Palo verde was designated the official state tree of Arizona in 1954. "Palo verde" is Spanish for "green stick." Blooming in the spring (beginning in late March and continuing until May), palo verde are beautiful trees found in the desert and the foothills of Arizona that add vibrant color to the desert. Palo Verdeseeds were a food source for the Pima and Papago Indians of Arizona (the seeds were dried and ground in mortars to make a flour used for mush or cakes).
Palo verde tree blossoms
photo by G.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS DatabaseNative to the Sonoran Desert, palo verde (Cercidium floridum) is a relatively small tree that can reach a height of approximately 32 feet and a trunk diameter of 1.5 - 2feet. This tree has a deep root system which allows it to tap into the ground water and survive periods of extended drought and withstand severe flash floods (which occur often in desert washes).Palo Verde is drought deciduous (sheds its leaves during extended dry spells) at which time the tree relies on its green stems and branches for photosynthesis. The leaves of the Palo Verde tree are so smallthat even during the short period of the year when they are present (mid July to late November) it relies on the green branches and stems to help with photosynthesis |
Saguaro cactus blossoms photo by Rael B on Flickr -
noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike
Saguaro Cactus Blossom
The pure white waxy blossom of the giant saguaro cactus was designated the state flower ofArizona in 1931. Saguaro cactus (Cereus giganteus) is indigenous to Arizona and grows to a height of forty to fifty feet and lives to an age of 150 to 200 years.
Mature five armed Saguaro cactus in bloom in late May - photo by Leonard G. / Wikipedia - Creative Commons ShareAlike 1.0 licenseNative to the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, saguaros are slow growingand take up to 75 years to develop a side shoot. They are also slow at propagating, and saguaro cactus is a candidate for the endangered species list. Harming one in any manner is illegal in Arizona, and during construction, special precautions must be taken to move every saguaro affected. |
Arizona became the 48th state in 1912 (see statehood order) -
Arizona's statequarter features the Grand Canyon, saguaro and
other cacti, and the state nickname: "Grand Canyon State" -
public domain image on Wikipedia - see all 50 state quarters
"The Grand Canyon State"
Arizona's is nickname is The Grand Canyon State. Most of the canyon is within the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona (one of the first national parks in the United States). The Grand Canyon isunmatched throughout the world for the vistas it offers to visitors on the rim. The Grand Canyon attracts about five million visitors per year.The grand canyon was formed by the uplifting of the Colorado plateau and erosion caused by the Colorado River over a period of 6 million years. It is 277 miles long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles, and attains a depth of more than a mile. Nearly two billionyears of the Earth's history can be observed in the layers of exposed rock.
Grand Canyon photo © Doug Dolde on Wikipedia
(GNU Free Documentation license Version 1.2 or later)Prehistoric native Americans built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site and made pilgrimages to it.
Yaki point at the Grand Canyon in Arizona -
publicdomain photo courtesy of PDphoto.org |
Arizona State Bird:
Cactus wren photo © Joe Fuhrman /
CritterZone: Animal - Wildlife - Nature Stock Photography (used by permission - contact CritterZone for commercial license or any use)
The state bird of Arizona is the cactus wren (Heleodytes brunneicapillus couesi), officially recognized in 1931. The largest North American wren...