Flora of the Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico

TitleFlora of the Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1943
AuthorsLittle E.L., Campbell R.S.
Date Published1943
Keywordsflora, Jornada Experimental Range, specimen collection
AbstractVarious members of the Forest Service made a collection of specimens of 528 species of ferns and seed plants and a few lower plants at Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico during the twenty-five year period from 1915 to 1939. This local herbarium serves as a basis for analysis of the flora and vegetation of this representative semidesert area and has contributed several interesting state records and range extensions. Jornada Experimental Range is located in northeastern Dona Ana County with headquarters 23 miles north of Las Cruces. Occupying 302 square miles (193,394 acres), it is the largest experimental range in the United States. It lies at the southern end of Jornada del Muerto, a plain having a north-south extent of more than 100 miles. The Spanish name Jornada del Muerto means "the day's journey of the dead man" but is sometimes translated also as "journey of death." According to Wislizenus (1848), the name refers to an old tradition that the first person that attempted to cross the plain in one day perished. At this point, the banks of the Rio Grande become so rough and mountainous that early travelers going north to Santa Fe were forced to leave them and journey across the desolate, waterless plain a distance of 90 miles.