Northwestern Arizona is a place that is not typically on the radar of cactus and succulent enthusiasts, although the diversity of the region is fairly high with at least 40 to 45 different taxa. On most maps showing human-created features, the region registers as a blank space, with relatively few towns and roads. This does not mean the area is devoid of beautiful scenery and fascinating plants, some of which are endemic. It is in NW Arizona that the ecological transition zone between three of America's major desert regions occurs - the Sonoran, the Mojave, and the Great Basin/Colorado Plateau all converge here, and each one contributes unique elements to the flora of the area. This program will feature the majority of the succulents to be found in this diverse and strikingly beautiful, less-traveled region of our great southwestern deserts.
Jan Emming lives in the small town of Yucca, located in the far northwestern reaches of Arizona where the Mojave Desert intergrades naturally with the Sonoran Desert. In 1999 he started Destination:Forever Ranch and Gardens, a combination botanical collection and sustainable-living experiment on 40 acres set in the southwestern foothills of the Hualapai mountain range. After 11 years of work, Jan is about ready to complete his first residential structure, a 600-square foot guest house, and move permanently onto the D:F Ranch property for the first time. He has learned that cows will not eat papercrete. He also expects that major progress can finally be made on the horticultural aspects of the property and gardens, since living there full-time will finally enable him to deal adequately with the legions of gnawing rodents that inhabit the wilderness, causing tremendous plant mortality unless closely monitored. In the desert, it seems that everything is always looking for a meal.
If you want to attend an excellent program from one of our Mojave County members and hear about Arizona's northwestern cacti and other succulents, please join us for this presentation. Also, your friends are welcome!