Vegetation Inventory and Map for Mesa Verde National Park

cliff palace
Cliff Palace

NPS Photo


Over 640 species of plants occur in Mesa Verde National Park. These include approximately 556 species of vascular plants, 75 species of fungi, 21 species of moss, and 151 species of lichen. In addition, a number of rare endemic species occur in Mesa Verde that are found nowhere else, some rated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program as Critically Imperiled Globally. Endemics include Cliff Palace milkvetch, Schmoll’s milkvetch, Mesa Verde wandering aletes, and Mesa Verde stickseed. There are also about 80 species of non-native plants that have invaded the park, some of which have been classified as invasive, noxious weeds which, by law, means they must be controlled.

The Mesa Verde National Park Vegetation Inventory Project delivers many geospatial and vegetation data products, including an in-depth project report discussing methods and results, which include descriptions to vegetation associations, field keys to vegetation associations, map classification, and map-class descriptions. The suite of products also includes a database of vegetation plots, and accuracy assessment (AA) sites; digital images of field sites; digital aerial imagery; digital maps; a contingency table listing AA results; and a geodatabase of vegetation, field sites (vegetation plots, and AA sites), aerial imagery, project boundary, and metadata.


The products of vegetation mapping projects are stored and managed in the National Park Service's Data Store, a repository for documents and publications relating to park resources. From the highlighted items below, click on the type of information you are looking for.

Last updated: October 18, 2018