Ponderosa pines are the most predominant native plant species around Flagstaff Ariz. Flagstaff is located in the high desert, at an elevation of 7,000 feet under the San Francisco Peaks and Arizona Snow Bowl, which rises to an elevation of 12,633 feet. It has a four-season climate with snow in the winter and dry desert heat in the summer, and temperatures that range from 90 degrees to minus 10 F. Native plants are drought-, wind- and frost-hardy.
Wildflowers abound on the grassy plains and plateaus around Flagstaff and seed-collection is a major enterprise. Native Flagstaff wildflowers include: Western yarrow, monkshood, hummingbird mint, nodding onion, columbines, pussytoes, Fendler's sandwort, prickly poppy, heartleaf arnica, butterfly weed, woolly locoweed, desert marigold, chocolate cups, Indian paintbrush, coreopsis, larkspur, blanketflower, sunflower, silver lupine, and many more. They grow mostly in spring, summer and fall and often paint entire hillsides with color.
Native shrubs in the Flagstaff area include the high desert scrub plants like Parry's agave, mescal, Utah serviceberry, greenleaf manzanita, various sage and sagebrush, various mahoganies, common juniper, several honeysuckles, Virginia creeper, several willows and elderberries, and the beautiful and unique yucca.
Thick pine forests abound in the Flagstaff area plus rolling or steeply sloped meadows covered by native grasses including Indian ricegrass, desert needlegrass, grama, buffalograss, sedge, fescue, cattail, sand dropseed, mutton grass, galleta grass, westers wheat, muhly, deergrass, switchgrass, little bluestem, prairie junegrass and more.
Ponderosa pines dominate the hillsides and plateaus around Flagstaff, together with various junipers, and pinyon pines, while the rising elevations create ideal conditions for alpine trees including douglas fir, bistlecone pines, blue spruce, Arizona cypress, subalpine fir, white fir and Engelman spruce.
Various species of maples, alders, ash, cottonwood and oak, plus boxelder, river birch, netleaf hackberry, western redbud, Arizona sycamore, quaking aspen, Arizona walnut, velvet mesquite, chokecherry, and New Mexican locust grow around Flagstaff in the forests and up the surrounding mountain slopes.
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