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Arizona Desert Environment.
( Non - Xeriscape. )
Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees.
For The Arizona Desert Environment
Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.

George & Eve Delange

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Note: These Plants Grow Well In Arizona,
But They Require More Water Than Xeriscape Plants.
We Recommend That You Look At Our Xeriscape Plant Web Page
& Consider Using Xeriscape Plants such as,
Saguaro Cactus, Cereus giganteus, shown below.

Saguaro Cactus, Cereus giganteus, Arizona State Flower. Arizona Desert Environment; Common Landscape Plants. Shrubs, Flowers, & Trees. With Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews. * Landscape Trees
*Landscape Shrubs
* Landscape Groundcovers
*Landscape Vines
Landscape Succulents
* Landscape Perennials
Landscape Annuals
Landscape Grasses
A - Z Landscape Plants By Common Name
A - Z Landscape Plants By Scientific Name
* Xeriscape Landscaping Plants.
* Xeriscape Garden Plants For Food.
* Vegetable & Fruit Gardening For Arizona.
* Arizona Wild Flowers.

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In many cases, the landscaping plants used in Arizona are not low water use, or Xeriscape. Therefore we are listing some of the more common non xeriscape plants on this page.

While non xeriscape was common during the early history of Arizona during the 1800's to the mid 1900's it is not used too often today in an attempt to conserve water.

The following information is a brief description of our experience.

George and his friend Al Weichold, kept honey bees in the Phoenix, Arizona area from about 1966 to about 1992. During that time they learned a lot about how to produce honey in Arizona.

One of the secrets of producing honey was to follow the "honeyflow" which is the opening of the flowers that produced the nectar that the bees turned into honey. Thus, George and Al had to know the flowering plants of Arizona and when the flowering plants would bloom. They also had to know which plants would not produce honey.

George also taught High School Life Science and Environmental Science from 1983 until 2003 in the Phoenix Area. Part of his class that he taught was the "Merriam Life Zones Of Arizona" in which the living organisms in the areas are determined by the factors of temperature and available water which are also influenced by the various elevations found within the State Of Arizona.

In 1889 C. Hart Merriam studied the distribution patterns of plants and animals in a broad swathe from the lower elevations of the Grand Canyon to the top of Humphreys Peak (elevation 12, 760 ft) in the San Francisco Mountains near Flagstaff, Arizona. Based on his observations in the field, Merriam developed the concept of a Life Zone, a belt of vegetation and animal life that is similarly expressed with increases in altitude and increases in latitude.

These Life Zones (sometimes called "Vegetative Communities") are unique groupings of plants and animals based on elevation. These communities take into account the fact that for every 1000 feet gain in elevation the temperature drops 3 degrees F and the precipitation increases as well. The plants and animals you'll likely encounter in the life zone depends upon the varying elevations as you climb up a mountain or "sky island" in Arizona such as the Santa Catalina Mountains. Keep in mind that what you will see when you visit each vegetative community is dependent on the season of the year and the amount of precipitation for that year.

Over the years Merriam's Life Zones have been changed and modified as new information has been researched and revealed. But, they are basically the same as when Merriam did his original work on the subject.

George will present on the following pages what he has learned about flowering plants in Arizona as a Beekeeper and Life Science Instructor. No attempt is being made here to present a detailed scientific page on the subject. Every plant in Arizona will not be shown. George hopes that these pages might be simply of interest to anyone who wants to learn about the beautiful wildflowers and plants of Arizona.

Over the past fifty years Phoenix has became less agricultural and more urban. Therefore some of the photos on this page will also show how native plants and some not so native plants are used in todays Xeriscape (low water use) landscaping in Arizona.

It may be of interest to know that many of the non native plants that are growing in Arizona were introduced from Australia.

George still spends the winters in the Glendale area, in an urban neighborhood about a quarter mile from where he kept his bees. George never thought that population changes would have effected the Glendale and Peoria area as much as it has done! Glendale and Peoria have certainly grown.

People now are afraid of Honeybees. Laws have been passed outlawing beekeeping in urban areas.

Good News ! George has started up keeping bees again. He hopes to have some fresh honey soon!

Eve DeLange also is very interested in keeping bees. George calls Eve, the "Queen Bee !"

George often wonders; since bees are absolutely necessary for much of our food production, what will be our future without bees? Another practice that he wonders about is that over the 68 years he has lived in the Greater Phoenix Area, almost all of the very rich agricultural land has been covered with cement and buildings as the area has grown. Where will our food come from?

And, do we have enough water to continue building lakes, swimming pools, golf courses, and landscaping on our urban areas the way that we are now doing? Even though the winter of 2004, the spring of 2005, and Jaunary of 2010 have been some of the wettest seasons we have ever had in our recorded history, we are still considered to be in a time of drought!

George hopes it will all work out. Only time will tell!

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Arizona has two major wildflower seasons every year; with the Spring Wildflower Season usually during March to May, and the Summer Wildflower Season from July through September. Then there is a blooming season for a few flowers, during the fall.

However, some wildflowers can usually be found at other times of the year . Depending upon local temperatures.

Rainfall has a lot to do with our wildflower season. In the Phoenix area, the driest weather is during May & June when an average of about 3 mm (0.1 in) of rainfall (precipitation) occurrs.

The abundance of wild flowers in the deserts of Arizona, in the spring, is largely determined by the amount of rainfall during the winter of the prior year and the early spring of the present year.

Generally speaking, the rainfall in the winter and early spring is created by an area of low pressure coming down from the Pacific Coast of Alaska along the Pacific Coast of the United States and then eastward across Arizona.

Then our rainfall during the monsoon period of late summer is created by an area of low pressure coming up north from Mexico or from the Pacific Coast along the Coast of South America, Central America, or Mexico; flowing north or northwest into Arizona.

These movements of moisture are strongly affected by movements of the ocean currents. Meteorologists call these ocean currents either El Niņo, or La Niņa, depending upon their causes.

El Niņo:

The rainfall in Arizona is very much affected by a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (between approximately the International Date Line and 120°W), including off the Pacific coast of South America.

Another aspect of El Niņo; called the El Niņo Southern Oscillation, refers to the cycle of warm and cold temperatures, as measured by sea surface temperature, SST, of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niņo is accompanied by high air pressure in the western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern Pacific.

The cool phase of ENSO is called "La Niņa" with SST in the eastern Pacific below average and air pressures high in the eastern and low in western Pacific. The ENSO cycle, both El Niņo and La Niņa, causes global changes of both temperatures and rainfall

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson; This winter's El Niņo could be one of the strongest in the past 50 years. He says, "El Niņo has steadily strengthened over the past month and is now approaching strong category strength."

Anderson said. "El Niņo typically reaches its peak during the December through February period."

Anderson also said, "El Niņo has steadily strengthened over the past month and is now approaching strong category strength."


We will have an Above Average Blooming Season!

Based upon the reports of Mr. Anderson, we will have an above average wildflower bloom in 2016. It should be even better than the above average bloom we had in 2015.

You might recall, I predicted an above average bloom in 2015, and it was indeed above average.

Hopefully, we will also have a wet monsoon season in 2015, which may also improve the wildflower bloom in 2016.

Remember, several plants found in the early blooming, lower elevation, Sonoran Desert or Mohave Desert can be found blooming at later times in the other elevations of the Merrium Life Zones of Arizona. So, if you miss the blooming time of any of these plants, just wait 15-45 days and look for them at higher elevations. You probably will be able to see them!

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The following cities and organizations in the Valley Of The Sun or Phoenix Metropolitan Area are supporting Xeriscape (low water use) Landscaping and offer advice, booklets, and cash incentives worth several hundred dollars.

Chandler; 480-782-3580, Gilbert; 480-503-6098, Glendale; 623-930-3596, Goodyear; 623-932-1637, Mesa; 480-644-3306, Peoria; 623-773-7286, Phoenix; 602-261-8367, Scottsdale; 480-312-5650, Tempe; 480-350-2668, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association; 602-248-8482.

Click Here To See Free Arizona Sonoran Desert Plants Native Food Recipes.

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Honeybee Trailer Mesquite Comb Honey
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