Desert Plants is a unique botanical journal published by The University of Arizona for Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum. This journal is devoted to encouraging the appreciation of indigenous and adapted arid land plants. Desert Plants publishes a variety of manuscripts intended for amateur and professional desert plant enthusiasts. A few of the diverse topics covered include desert horticulture, landscape architecture, desert ecology, and history. First published in 1979, Desert Plants is currently published biannually with issues in June and December.

Digital access to this material is made possible by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum, and the University Libraries at the University of Arizona.


Contact Desert Plants at DesertPlants@cals.arizona.edu.

Table of Contents

Recent Submissions

  • Crassulacean Acid Metabolism

    University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1984
  • New Plant Records from the Sonoran Desert

    Yatskievych, George; Fischer, Pierre C.; Department of Biology, Indiana University (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1984)
    The vegetation and flora of the Sonoran Desert are among the most thoroughly documented of the arid portions of North America. The climate and relative accessibility of the area have attracted many botanists and the landmark studies resulting from their efforts, too numerous to list here (see Shreve and Wiggins 1964, and Kearney and Peebles 1960 for partial bibliographies) are a testament to their achievements. In an area covering over 310,000 square km (Shreve 1951) it is not, however, surprising that some less-known localities should exist, which might harbor plant species not previously known to exist there. For example, H.S. Gentry (1972) described two very distinctive Sonoran Desert species of Agave (A. zebra and A. pelona) from localities in the mountains near the Gulf of California. The plant records reported here were encountered during visits to observe these endemic century plants in a small range of mountains, the Sierra del Viejo.
  • The Acanthaceae of the Southwestern United States

    Daniel, Thomas F.; Department of Botany and Microbiology, Arizona State University (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1984)
    The predominantly tropical family Acanthaceae are represented in the southwestern United States by 25 species in 11 genera. Within this region, species of Acanthaceae are found primarily in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Desert regions. Name changes, changes in taxonomic status, and range extensions update the treatments of Acanthaceae in state floras which cover the region. In addition, six species not previously included in state floristic manuals are documented from the Southwest. Keys to and descriptions of each genus and species are provided. Information on synonymy, distribution, habitat preference, and phenology of each species is also given.
  • A Classification of Life Forms of the Sonoran Desert, With Emphasis on the Seed Plants and Their Survival Strategies

    Crosswhite, Frank S.; Crosswhite, Carol D.; Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1984)
    Taxonomists have published large numbers of scientific articles, monographs and books attempting to classify the creatures which live on earth. Paradoxically, although form (morphology) has been the criterion most widely used by taxonomists to separate the various types of life (creatures) one from the other to produce classification schemes, relatively little attention has been devoted to classifying "life forms" per se. Perhaps this has resulted from a tendency to emphasize phylogenetic reconstruction in preference to the importance of form in relation to function in life. Indeed taxonomists have traditionally studied preserved (dead) specimens from which it can be notoriously difficult to make interpretations relating to functional adaptations. The classification of life forms is only superficially taxonomic. To classify them it is necessary to understand them. To understand them we need to know about their physiological ecology.
  • Editorial - Life Forms of Desert Plants

    Crosswhite, Frank S.; Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1984)
  • Desert Plants, Volume 5, Number 4 (Winter 1984)

    University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1984