Arizonensis --> Sonoran Desert Naturalist --> Sonoran Desert Places --> KOFA Mountains
Desert Wild Flower Reports ¦ Field Trip Reports ¦ Birds ¦ Reptiles ¦ Mammals ¦ Cacti ¦ Shrubs and Trees
About 20 miles south of the snowbird mecca of Quartzite, Arizona are the beautiful and impresive KOFA Mountains. The name derives from the inactive King of Arizona mine, but now the principal wealth of this range derives from its wildlife and as a botanical refugium. Palm Canyon is home to probably the only native grove of palm trees in Arizona, as well as many other plant species not found within a 100 kilometers or more. For example there are scrub oaks and barberry within the often deeply shaded canyon. The KOFA National Wildlife Refuge was established especially for protection of Big Horn Sheep.
Directions: Drive 18 miles south from Quartzite on US95 to the Palm Canyon road and turn east (left) about 7 miles to trailhead parking. Topozone Map! The elevation within the canyon bottom is ca. 800m.
In the photo above conspicuous plants are the saguaro cactus, ocotillo and teddy bear cholla.
The Arizona Native Plant Society's field trip took place here despite the threat of wet weather. Three society members camped about two kilometers from the Palm Canyon trail head parking area Satruday night and were treated to heavy rain, lightning and thunder overnight. By morning it was clearing but quite chilly and densely foggy ... rare events in the desert. By mid morning Sunday the Sun was out and the temperatures had reached a very comfortable 18°C. And the nature lovers arrived including some very knowledgeable botanists and and all around naturalists like Steve Ganley and John Anderson. In all there were sixteen participants in this trip organized by Mike Plagens. Among the dozens of flowering species found were Koeberlinia spinosa (all thorn), Berberis harrisoniana (KOFA Barberry) and Mohavea confertifolia (Ghost Flower) -- see the complete list in the chart at the bottom of this page. Few could remember this desert looking so colorful and verdant. Meanwhile an American Kestrel was flaunting is aviator skills diving up and down and around steep cliff faces, while Canyon Wrens' beckoning call reverberated about. It was a stunning day in one of our state's most beautiful spots.
January 22, 2005
Brilliant green carpets the desert in anticipation of many wildflowers to come in a few weeks. Already dozens of species have opened to reveal a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. Here and there we found brittle bush, ocotillo and ironwood with frost-burnt growth ... the frost having occurred a couple of weeks ago ... regrowth had begun again. Desert Olive, jojoba, desert lavender, chuparosa and wolfberry were among the woody shrubs in bloom. On the road we spotted a Kit Fox. A weak low pressure system in northwest Mexico had pushed in some mild, humid air allowing some clouds to form but leaving temperatures very comfortable from 18°C. to 20°C.
More information at
Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)
(more frequent towards top of list)
List includes observations by Henry Detwiler
In order of Abundance:
Harris' Antelope Squirrel
In general order of Abundance:
In order of Abundance:
Under Construction ... Please return soon.
Month Name Only : no flowers. no live plants.
: usually no or very few blooms open
: a few scattered blooms likely to be seen
: quite a few blooms likely to be seen, depending on past rainfall
: abundant blooms dependent on favorable rainfall
|Common Name||Scientific name||Color||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Arch-nutted Comb Bur||Pectocarya recurvata||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct|
|Tansy Mustard||Descurainia pinnata||/||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Whitlow Grass||Draba cuneifolia||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Little Gold Poppy||Eschscholzia minutiflora||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Wooly Plantain||Plantago insularis||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Sand Peppergrass||Lepidium lasiocarpum||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Thelypody Mustard||Caulanthus lasiophyllus||/||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Orange Fiddleneck||Amsinckia intermedia||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Bearded Cryptantha||Cryptantha barbigera||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Popcorn Flower||Cryptantha spp.||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Notch-leaved Phacelia||Phacelia ambigua||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Torrey Eucrypta||Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Shrubby Coldenia||Tiquilia canescens|
|Mustard (weed)||Brassica tournefortii||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Gordon's Bladderpod||Lesquerella gordonii||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|'Bottle Washer'||Cammissonia boothii var. condensata||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Desert Globe Mallow||Sphaeralcea ambigua|
|Desert Lavender||Hyptis emoryi|
|Lance-leaf Ditaxis||Argythamnia lanceolata|
|Desert Rock Daisy||Perityle emoryi||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Purple Three-awn||Aristida purpurea|
|Brittle Bush||Encelia farinosa|
|Desert Marigold||Baileya radiata|
|White Tack Stem||Calycoseris wrightii||Jun||July||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Rock Gilia||Gilia scopularum||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Purple Mat||Nama demissum||Jun||July||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Desert Poinsettia||Euphorbia eriantha|
|Ghost Flower||Mohavea confertifolia||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Desert Trumpet||Eriogonum inflatum|
|Parry Dalea||Dalea parryi|
|Arizona Lupine||Lupinus arizonicus||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|
|Golden Eye||Viguiera deloidea|
Sonoran Desert Naturalist