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

  • Nutritional Composition of Desert Mule Deer Forage in the Picacho Mountains, Arizona

    Krausman, Paul R.; Ordway, Leonard L.; Whiting, Frank M.; Brown, William H.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    Nineteen forage species used by Desert Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) in the Picacho Mountains, Arizona were collected bimonthly in 1983 and analyzed for dry matter, protein fiber, lignin, ether extract, ash, cellulose, cell solubles, and hemicellulose. Results of the analyses are presented as a reference source for wildlife biologists, range managers, and others working with desert ecosystems.
  • Bouteloua eludens: Elusive Indeed, But Not Rare

    Reeder, John R.; Reeder, Charlotte G.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    Although considered to be rare and represented by only a few collections, the most recent in 1960, Bouteloua eludens Griffiths is shown to be relatively common in southern Arizona and in northern Sonora, Mexico. It has been known in Arizona only from the Santa Catalina and Santa Rita Mountains in Pima County, a few areas along Ruby Road in Santa Cruz County, and one collection from the northern end of the Whetstones in Cochise County. Recent field work has demonstrated that this species is by no means rare, but it is elusive. We found it, often in abundance, in all previously known sites. New localities for Bouteloua eludens are: Empire, Rincon, and Sierrita Mountains of Pima County; Dragoon, Mule, Swisshelm, south end of Whetstone Mountains, Tombstone Hills, and Guadalupe Canyon of Cochise County; the Canelo Hills, Mustang and Patagonia Mountains of Santa Cruz County.
  • Buckmoths (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae: Hemileuca) in Relation to Southwestern Vegetation and Foodplants

    Stone, Stephen E.; Smith, Michael J.; National Park Service; Nevada State Museum (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    A brief review of the American Southwest Hemileuca (Buckmoth) group is presented with a discussion of Southwestern biotic communities and habitats and the interrelationship of Buckmoths to these habitats. Food plants used by larvae of the various species in the specific habitats are reported together with photos showing larvae on associated food plants.
  • A Debt to the Future: Scientific Achievements of the Desert Laboratory, Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Arizona

    Bowers, Janice E.; U.S. Geological Survey (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    In 1903 the Carnegie Institution of Washington established a Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Arizona. For the next thirty -seven years the Desert Laboratory was the site of pioneering research into the biology and ecology of desert plants and animals. The more than sixty scientists who worked on Tumamoc Hill published some 350 papers and books based on research there. William A. Cannon and Volney M. Spalding share credit for successfully launching the new facility. Daniel T. Mac - Dougal, who became the first director in 1906, hired an enthusiastic, able staff and recruited many visiting scientists. His untiring promotional efforts gave the laboratory a national reputation, and when he transferred his research projects to a second laboratory at Carmel, California, the Desert Laboratory entered a nine -year decline. Promotion of Forrest Shreve to head the laboratory in 1928 brought about a renewed focus on the ecology of desert plants. The Carnegie Institution closed the facility in 1940, ostensibly because of the depression and consequent financial cutbacks, but actually because institution administrators no longer found it worthwhile to support descriptive ecological research.
  • Germination Requirements of Key Southwestern Woody Riparian Species

    Siegel, Richard S.; Brock, John H.; Department of Water Resources, State of Arizona; Arizona State University (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
    Germination requirements of selected Southwestern woody riparian species were studied in the laboratory. Four common tree species selected for study were Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii), Goodding Willow (Salix gooddingii), Arizona Sycamore (Platanus wrightii) and Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis velutina). Seeds were collected from two major riparian habitats in the southwest. The species tested required a temperature range of 16° C to 27° C for germination. Fremont Cottonwood, Goodding Willow and Velvet Mesquite showed good germination at moisture stress levels of -4 bars or less, whereas Arizona Sycamore only germinated well at 0 bars. For all species tested, germination was better at salinity levels lower than 50 meq /liter NaCl. All species displayed successful germination responses between pH 5 to 7. Velvet Mesquite germinated at all pH levels (5 -10). Longevity of seeds of riparian species is reported to be of short duration. This was confirmed in these studies with southwestern woody riparian species.
  • Editorial - Insect-Plant Relationships

    Crosswhite, F. S.; Crosswhite, C. D. (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990)
  • Desert Plants, Volume 10, Number 1 (1990)

    University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1990