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.

Recent Submissions

  • Desert Plants, Volume 29, Number 1 (June 2013)

    Newton, Douglas R.; Arizona Native Plant Society (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2013-06)
    This study identifies the flora of the Eagletail Mountain Region, an area covering approximately 100,600 acres, located in west-central Arizona including the Eagletail Mountains, Granite Mountains, portions of the Harquahala Valley, and Cemetery Ridge near Clanton Well. The region is located 129 km (80 mi) west of Phoenix and 24 km (15 mi) south of Interstate 10. Plants were collected over a six-year period, beginning September, 2004 and ending May, 2010, including two wet winters and two wet summers. A total of702 collections were made covering 292 species that represented 63 families. Additional information on the region included in the thesis is: 1) an analysis of the climate, based on 20 years of rainfall records, 2) a prehistory and history identifying archeological sites, 3) an analysis of food plants used by the Native Americans that suggested how they were able to live in the region, 4) a paleo-botanical history based on an evaluation of pack-rat midden collections from mountain ranges around the region, 5) a comparison of the trees, shrubs, and perennials of the Eagletail Mountain Region with those of the Sierra Estrella and Kofa Mountains, and 6) a survey of non-native species. The habitats that the plants occupied based on climate and soils included were: 1) the bottoms and sides of sandy/ gravelly washes, 2) bajada slopes-volcanic soils, 3) bajada slopes-granitic sandy soils, 4) slot canyons/rock outcrops, 5) desert pavement, and 6) open valleys. Each habitat has its own characteristic species composition and distribution.