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Native Plant Information

The area that makes up Scottsdale is home to an abundant and diverse collection of desert plant species; many of which are unique to the region. The City of Scottsdale has determined that the presence of these unique natural resources contributes to the aesthetic and economic well-being of the community. As part of its continuing efforts towards protecting large cacti and trees indigenous to the area, the City of Scottsdale adopted the Native Plant Ordinance (City Code, Chapter 46 links to external site , Article V) which applies city-wide. Protecting native plants also applies to both natural desert and landscaped areas.

Native vegetation requires less water and maintenance than nonindigenous plant materials. In most cases, salvaging existing plant material is more economical and achieves a natural desert appearance in a shorter amount of time.

Many desert trees and cacti are slow-growing and can take decades to reach maturity. Therefore, leaving such plants in place or salvaging them for incorporation into landscaping is beneficial both from a financial and feasible point-of-view. Native vegetation within the specified size requirements enhances the city’s aesthetic appeal by conserving the mature desert habitat and providing unique scenic opportunities.

Any project which affects plants from the specified list is required to submit a native plant program detailing the existing location and proposed treatment of each protected plant impacted. Protected plants should, at the most optimal situation, remain in place. Those plants that must be moved are required to be salvaged unless the applicant can demonstrate how conditions such as poor health or orientation make successful relocation impossible. Salvaged plants are to be replanted within the project.


Native Plant Ordinance Thumbnail       invasive weeds thumbnail



Native Plant Permit Submittal Requirements  (PDF)
Application and Narrative  (PDF)
Native Plant Tracking Form (PDF)
Inspection Process
Salvage Contractor List (PDF)
Arizona Protected Native Plant List  links to external site   to find the "Notice of Intent to Clear Land"



NAOS Guide Thumbnail 

What is NAOS?
Environmentally Sensitive Lands
Protected Native Plants
Indigenous/Desert Appropriate Plants for ESL