UTEP’s Chihuahan Desert Gardens showcases natural beauty of the region

Local News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The monsoonal showers have brought wildflowers, desert cotton and other plants to life that are reminding the Borderland of the natural beauty of the region.

UTEP’s Chihuahuan Desert Gardens were established in 1999 and certified as a Texas Wildscape site. The gardens boast more than 800 diverse plant species that are either native or adapted to the Chihuahuan Desert. The recent rain has reinvigorated many of the plant life at the gardens.

“It’s a variety of phenomena that we’re looking at,” said Dr. Kevin Floyd, Botanical Curator at the gardens. “We’re getting a lot of annuals and what I’ll call weeds for lack of a better term.”

Floyd explained that many plants have been living as seeds in anticipation of the end of a long drought period.

“It’s a pretty common strategy, especially in deserts where plants have this strategy to flower and set seed. Then, the seed just sits there and waits until the conditions are perfect for growing,” he said. 

Some of the most common plants thriving right now are amaranth or “pigweed.”

“It’s probably one of the more common ones people are seeing and gets to be three to four feet tall and has kind of a reddish tint to it,” said Floyd.

Floyd shared some photos of UTEP’s Chihuahuan Desert Gardens that you can see below.

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