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The Grand Canyon's isolation, great elevational range, and position at the convergence of three North American deserts - the Mojave, Sonoran, and Great Basin - have created unique habitats for an unusual assemblage of plants. Some grow only at seeps and springs, others emerge from cracks in the bedrock, and some live only in the Grand Canyon - for example, Roaring Springs prickly poppy and Grand Canyon flaveria.
River and Desert Plants of the Grand Canyon, the first comprehensive field guide devoted to plants that live below the canyon rims, is bursting with beautiful colour photographs and detailed line drawings of more than 250 ferns, grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees. Narratives organized by life form and common family name describe each plant and its natural history, and thumbnail photographs arranged by flower colour and shape offer a key for easy identification. Essays by contributing experts explore such topics as Grand Canyon ecology, desert-plant adaptations, biological soil crusts, plant pollination, invasive species, and domesticated plants of the canyon's indigenous people.