Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Plant Types

Plants can be described in various ways. This site separates plants into six types, based on growth form.

Grasses
Illustration of grass plant type as described below
Grasses have a main stem with a sheath and leaves wrapping around the stem below. Their leaves have parallel veins. Growth pattern is alternate (leaves staggered on the stem) or basal.
Brush
Illustration of brush plant type as described below
Also called shrubs, plants in this category are woody and are usually multi-stemmed and less than 16 feet tall (with some exceptions). They have shallower roots than trees.
Vines
Illustration of vines plant type as described below
A twining or climbing plant with relatively long stems, vines grow on something, with tendrils. May have prominent flowers. Can be woody or herbaceous.
Forbs
Illustration of forbs plant type as described below
Often called "weeds," forbs usually have a non-woody stem (easily bent) and prominent flowers. They may be annual, biennial, or perennial. They can have single or multiple stems or grow in a basal pattern, meaning all growth comes from the base.
Cacti
Illustration of cacti plant type as described below
Stems of cacti are thick and succulent, sometimes forming pads. Leaves are reduced to spines and barbs and grouped in definite clusters on the stem. Different species have many differently colored flowers.
Trees
Illustration of trees plant type as described below
Trees are woody and have bark. They usually have a single trunk (with some exceptions) and taproots. Different species have different shapes and kinds of leaves, such as needles, evergreen leaves, or deciduous leaves.

Copyright 2018 New Mexico State University. Individual photographers retain all rights to their images. Partially funded by the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (westernsare.org; 435.797.2257), project EW15-023. Programs and projects supported by Western SARE are equally open to all people. NMSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action educator and employer.