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

  • Vegetative Propagation of Key Southwestern Woody Riparian Species

    Pope, Dennis P.; Brock, John H.; Backhaus, Ralph A.; USDA Soil Conservation Service; Arizona State University (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    A series of laboratory and greenhouse experiments were designed with the objective of determining effective methods of vegetatively propagating selected woody riparian species for use in restoration of Southwestern riparian habitats. Cuttings from four major southwest riparian species including Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii), Goodding Willow (Salix gooddingii), Arizona Sycamore (Platanus wrightii), and Arizona Walnut (juglans major) were collected along the Gila River in western New Mexico. Propagation studies with hardwood and root cuttings were performed. Results from these studies determined that Fremont Cottonwood and Goodding Willow could be readily propagated from dormant stem cuttings. Nodal explants from the laboratory -grown Arizona walnut seedlings were tissue -cultured in order to develop a method to mass produce this difficult to propagate species. A nutrient and hormone solution was formulated that resulted in shoot proliferation of Arizona walnut explants in vitro.
  • Nutritional Composition of Desert Bighorn Sheep Forage in the Harquahala Mountains, Arizona

    Seegmiller, Rick F.; Krausman, Paul R.; Brown, William H.; Whiting, Frank M.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    Samples of 32 plant species (24 woody and succulent species, 5 grasses, 3 forbs) used by Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) in the Harquahala Mountains, Arizona were collected bimonthly in 1982. All samples were analyzed for dry matter, protein, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, lignin, cellulose, cell solubles, hemicellulose, ether extract, and ash. Woody and succulent plants had the highest protein levels (x̄ = 9.3% in September and October to 11.1% in January and February) followed by forbs and grass, respectively. Nutritional data are presented in tabular form as a reference source for wildlife biologists, range managers and scientists in related fields charged with managing Arizona's rangelands.
  • The Desert Marigold Moth

    Myles, Timothy G.; Binder, Bradley F.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    The moth Schinia miniana (Grote) of Lepidoptera family Noctuidae is reported on Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata) of plant family Compositae. Characteristics of the plant and the life history of the insect are discussed. Principal features of this plant-insect interaction are described and illustrated.
  • Forest Litter as a Seed Source in Coal Mine Reclamation in the Southwest

    Day, A. D.; Ludeke, K. L.; University of Arizona; Ludeke Corporation (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    Forest litter, a good source of organic matter and seeds, was applied on undisturbed soil and on coal mine soil (spoils) in experiments conducted on the Black Mesa Coal Mine near Kayenta, Arizona over a 2 -year period (1977 - 1978). Germination, seedling establishment, plant height, and ground cover were evaluated for two seeding treatments (forest litter and no forest litter) and two soil- moisture treatments (natural rainfall and natural rainfall plus irrigation). The forest litter was obtained at random from the Coconino National Forest, broadcast over the surface of the soil materials, and incorporated into the surface 5 cm of each soil material. Germination, seedling establishment, plant height, and ground cover on undisturbed soil and coal mine soil were higher when forest litter was applied than when it was not applied and when natural rainfall was supplemented with sprinkler irrigation than when rainfall was not supplemented with irrigation. Applications of forest litter and supplemental irrigation may insure successful establishment of vegetation on areas disturbed by open -pit coal mining.
  • Leaf Unfolding Rates and Responses to Cuticle Damaging for Pulque Agaves in Mexico

    García-Moya, Edmundo; Nobel, Park S.; Colegio de Postraduados; University of California (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    Agave mapisaga and A. salmiana, which are widely cultivated in central Mexico for the fermented beverage pulque, have 7 to 11 leaves unfolding annually per plant. Such leaves can be 2 m in length with dry weights exceeding 1 kg, leading to estimated aboveground productivities of 25 to 26 metric tons ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹. To prevent theft of the cuticle from folded leaves of A. salmiana, which is used to wrap meat for steam cooking (termed "mixiote"), the distal one-third of the central spike of folded leaves is often intentionally cut off, which unfortunately depresses leaf unfolding for the next two years. However, making small holes in the central spike, which also renders the cuticle unusable for mixiote, does not significantly reduce the rate of leaf unfolding.
  • The Pulse of the Nation: The Legume Badge of the Plantagenets

    Crosswhite, F. S.; Crosswhite, C. D. (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
  • Desert Plants of Use and Charm from Northern Chile

    Aronson, James; Missouri Botanical Garden (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    Following a brief introduction to the geography, geomorphology, and climatic conditions of the arid northern regions of Chile, 20 taxa of plants are described in terms of their botany, ecology, distribution, and current and past uses. Emphasis is placed on perennial legumes, some of which are being used in a new research and development project in Chile. Discussion is also made of possible pre-Colombian plant exchanges between northern Chile and the region east of the Andes.
  • A Mexican Curandera in Arizona

    Zavada, Michael S.; University of Southwestern Louisiana (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
  • Editorial - Wild Medicinal Plants

    Crosswhite, F. S.; Crosswhite, C. D. (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
  • Idria columnaris: Age as Determined by Growth Rate

    Humphrey, Robert R.; Humphrey, Alan B.; University of Arizona; University of Rhode Island (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
  • Desert Plants, Volume 10, Number 2 (1990)

    University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990