2000+ Species of Vascular Plants, Fungi, Moss & Lichen
This large variety of rich plant life is facilitated by the 8,000-foot elevation range between the Grand Canyon’s highest (North Rim) and lowest points (river). There are tens of endemic plants within the Grand Canyon National Park. 10 percent of the Park’s flora is exotic, with the country’s Fish and Wildlife Service granting special status to 63 plants in the area. The park has over a hundred vegetation communities.
Plant Life Along the Colorado River
The riparian community down the Colorado River and its tributaries comprises of numerous plant species such as seep willow, catclaw acacia and western honey mesquite. Rare plants such as McDougall’s flaveria and stream orchid are also part of the Grand Canyon flora.
As you move up the desert scrub you will be able to see the thriving North American desert flora. Numerous warm desert species are present such as 4-wing saltbush, rubber rabbitbrush, ocotillo and mariola. You can also find a woodland in the desert scrub that contains snakeweed, Utah agave, sagebrush, needlegrass and Indian ricegrass.
Pine forests can be found at 6,500-8,200 foot elevations. The forests boast diverse wood species ranging from mountain mahogany and Gambel oak to fescue and elderberry. Beyond 8,200 feet the diverse range of wood includes Douglas & white fir, aspen, Englemann & blue spruce.
It can be tempting to pick up a few samples of the amazing plant life at Grand Canyon Park. If you wish to collect plants at the park, you will need to acquire a special permit.