tucson Mountain Park. She led us through several little known roadside and desert wash spots in Tucson Mountain Park. Focusing just on native grasses, we managed to check off thirty species ! We all agreed that grasses are poorly known by Arizona plant enthusiasts. For photos of the field trip, visit Michael McNulty's site.
BELOW:  Meg Quinn with native grass   Tanglehead (Heteropogon contortus)

BELOW:Spider grass (Aristida ternipes)      AZ Cottontop (Digitaria californica)

August 31-Sept. 2, 2012:  Botany Trip/Workshop in the Chiricauhuas

The Tucson and Cochise Chapters sponsored a three-day field trip to the Chiricahua Mountains over Labor Day Weekend.  The event, which we hope will re-establish an AZNPS tradition of holding an annual extended field trip to the Chiricahua Mountains, was held at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal. The group explored the Ash Spring Trail and Barfoot Park. Native plant presentations were held in the evening. For a more detailed report of the trip, click here. For a photo report, click here.

Barfoot Park, Chiricahua Mountains

September 8, 2012: Lower Madera Canyon Walk with Doug Moore

On an overcast day, Doug Moore, Education Director for the Friends of Madera Canyon, started at the Proctor Road trailhead pointing out flowering plants, grasshoppers and caterpillars. We hiked through the grasslands, the mesquite bosque and then up through the interior riparian forest and the oak/pine woodlands. Arizona Sunflower, Tithonia thurberii, was commonly seen with butterflies nectaring. The group saw a total of 20 different butterflies including a couple of Monarchs. We also saw more caterpillars and grasshoppers than we could keep track of!
                                                                        Mentzelia isolata

Dull firetip on AZ Sunflower     Western Imperial Moth Caterpillar   AZ Sunflower

March 25, 2012: Ragged Top Flora Diversity Wash Walk with John Wiens

We revisited the fabulous Ragged Top "flora diversity wash" with ASDM botanist John Wiens, who had inventoried 153 species there 10 years in a short quarter mile section. On this year's hike, John helped us identify 140 species! One of the AZNPS hikers was a Latin-Greek scholar (John Kuhner) who was able to give the exact translation of the genus and species names. This was quite a treat for all of us
For Sue Carnahan's Photo Report, click here.

Group consult!!                           Echinocereus nicholii/Golden HH

Euphorbia arizonicus                      Krameria sp.

Androsace occidentalis                     Delphinium scaposum

March 3, 4, and 5, 2012: Field Trip to El Pinacate

Members of Arizona Native Plant Society enjoyed three days and two nights traveling in the company of Tom Van Devender, Ana Lilia Van Devender, and Mark Dimmitt to tour the spectacular El Pinacate of northern Sonora. The biosphere reserve offers a surprising number of plant communities in a very dry and seasonally variable climate. Carpets of Cryptantha in one area yielded to carpets of Plantago in another. Fellow campers were treated to blue sand lily (Triteleiopsis palmeri), Ajo lily (Hesperocallis undulate), as well as other treats like Echinocactus polycephalus. Camp life was rich, with one camper providing concert-quality violin music and the local northern mockingbird performing its all-night renditions of unlikely birds like white-breasted nuthatch.
Click for Tom Van Devender's Plant Report, Pinau Merlin's Animal Report and another field trip report from Tom Van Devender.
Go to Michael McNulty's album of the trip and Ries Lindley's Pinacate Trip for more pictures. Sue Carnahan has an extensive photo report of the flora.


Tohono Chul Park Plant Walks Every month of the year, and are included in the admission price. No reservations necessary.
What's Blooming wildflower tours begin on March 1 at 10am and continue every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through April 28
Walk in the Park- Monday-Saturday at 9:00am. Experience Tohono Chul Park while learning some of the basics of the ecology of the Sonoran Desert.