Grand Canyon Flora: Upper Bright Angel Trail

Notes On Some Problematic Taxa


This page presents a family-order flora for the species found in the Plant Guide to Bright Angel Trail. See that webpage for an introduction to this page.

Notes On Some Problematic Taxa

Two genera with species that are difficult to properly determine have multiple species each claimed to be on this trail. There may or may not actually be multiple species in each of those three genera on this trail. More work is needed to find out how many species actually are on this trail.

Two Echinocereus species have been claimed to be on this trail: E. bakeri and E. triglochidiatus var. mojavensis. Only E. triglochidiatus is listed in the checklist below, but E. bakeri might be present here as well. These two species can only be distinguished when flowering.

Six Opuntia species have been claimed to be on this trail: Opuntia basilaris var. longiareolata; Opuntia engelmannii var. engelmannii; Opuntia macrorhiza; Opuntia phaeacantha; Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea; and Opuntia woodsii. All but O. macrorhiza and O. woodsii are listed in the checklist below; the other two might be present here as well.

There was a third genera with three species claimed to be on this trail, Argemone. However, a review of the iNat pix for those observations showed that they were all A. arizonica, which is apparently the only Argemone species on this trail.


The checklist is in the traditional order of lycopods; ferns; conifers; dicots; and monocots. The scientific names are consistent with those used by iNaturalist as of 12 September 2021. Scientific names have been changing furiously in the last several years at iNat, so some names may have been updated since 12 September 2021. Fortunately, iNat retains knowledge of previous names, so you can still search for an older name there.

The column Famil gives the first five letters in the family name.

The column ID indicates whether there is uncertainty about the species determination. A "~" in this column indicates it is a probable determination. A "?" in this column indicates the species given is just a guess.

The Scientific Name is linked to the SEINet page on each taxon. The SEINet pages usually contain abundant photographs of each taxon, along with a description of it. Note that some links will go to a page with a different Scientific Name that is synonymous with the name given here.

An asterisk before the common name indicates a non-native species.

The column Mile gives the mileage from the South Rim Trailhead of the first occurrence of each species on the Trail. Some species only from iNat or Vouchers have uncertain locations, and may not have an entry in this column. Species with "IG" in this column are found off-trail at Indian Gardens. Two species with "Lori" in this column are from a list of plants on the Bright Angel Trail supplied by Lori Makarick, and have not yet been found by us.

The column #Pl/Loc gives estimates of the minimum abundance for each species, up to a maximum of 99 plants, for those species we have observed on each trail, along with a rough estimate of the number of locations along the trail, up to a maximum of 9 locations. Species found only off-trail, and those species for which we have not made an abundance estimate so far in a given plant trail guide, may have arbitrarily been given a minimum number of one, or left blank. Species found only at iNat, or only from Vouchers, have "iN" or "V" in this column.

Two taxa given in the Plant Trail Guide are not listed below since they have not been determined to the genus. Thus this checklist has 189 taxa, whereas the Plant Trail Guide has 191.

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (5 pages), or pdf Clickbook booklet (2 double-sided pages), or condensed pdf Clickbook booklet (1 double-sided page made by stripping clade headers). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

#FamilIDScientific Name
Link goes to SEINet
(*)Common NameMile#Pl/Loc
1SelagSelaginella muticaspike-moss1.811/1
2PteriMyriopteris gracilisslender lipfern-2/1
3CupreJuniperus osteospermaUtah juniper020/9
4EphedEphedra viridisgreen ephedra0.3450/9
5PinacPinus edulistwo-needle pinyon pine050/9
6PinacPinus ponderosaponderosa pine0.13/
7PinacPseudotsuga menziesii var. glaucaRocky Mountain Douglas fir0.3810/3
8AmaraAmaranthus albus*tumble pigweed0.025/2
9AmaraAmaranthus powelliiPowell's amaranth020/2
10AmaraAtriplex canescensfourwing saltbush3.735/1
11AmaraAtriplex rosea*tumbling oracle0.0240/2
12AmaraChenopodium fremontiiFremont's goosefoot0.0820/5
13AmaraSalsola tragus*Russian thistle0.0120/3
14AnacaRhus aromaticaskunkbush1.1720/6
15ApiacYabea microcarpaCalifornia hedge-parsley3.462/1
16ApocyAsclepias subverticillatapoison milkweed3.611/1
17AsterAcourtia wrightiibrownfoot3.462/2
18AsterAgeratina herbaceafragrant snakeroot0.230/5
19AsterArtemisia bigeloviiBigelow sagebrush1.77iN/2
20AsterArtemisia ludovicianasilver wormwood0.0599/9
21AsterArtemisia novablack sagebrush0.23x/1
22AsterArtemisia tridentatabig sagebrush0.1530/9
23AsterBaccharis salicifoliamule fatIGiN/1
24AsterBaccharis sarothroidesbroom baccharis4.6iN/1
25AsterBrickellia californicaCalifornia brickellbush0.0499/9
26AsterBrickellia longifolialongleaf brickellbush1.7199/9
27AsterChaetopappa ericoidesrose heath0.4420/6
28AsterCirsium arizonicumArizona thistle0.0530/9
29AsterDieteria canescenshoary-aster050/9
30AsterEncelia resiniferaresin brittlebush3.2830/7
31AsterEricameria arizonicaGrand Canyon Goldenweed0.1220/8
32AsterEricameria nauseosa var. graveolenspungent rabbitbrush0.141/1
33AsterEricameria nauseosa var. juncearush rabbitbrush3.6140/9
34AsterEricameria nauseosa var. oreophilathreadleaf common rabbitbrush050/9
35AsterErigeron concinnustidy fleabane1.5750/9
36AsterErigeron flagellaristrailing fleabane0.5830/9
37AsterErigeron utahensisUtah fleabane1.97iN/1
38AsterEurybia glauca pulchrabeautiful aster 0.0999/9
39AsterGutierrezia microcephalasticky snakeweed0.3930/9
40AsterGutierrezia sarothraematchweed0.025/2
41Aster~Helianthus petiolarisprairie sunflower0.021/1
42AsterHymenoxys cooperiCooper’s rubberweed0.275/2
43AsterIva frutescensbigleaf marsh-elderIGV/
44AsterPackera multilobataBasin butterweed0.363/2
45AsterPerityle congestaGrand Canyon rock-daisy0.0950/9
46AsterPsilostrophe sparsifloragreenstem paperflower1.955/2
47AsterSolidago velutinavelvety goldenrod5/2
48AsterStephanomeria pauciflorawire-lettuce3.3/
49AsterUropappus lindleyisilver puffs3.751/1
50AsterXanthisma gracileyellow spiny daisy0.36x/1
51AsterXylorhiza tortifoliaMojave woodyaster2.7720/9
52BerbeBerberis fremontiiFremont barberry0.3910/9
53BerbeBerberis repenscreeping barberry0.120/5
54BetulOstrya knowltoniiKnowlton hop hornbeam0.8630/9
55Borag~Cryptantha gracilisslender cryptantha0.3720/3
56BoragCryptantha pterocaryawing-nut cryptantha3.75x/
57BoragLappula occidentalis var. occidentalisflatspine stickseed0.1630/9
58BoragPhacelia filiformisnarrow phacelia1.9520/3
59BoragPhacelia laxifloranodding scorpionflower3.59iN/1
60BrassAlyssum simplex*wild alyssum0.8iN/1
61BrassBoechera perennansperennial rock-cress040/9
62BrassCapsella bursa-pastorisshepherd's purse0.2310/3
63BrassChorispora tenella*crossflower099/9
64BrassDescurainia sophia*herb sophia099/9
65BrassErysimum capitatum var. purshiiwallflower0.265/3
66BrassLepidium densiflorumcommon pepper-grass05/1
67BrassLepidium drabawhitetop (removed by GC)2.4220/1
68BrassLepidium lasiocarpum var. lasiocarpumhairy-podded pepper-grass2.520/5
69BrassLepidium montanummountain pepper-grass-7/2
70BrassLepidium perfoliatum*Klamath pepper-grass0.0499/9
71BrassNasturtium officinalewater cress4.66iN/
72BrassNoccaea fendleriwild candytuft0.588/3
73BrassPhysaria purpurearose bladderpod3.1230/7
74BrassSisymbrium irio*London rocket0.0610/3
75BrassThelypodium wrightiiWright's thelypody010/3
76CactaEchinocereus triglochidiatusclaret cup0.54/
77CactaOpuntia basilaris var. longiareolataGrand Canyon beavertail3.62iN/1
78CactaOpuntia engelmannii var. engelmanniiEngelmann prickly-pear2.69iN/4
79CactaOpuntia phaeacanthadesert prickly-pear0.445/5
80CactaOpuntia polyacantha var. erinaceaMojave prickly-pear1.63/3
81CannaCeltis reticulatanetleaf hackberry3.071/1
82Capri~Sambucus ceruleablue elderberry0.61/1
83CapriSymphoricarpos rotundifoliussnowberry099/9
84CrossGlossopetalon spinescens var. aridumspiny greasebush0.820/9
85EuphoBernardia incanawestern bernardia-4/3
86FabacAstragalus calycosusTorrey's milkvetch2.910/1
87FabacAstragalus lentiginosus var. diphysusfreckled milk-vetch0.391/1
88FabacCercis orbiculatawestern redbud1.583/3
89FabacLathyrus brachycalyx ssp. zionisbush peavine2.912/1
90FabacMedicago sativaalfalfa0.221/1
91FabacSenegalia greggiicatclaw4.0250/3
92FagacQuercus gambeliiGambel oak050/9
93FagacQuercus turbinellashrub live oak2.6410/2
94GrossRibes cereum var. pedicellarewhisky currant099/9
95GrossRibes leptanthumtrumpet gooseberry1.1250/9
96GrossRibes velutinumdesert gooseberry099/9
97HydraFendlera rupicolaFendler bush0.5140/9
98HydraFendlerella utahensisUtah fendlerbush0.251/1
99LamiaHedeoma drummondiiDrummond's false pennyroyal0.31/1
100LamiaMarrubium vulgare*horehound0.0220/5
101LamiaNepeta cataria*catnip0.0520/3
102MalvaMalva neglecta*common mallow010/2
103MalvaSphaeralcea grossulariifoliagooseberryleaf globemallow1.5150/9
104MalvaSphaeralcea parvifolialittleleaf globe mallow0.0230/9
105MontiClaytonia parviflora ssp. utahensisnarrow-leaved miner's lettuce1.2799/9
106Nycta~Mirabilis linearisnarrow-leaf four o'clock0.612/1
107NyctaMirabilis multifloragiant four o'clock2.0320/5
108NyctaMirabilis oxybaphoidessmooth spreading four o'clock050/9
109OleacFraxinus anomalasingle-leaf ash1.9310/5
110OleacFraxinus cuspidatafragrant ash1.4730/9
111OnagrChylismia multijugafroststem suncupIGV/
112PapavArgemone arizonicaArizona prickly poppy1.466/2
113PapavCorydalis aureascrambled eggs0.635/2
114PlantCastilleja chromosaMartin's paintbrush0.393/1
115PlantMaurandya antirrhiniflorasnapdragon vine3.193/2
116PlantPenstemon eatonii ssp. undosusEaton's penstemon0.5920/9
117PlantPenstemon palmeriPalmer's penstemon0.0510/2
118PlantPenstemon rostriflorusbeaked penstemon0.1610/5
119PlantPenstemon utahensisUtah penstemon1.9520/7
120PlantPlantago patagonicaPatagonia plantain3.6110/1
121PlantVerbascum thapsuscommon mullein1.642/1
122PolemGilia ophthalmoideseyed gilia1.952/2
123PolemPhlox austromontanasouthern mountain phlox0.6410/5
124PolemPhlox longifolialongleaf phlox3.5130/9
125PolygEriogonum inflatumdesert trumpet3.7210/1
126PolygEriogonum microthecum var. simpsoniiSimpson's buckwheat0.3350/9
127PolygspEriogonum sp.Buckwheat with terminal infl3.74x/
128PolygPolygonum arenastrum*knotweed05/2
129Polyg~Rumex crispuscurly dock0.721/1
130RanunCeratocephala testiculata*curveseed butterwort099/9
131RanunClematis ligusticifoliavirgin's bower0.985/2
132RanunDelphinium scaposumbarestem larkspur1.3310/5
133RanunThalictrum fendleriFendler's meadow-rue0.1655/9
134RhamnFrangula obovatabirchleaf buckthorn0.982/2
135RosacAmelanchier utahensisUtah service-berry099/9
136RosacChamaebatiaria millefoliumfern bush0.0320/9
137RosacColeogyne ramosissimablack brush2.4350/3
138RosacFallugia paradoxaApache plume3.725/2
139RosacHolodiscus dumosusshrubby cream bush0.5410/3
140RosacIvesia arizonica arizonicarock whitefeather0.2540/2
141RosacPetrophytum caespitosumrock spiraea3.1950/2
142RosacPurshia stansburyanacliffrose0.3620/9
143RubiaGalium aparinecommon bedstraw3.461/1
144RubiaGalium munzii ssp. ambivalensMunz's bedstraw0.340/9
145RubiaGalium wrightiiWright's bedstraw0.172/2
146RutacPtelea trifoliata ssp. pallidapallid hoptree0.2150/9
147RutacThamnosma montanaturpentine broom3.5113/3
148SalicPopulus fremontiiFremont cottonwood4.59iN/
149SalicSalix exiguanarrowleaf willow4.66iN/
150SantaArceuthobium divaricatumpinyon pine dwarf-mistletoe02/2
151SaxifHeuchera rubescenscoral bells0.37/4
152SolanDatura wrightiisacred datura2.74iN/2
153SolanSolanum elaeagnifoliumsilverleaf nightshade4.62iN/3
154VitacParthenocissus insertaVirginia creeper0.051/1
155VitacVitis arizonicaCanyon wild grape4.59iN/
156Amary~Allium bisceptrum var. palmeriAspen onion0.35/1
157AsparAgave utahensis var. kaibabensisKaibab century plant2.421/1
158AsparNolina microcarpasacahuista4.563/1
159AsparYucca baccatabanana yucca0.4345/9
160CyperCarex almasturdy sedgeIGV/
161CyperSchoenoplectus americanusAmerican tuleIGiN/1
162LiliaCalochortus flexuosuswinding mariposa3.6110/2
163PoaceAristida purpurea var. longisetared three-awn3.6110/2
164PoaceBouteloua curtipendulaside-oats grama3.5250/9
165PoaceBouteloua gracilisblue grama4.130/3
166PoaceBromus diandrus*ripgut brome2.0430/9
167PoaceBromus inermis*smooth brome0.4199/9
168PoaceBromus japonicus*Japanese chessIGiN/1
169PoaceBromus richardsoniifringed brome0.55/
170PoaceBromus rubens*red brome210/1
171PoaceBromus tectorum*downy brome099/9
172PoaceCynodon dactylon*Bermuda grass0.365/1
173PoaceElymus elymoidessquirreltail0.0530/9
174Poace?Elymus smithiiwestern wheatgrass1.423/1
175PoaceElymus trachycaulusslender wheatgrass0.0550/9
176Poace~Eriocoma aridaMormon needlegrass1.9920/5
177PoaceEriocoma hymenoidesIndian ricegrass0.3340/9
178Poace~Eriocoma parishiiParish needlegrass2.1820/9
179PoaceHesperostipa comataneedle & thread grass3.0110/2
180PoaceHilaria jamesiiJames' galleta1.951/1
181PoaceHordeum jubatumsquirreltail barley1.58iN/1
182PoaceHordeum murinum*foxtail barley0.0399/9
183PoaceLolium arundinaceum*tall fescueIGV/
184PoaceMuhlenbergia porteribush muhly2.0510/2
185PoacePappostipa speciosadesert needlegrass2.45iN/1
186PoacePhragmites australiscommon reed4.59iN/
187PoacePoa annua*annual blue grass0.261/1
188PoacePoa fendlerianamutton grass0.0999/9
189PoaceSporobolus cryptandrussand dropseed0.4110/1


We thank all the many people who went to the time and trouble to collect vouchers for this area, so that the species list here could be compiled. That species list from the vouchers was an immense help in getting species determinations from our surveys. We specifically thank Wendy Hodgson and Glenn Rink for their voucher collection efforts, and for their direct help in getting correct determinations for some of the species we observed.

We thank Lori Makarick, the Vegetation Program Manager at Grand Canyon National Park, for creating and maintaining a spreadsheet of all the species in Grand Canyon National Park. That spreadsheet was instrumental for this project.

We thank Don Rideout for help with the field work on 26 and 27 September 2022.

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Copyright © 2019-2022 by Tom Chester, Anne Kelly, Arnie Peterson, Ash Bedford, Dave Stith, Kate Watters, Lauren Berutich and Brendon Crill.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
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Last Update: 10 September 2022