The September Monthly Meeting is
Sunday, September 30 at 2:00 PM in Dorrance Hall
at the Desert Botanical Garden
Program: Javier Gurrola – Wandering and Observing in New Mexico and Arizona
My presentations will take you to two vastly different places that are near and dear to my heart. The first half takes us to a place that is about 40 miles slightly northeast from my home town of Las Cruces, New Mexico and across the Organ Mountains and White Sands Missile Range. In the immediate vicinity of Orogrande, New Mexico (Otero County), is a small mountain range that lies in the northern portion of the Chihuahuan Desert, the Jarilla Mountains (approximately 32.425078, -106.103225). Here you will see pictures of your typical Chihuahuan Desert scrub with a very unique and naturally occurring hybrid between Echinocereus coccineus (Red claret-cup cactus) and E. dasyacanthus (Texas rainbow cactus)…Echinocereus x roetteri (Loyd’s hedgehog cactus).
The second half takes us along the “Devil’s Highway” in southwestern Arizona to a northwest to southeast oriented chain of rugged batholithic granite situated within the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range in Yuma County…the Tinajas Altas Mountains are a relatively small range of desert mountains one can easily overlook while travelling to and from San Diego! Located within the Lower Sonoran vegetation life zone of the Sonoran Desert, the cacti here still thrive, but are not nearly as abundant as elsewhere. Other xerophytes like Bursera microphylla (elephant tree or torote) and Jatropha cuneata (Desert Limberbush or sangrengado) grow to such impressive sizes as to dominate the landscape.
I was born in Los Angeles, grew up and went to school in Las Cruces, NM, attended college at New Mexico State University (GO AGGIES!!) where I received a B.S. in Biology and Geological Engineering. My family and I moved out here to Phoenix in 2001 and I currently work with the City of Glendale as a Principal Engineer.
O.k. now with that out of the way, let’s move onto my love for plants…the spiny and prickly kind. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had this love of nature and natural history in general, including all the living kind and the non-loving kind. Having lived all my life thus far in the Southwest, I innately fell in love with the cactus family and other xerophytes native to my area. As a child growing up, my parents took it upon themselves to acquaint me with lots of outdoor activities and frequent visits to zoos and museums…no judgments upon anybody, but I count myself extremely lucky to have not grown up in the age of today’s technology…I may have never acquired these interests.
We love cacti and succulents. You will fit right in!
Learn about plants you have. Do they grow bigger and flower every year? They should!
Tired of replacing succulents? Find out why!
Over a hundred of us attend meetings. We socialize before and after. New friends to make!
Monthly Q&A sessions during meetings.
Learn about new and different plants, faraway and exotic places.
Silent Auction at every meeting. Free Plants at most meetings. Take home some new plants!
Want plants not sold at big box stores? We know where to find them!