This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Mr. J. C. Lemmon gives the following very interesting sketch to the California Academy of Sciences :
"Arizona Territory comprises a large cross-section of that broad interior region between the Rockies and the Nevadas that is often miscalled the Great Basin. This region is characterized by areas of desert land, so-called, undulating plains of white or reddish sand, sparsely dotted with shrubs such as creosote bush, mesquite, palo verde, acacia, etc., plants that thrive with little water and that love the sun. Also, this is the home, par excellence, of the cacti, of all forms and sizes from the little pincushion to the large and stately tree cactus.
"Rising out of these plains are bald mountains of many hues and shapes in accordance with their rock composition. Some of these mountains are disposed in long parallel chains, especially those in the north end of the Great Basin, and mostly included in the State of Nevada. Southward in Arizona the mountains are generally so deeply submerged with sand and gravel, the bed of a recent vast inland sea, that only a few of the most elevated peaks remain uncovered. These peaks are thus more or less isolated and separated by wide stretches of arid desert, and this isolation inevitably leads to the production of peculiarities of its products, especially to differentiation and varieties of floral objects. As most of these mountains are not high and are but a few miles in circuit, with no living springs in them, their flora is limited to dry-weather vegetation and such annuals as are nourished by the rains and coolness of a short winter and the few days of rainy season in mid-summer. It will be many years before botanical exploration on this coast will be conducted so thoroughly as to comprise a complete knowledge of all the peculiar plants that are annually spreading their petals to the sun on those lonely mountains and telling to the untutored aborigines the story of their mysterious origin, and revealing to his dull eyes the beauty of their peculiar forms.
"Other higher mountains are usually found disposed in chains of several miles in length.
"These chains are the more distinct vestiges of great submerged ranges that traverse the whole region parallel with the great Rocky and Nevada ranges. These high chains are often of considerable breadth, and their outlying peaks frequently enclose valleys of great fertility, which are usually well forested on the north slopes as well as on the floors of the valleys, if high enough to be cool and well watered. In fact some most delightful parks have been discovered, almost inaccessible, fenced round with bristling peaks and upheld close to the sky and the stars.
"It is in these alpine valleys and slopes that most of the new things are found, the descriptions of which are fast appearing in botanical journals at the East.
"As stated in a former paragraph, many of the trees of our great Sierra and coast ranges are found also on the highest mountains of Arizona. In several localities lumber factories have been in operation for years. An especially rich valley of pine timber is located in the Chirricahua Mountains, utilized by a large factory, which for years has supplied the market of Tombstone.
"Large plateaus of good timber are crossed by the line of the Atlantic & Pacific R. R., near the middle of Arizona, on the parallel of 35°.
"These forests are composed principally of Pinus ponderosa, Douglas Spruce and White Fir, with several species of Oak. Among these trees, or apart from them, on the highest peaks are found the rare and little known trees to be described".