Flora of Sierra County
With its varied life zones or ecosystems the landscape and roadsides of Sierra County offer wonderful opportunities to enjoy the native flora of the Southwest. The riparian areas along the Rio Grande are heavily vegetated with cottonwood,
salt cedar, Russian olive and willow. In the grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert, creosote bush, sage, chaparral, mesquite, many types of cactus, agaves, yuccas and ocotillo are some of the more commonly seen plants. The woodlands and foothills in the western part of the county are dotted with pinon and juniper, characteristic of the flora at this altitude (5,000' - 7000'). Further west and higher in elevation (7,000' - 8500') are the coniferous forests of the Black Range Mountains. Ponderosa pine, alligator juniper, spruce and fir, and oak and aspen are plentiful in this rugged land. An altitude gain of over 6,000 feet within the county provides habitat for a wide variety of native plants to flourish.