Pinus ponderosa - Pinus ponderosa, commonly known as the ponderosa pine is a very large pine (evergreen) tree species of variable habitat native to mountainous regions of western North America. It is the most widely distributed pine species in North America. In Arizona, it predominates on the Mogollon Rim and is scattered on the Mogollon Plateau and on mid-height peaks in Arizona and New Mexico. The Payson, Pine-Strawberry and Christopher Creek Communities sit among the largest stand of ponderosa pine trees in the world.
Juniperus deppeana - is a small to medium-sized tree reaching 10–15 m (rarely to 25 m) tall. It is native to central and northern Mexico (from Oaxaca northward) and the southwestern United States (Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas). It grows at moderate altitudes of 750–2,700 meters (2,460–8,860 ft) on dry soils. Locally it is generally found throughout the lower elevations of Rim Country including Payson.
Rocky Mountain Juniper
Juniperus scopulorum - is a species of juniper native to western North America, in Canada in British Columbia and southwest Alberta, in the United States from Washington east to North Dakota, south to Arizona and also locally western Texas, and northernmost Mexico from Sonora east to Coahuila. It grows at altitudes of 500–2,700 metres (1,600–8,900 ft) on dry soils, often together with other juniper species. You will spot Rocky Mountain Juniper in the Town of Payson and the Surrounding area. "Scopulorum" means "of the mountains
Juniperus osteosperma - is a shrub or small tree reaching 3–6 m (rarely to 9 m) tall. It is native to the southwestern United States, in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, western New Mexico, western Colorado, Wyoming, southern Montana, southern Idaho and eastern California. It grows at moderate altitudes of 1,300–2,600 metres (4,300–8,500 ft), on dry soils, often together with Pinus monophylla. Utah Juniper can be found in the Town of Payson and areas around Rim Country.
Pinus edulis - The piñon pine (Pinus edulis) is a small to medium size tree, reaching 10–20 metres (33–66 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 80 centimetres (31 in), rarely more. The bark is irregularly furrowed and scaly. The leaves ('needles') are in pairs, moderately stout, 3–5.5 cm (1 1⁄8–2 1⁄8 in) long, and green, with stomata on both inner and outer surfaces but distinctly more on the inner surface forming a whitish band. Pinion pines can be found in Payson and the surrounding area mixed often mixed with juniper.
Fragaria virginiana - The fruit of the wild strawberry is smaller than that of the garden strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa). Botanically, the fruit is classified as an aggregate accessory fruit, but it is commonly called a berry. The town of Strawberry, Arizona was originally named for the abundance of wild strawberries. Although less common, patches of wild strawberries still exist in the forest surrounding Payson, Arizona.
What distinguishes the blackberry from its raspberry relatives is whether or not the torus (receptacle or stem) "picks with" (i.e., stays with) the fruit. When picking a blackberry fruit, the torus stays with the fruit. With a raspberry, the torus remains on the plant, leaving a hollow core in the raspberry fruit. Wild blackberries are abundant along the creeks that run down the Mogollon Rim north and east of Payson.
Rasberries are found along the streams located north and east of Payson. They start to appear in the mid to late summer.
Arizona White Oak
Uercus arizonica - The Arizona white oak is one of the largest southwestern oaks. This tree may grow up to 60 ft (18 meters) with a trunk diameter of 3.3 ft (1 meter). It has fat branches and a spreading crown with thick leaves. The thick leaves are about 3.2 inches (8 cm) long and evergreen. It grows very slowly once it has become mature, approximately 0.1 inches per year in diameter. The Arizona White Oak is tolerant to both heat and cold and can be found in the areas surrounding Payson.
Quercus gambelii - Quercus gambelii, with the common name Gambel oak, is a deciduous small tree or large shrub that is widespread in the foothills and lower mountain elevations of western North America. It is also regionally called scrub oak, oak brush, and white oak. Gambel Oak can be found in Payson and the surrounding area.
Quercus emoryi - is a species of oak common in Arizona (including inside Saguaro National Park), New Mexico and western Texas (including inside Big Bend National Park), United States, and northern Mexico (Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila (including Parque Nacional Maderas del Carmen), Durango, Nuevo León, and San Luis Potosí). It typically grows in dry hills at moderate altitudes and can be found in Payson and the surrounding areas.
Platanus wrightii - The Arizona sycamore is a tree of central Arizona's transition zone in the Mogollon Rim–White Mountains. The tree is a large deciduous tree, growing up to 82 ft (25 m) and can be found in Payson and the surrounding areas.
Boxelder (Ashleaf Maple)
Acer negundo - Acer negundo is a usually fast-growing and fairly short-lived tree that grows up to 10–25 m (35–80 ft) tall, with a trunk diameter of 30–50 cm (12–20 in)}, rarely up to 1 m (3.3 ft)} diameter. It often has several trunks and can form impenetrable thickets. The typical lifespan of box elder is only 60 years. Under exceptionally favorable conditions, it may live to 100 years. Boxelder can be found in Payson and the surrounding Rim Country area.
Single Leaf Ash
Fraxinnus anomala - Fraxinus anomala is a deciduous shrub or small tree approaching maximum heights of five to six meters. The leaf may be simple or it may be compound, composed of up to five leaflets which look like individual leaves. Each leaflet is oval-shaped to round and may have teeth along the edges.
The nondescript brownish flowers lack petals. The fruit is a flat samara up to two centimeters long and one wide, green when young and tan to brown when mature. The samaras hang in bunches. In Arizona, single leaf ash is found along the Arizona transition zone of the Mogollon Rim around Payson.
Salix amygdaloides - It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree, growing to 4–20 m (13–66 ft) tall; besides the cottonwoods, it is the largest tree native to the prairies. It has a single trunk, or sometimes several shorter trunks. The peachleaf willow grows very quickly, but is short-lived and can be found in Payson and the surrounding area.
Salix gooddingii - is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it grows in moist and wet habitat in many types of habitat from mountains to desert. It is a common riparian species. It is a tree growing to 3 to 30 m (9.8 to 98.4 ft) tall, with thick, furrowed, shreddy bark and many thin branches. The leaves are up to 13 cm long, generally lance-shaped, and finely serrated along the edges. The young leaves are coated in hairs. It can be found in the areas surrounding Payson.
Vitis arizonica - Vitis arizonica is in the same genus as the commercial, production, wine vineyards. The grapes are eagerly consumed by birds and small and large mammals including bears raccoons. The fleshy grapes are relished by birds, small mammals, and humans, in spite of the large seeds. In Arizona it is found throughout the state in preferred elevations including Payson and the surrounding Rim Country area.
The Saguaro Cactus
The saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the defining plants of the Sonoran Desert. These plants are large, tree-like columnar cacti that develop branches (or arms) as they age, although some never grow arms. These arms generally bend upward and can number over 25.
Saguaros are covered with protective spines, white flowers in the late spring, and red fruit in summer. These Saguaros occur in Rim Country in the lower elevations of the Tonto Basin region below Payson, Arizona near Roosevelt Lake.
Rocky Mountain Maple
Acer Glabrum- is a small tree growing to 10 metres (33 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 20–30 centimetres (7.9–11.8 in) diameter. The leaves are 2–10 centimetres (0.79–3.94 in) broad, three-lobed (rarely five-lobed), variable in the depth of lobing, occasionally so deeply lobed as to be divided into three leaflets; the lobes have an acute apex and a coarsely serrated margin.
The flowers are produced in corymbs of five to ten, yellowish-green, at the same time as the new leaves in spring. The fruit is a samara or winged seed. Rocky Mountain Maple can be found in Payson and the surrounding Gila Country wilderness.
Cerocarpus ledifolius- is a North American species of mountain mahogany known by the common name curl-leaf mountain mahogany. It widespread across much of the Western United States as well as Baja California in Mexico. It can be found in Payson and the surrounding area.
New Mexican Locust
Robinia Neomexicana - grows to 5–10 m tall (rarely to 15 m) with bristly shoots. The leaves are 10–15 cm long, pinnate with 7–15 leaflets; they have a pair of sharp, reddish-brown thorns at the base. The flowers are showy and white or pink, and considered fragrant. Blooms are produced in spring or early summer in dense racemes 5–10 cm long that hang from the branches near the ends. The fruits are brown bean-like pods with bristles like those on the shoots. It can be found in Payson and the surrounding area.
Arctosaphylos pungens - is an erect, spreading shrub growing to heights between one and three meters. It has smooth red bark. Its smaller twigs and new leaves are lightly woolly. Mature leaves are leathery, shiny and green, oval to widely lance-shaped, and up to 4 centimeters long. The inflorescence is a spherical cluster of urn-shaped manzanita flowers. The fruit is a drupe 5 to 8 millimeters wide. Manzanita can be found in Payson and the surrounding area.
Cercis Occidentalis - the western redbud or California redbud (syn. Cercis orbiculata — Greene), is a small tree or shrub in the legume family. It is found across the American Southwest, from California to Utah and Arizona. It is easily recognized when it is in bloom from March to May, when it is covered with small pink to purple flowers and can be found in Payson and the surrounding rim country area.
Eriodictyon angustifolium - has toothed leaves, about 10 centimeters in length, that are sticky above and hairy below. The white, five-petaled flowers are in bloom in June &/or July. The plant is native to pinyon-juniper Woodland habits of western North American deserts and can be found in the area around Payson.
Celtis reticulata - Celtis reticulata usually grows to a small-sized tree, twenty to thirty feet (6 to 10 m) in height and mature at six to ten inches (15 to 25 cm) in diameter, although some individuals are known up to 70 feet high. It is often scraggly, stunted or even a large bush. It grows at elevations from 500–1,700 metres (1,600–5,600 ft) and can be found in Payson and the surrounding area.
Acacia greggii - It is a large shrub or small tree growing to 10–15 m (33–49 ft) tall with a trunk up to 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in) diameter. The grey-green leaves are deciduous, and bipinnate, divided into 1-3 pairs of pinnae. Catclaw has numerous hooked prickles with the shape and size of a cat's claw, that tend to hook onto passers-by. It can be found in Payson and the surrounding area.
Quercus turbinella - is a shrub growing 2–5 meters (6.6–16.4 ft) in height but sometimes becoming treelike and exceeding 6 meters (20 feet). The branches are gray or brown, the twigs often coated in short woolly fibers when young and becoming scaly with age. The thick, leathery evergreen leaves are up to 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) long by 2 cm (0.79 in) wide and are edged with large, spine-tipped teeth. They are gray-green to yellowish in color and waxy in texture on the upper surfaces, and yellowish and hairy or woolly and glandular on the lower surfaces. Scrub oak can be found in Payson and the surrounding area.
Opuntia phaeacantha - Opuntia phaeacantha is a species of prickly pear cactus known by the common names tulip prickly pear and desert prickly pear found across the southwestern United States, lower Great Plains, and northern Mexico. The plant forms dense but localized thickets. Prickly pear can be found in the area surrounding Payson.
Yucca baccata - The species gets its common name "banana yucca" from its banana-shaped fruit. The specific epithet "baccata" means 'with berries'. Banana yucca is closely related to the Mojave yucca (Y. schidigera), with which it is interspersed where their ranges overlap; hybrids between them occur. Yucca baccata is recognized by having leaves 30–100 cm long with more of a blue-green color, and short or nonexistent trunks.
It flowers in the spring, starting in April to July depending on locality (altitude), and the flowers range from 5 to 13 cm long, white to cream with purple shades. The flower stalk is not especially tall, typically 1–1.5 meters. Yucca can occur in the area surrounding Payson.
Verbena gooddingii - is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family known by the common name southwestern mock vervain. It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it occurs in sandy and rocky desert habitat.
It is a perennial herb producing several hairy, decumbent to erect stems up to 45 centimeters long. The hairy leaves are generally divided at the base into a few lobes, which are edged with large teeth or small lobes. Verbana can be found in the areas surrounding Payson.
Verbascum blattaria - It is a hairy biennial plant that can grow to 2 m tall or more. Its small, yellow flowers are densely grouped on a tall stem, which grows from a large rosette of leaves. It grows in a wide variety of habitats, but prefers well-lit, disturbed soils, where it can appear soon after the ground receives light, from long-lived seeds that persist in the soil seed bank.
It is a common weedy plant that spreads by prolifically producing seeds. It occurs in Payson and the surrounding Rim Country area.
Cowmania Mexicana - Common along cliffs (Cliffrose), in dry slopes, mesas and foothills, especially in pinyon-juniper communities, often in limestone. Cliffrose can be found in the area surrounding Payson.
Dasylirion wheeleri - Dasylirion wheeleri is a moderate to slow-growing evergreen shrub with a single unbranched trunk up to 40 cm (16 in) thick growing to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) tall, though often recumbent on the ground. The leaf blade is slender, 35–100 cm long, gray-green, with a toothed margin.
The leaves radiate from the center of the plant's apex in all directions (spherical). The alcoholic drink sotol, the northern cousin to tequila and mezcal, is made from the fermented inner cores of the desert spoon. It is the state drink of the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Durango, and Coahuila. It can be found in the areas surrounding Payson such as Tonto Basin.
Avagve parri - Agave parryi, known as Parry's agave or mescal agave, is a flowering plant in the family Asparagaceae. It is a slow-growing succulent perennial native to Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. It can be found in the areas surrounding Payson.