Ah, springtime! In some parts of the country, folks are getting their annual springtime showers with trees and plants starting to turn green. Here in Arizona, it’s time for our desert flowers to do their thing! If you haven’t taken a hike during this time of the year now’s the time before it gets too hot!
What’s really unique about Arizona is that it has the most varied plants and wildflowers out of all 50 states in the US. Some could make an argument that California holds that title, but we’ll let the intellectual botanist argue about that.
Arizona’s climate, desert, mountains, and foliage make it distinct in the USA’s 50 states. There are many climate zones to pick from mountains to deserts, rivers, and lakes. They all have varying ecosystems. I’m always amazed when hiking, I can start at the bottom of a mountain and literally pass through 3-4 ecosystems while hiking to the top. Trees and plants that will grow at desert sea level disappear and are replaced by totally different foliage as we head up. Cactus graduates to scrub brush, then to actual trees.
Then there are the many different plants that have medicinal uses and can cure everything from an upset stomach to a headache. Next, there are the culinary applications where many of the plants are edible either as a raw plants (think salad) or cooked to perfection steamed or roasted. Yum!
Point is …. it’s Spring! It’s time to shake off those winter doldrums and get out into some sunshine for some much-needed Vitamin D! So, what are you waiting for? Get outside!