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Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
 
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
Deadman Canyon, Desert National Wildlife Range.

Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)

Non-technical Description: A forest of short (usually less than 20-feet tall) evergreen trees mixed with a variety of desert and upland shrubs or open grasslands on the lower slopes of mountains.

The Pinyon-Juniper Woodland association is found in mountains ranges at elevations of about 5,500 to 7,500 feet where average precipitation exceeds 8 inches. The vegetation in this life zone is dominated by two species of conifers: pinyon pine trees (Pinus spp.) and juniper trees (Juniperus spp.). In the Las Vegas region, there are two species of Pinyon Pine and several species of Juniper.

Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Wildrose Peak, Panamint Range, Death Valley

In the mountains immediately around Las Vegas, the only pinyon is Singleleaf Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla). In the Zion and Grand Canyon region, the pinyon is Two-needle Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis).

In the mountains immediately around Las Vegas, there are several species of juniper. The most common species is Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma). Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) can be found in the Spring Mountains (Mt. Charleston), Sheep Range, and the Virgin Mountains. California Juniper (Juniperus californica) occurs in some of the mountain ranges south of Las Vegas (Newberry and South McCullough mountains) and east of Las Vegas in the Virgin Mountains, and One-Seed Juniper (Juniperus monosperma) can be found north of Las Vegas.

Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Red Rock Wash north of Willow Springs Picnic Area

Common shrubs in Pinyon-Juniper Woodland include Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramossissima), bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.), Cliffrose (Cowania mexicana), Shrub Live Oak (Quercus turbinella), Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius), and Manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.). At higher elevations, Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) becomes common. Bunchgrasses can be common.

Several types of cactus are common Pinyon-Juniper Woodland. Cholla (Cylindropuntia spp.) and Pricklypear (Opuntia spp.) can be quite common, Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus spp.) can also be locally abundant, and tiny Pincushion Cactus (Escobaria) can be occasionally found.

Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Near Mid Hills Campground, Mojave National Preserve
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Icebox Canyon Trail, Red Rock Canyon NCA
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
South McCullough Wilderness Area
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
South McCullough Wilderness Area
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Desert National Wildlife Range; Sheep Peak
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Desert National Wildlife Range; Sheep Range
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Desert National Wildlife Range; Sheep Range
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Desert National Wildlife Range; Sheep Range
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Desert National Wildlife Range; Sheep Range
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Desert National Wildlife Range; Sheep Range
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Desert National Wildlife Range; Sheep Range
Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (Upper Sonoran Life Zone)
Desert National Wildlife Range; Sheep Range

 
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 101108

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