Joshua Tree National Park // (c) 2011 Nicola / Flickr.com
Joshua Tree National Park // (c) 2011 Nicola / Flickr.com

Which distinctive tree, also the name of a national park, was once called “the most repulsive tree in the vegetable kingdom?”

Joshua Tree National Park // (c) 2011 Nicola / Flickr.com
Joshua Tree National Park // (c) 2011 Nicola / Flickr.com

The Joshua tree, the distinctively shaped member of the agave family, located in Joshua Tree National Park, received its most-repulsive designation from noted explorer John C. Fremont during the mid 1800s. Later, according to legend, Mormon pioneers were believed to have named the plant after the prophet Joshua, because it resembled his upstretched arms pointing them to the promised land.

Joshua Tree National Park was first established as a national monument in 1936 and achieved national park status in 1994. The park protects a distinctive region of the California Desert, including a transition between the Colorado and Mojave Deserts.

The Colorado buy valtrex no prescription Desert, where creosote bush, ocotillo, and palo verde dominate, occupies the eastern portion of the park. The higher-in-elevation Mojave Desert makes up the western half. The Joshua tree is a critical component of the Mojave Desert ecosystem and provides habitat for birds, mammals, insects, and lizards.

Park wildlife includes the desert tortoise, rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep, golden eagles, desert iguanas, roadrunners, and a variety of other species uniquely suited to desert living.

The park is recognized worldwide as a rock climbing destination, with more than 4,500 established climbing routes concentrated within approximately 100,000 acres of land. During wet years, the park puts on a vivid display of spring wildflowers.

Some 1.2 million visitors enter Joshua Tree National Park every year

History of the Joshua Tree
www.nps.gov/jotr/