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

  • The Bitter Wild Cucumber of the Gila River

    Crosswhite, F. S. (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986)
  • Notes on the Flora of Arizona VII

    Mason, Charles T., Jr.; Van Devender, Rebecca K.; Starr, Gregory D.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986)
  • Contact Dermatitis from Sonoran Desert Plants

    Lampe, Kenneth F.; American Medical Association (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986)
  • Reclamation and Fertilization of Coal Mine Soils in the Southwestern Desert

    Day, A. D.; Ludeke, K. L.; University of Arizona; Ludeke Corporation (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986)
    A 5 -year experiment was conducted from 1978 through 1982 on the Black Mesa Coal Mine, Kayenta, Arizona, to study plant species best suited for coal mine reclamation and the effects of fertilizer on selected species. Five plant species were broadcast seeded on coal mine soil (spoils) and unmined soil. Prior to planting, 560 kg /ha of 16-20-0 fertilizer were applied on one -half of each site while the other half received no fertilizer. Immediately after planting, sprinkler irrigation water was applied on all plots, as needed, for the first two years. After two years, fertilizer and irrigation were discontinued on both soil materials and all plant species received only natural rainfall for the following three years. Coal mine soil contained more total soluble salts, nitrogen, potassium, sodium, and organic matter than did unmined soil; however, unmined soil had a higher pH and contained more phosphorous than did coal mine soil. Plant growth measurements were recorded for each plant species in October of each year. In general, plants grew better and produced more forage in unmined soil than they did in coal mine soil. All plant species grew better, yielded more forage, and produced a more satisfactory ground cover when they were fertilized than they did when they were not fertilized. Plant species differed greatly in general growth, forage yield, and percent ground cover within soil materials and within fertilizer treatments. Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristaturn L.), western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii Rydb.), and vernal alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) grew better, yielded more forage, and produced a more complete ground cover than did Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides Ricker) or fourwing saltbrush (Atriplex canescens Pursh). In general, the reclamation of unmined soil with fertilizer and a combination of natural rainfall and sprinkler irrigation during the first two years and with perennial grasses was more successful than the reclamation of coal mine soil with no fertilizer and with legumes or shrubs in the semiarid environment in the southwestern United States.
  • Effects of Dried Sewage Sludge on Forage Production from Barley Genotypes in the Sonoran Desert

    Day, A. D.; Thompson, R. K.; Swingle, R. S.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986)
    From 1976 through 1977, experiments were conducted at Mesa, Arizona to compare the growth and forage production from 16 barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) genotypes when grown with dried sewage sludge and inorganic fertilizers from commercial sources. In December of each year, at planting time, three fertilizer treatments were applied: (1) recommended rates of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) for barley in Arizona (160 kg /ha N from urea, 81 kg /ha P from treble super-phosphate, and no K was recommended), (2) 10 metric t/ha of sewage sludge from the Phoenix, Arizona Sewage Treatment Plant consisting of 16 kg /t N, 31 kg /t P₂O₅, and 3.6 kg /t K₂O, and (3) inorganic fertilizers to provide N, P, and K in amounts equal to those applied in the sewage sludge (160 kg /ha N from urea, 310 kg /ha P₂O₅ from treble super -phosphate, and 36 kg /ha K₂O from potassium sulfate). Barley genotypes evaluated for vegetative growth and forage production responded similarly, when fertilized with dried sewage sludge and inorganic fertilizers from commercial sources. Fertilizer -genotype interactions did not follow a uniform pattern. Significant differences were observed between genotypes, within fertilizer treatments, for number of days from planting to flowering, plant height, lodging, number of stems per unit area, and hay yield. Dried sewage sludge may be used as a fertilizer source in the commercial production of forage from barley in the same manner that commercial fertilizers are used. To investigate the maximum fertilizer response potential of specific barely genotypes for the efficient use of sewage sludge in commercial barley forage production, additional research involving barley breeding and the use of additional rates of sludge application are necessary.
  • Habitat Relationships of Some Native Perennial Grasses in Southeastern Arizona

    Bock, Jane H.; Bock, Carl E.; University of Colorado, Boulder (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986)
    Successful management and restoration of any ecosystem requires knowledge of the habitat requirements of its component species, as manifested under natural or near - natural conditions. We measured abundances of common grasses in relation to environmental variables on an undisturbed grassland and oak savannah preserve in southeastern Arizona. Major environmental gradients separating species were 1) slope angle and associated soil differences, 2) distance above wash bottoms or floodplains, and 3) slope compass orientation and amount of oak canopy. Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis) was the most widespread and abundant species overall, but it reached highest densities on level lowlands, where it was dominant along with Sacaton (Sporobolus wrightii) and Vine Mesquite (Panicum obtusum). Sideoats Grama (B. curtipendula) was the most abundant species on steep slopes above floodplains and washes, regardless of tree canopy or slope compass orientation. Level to gently rolling uplands were dominated by Blue Grama, Plains Lovegrass (Eragrostis intermedia ), and Wolftail (Lycurus phleoides). Plains Lovegrass in particular seems to be increasing on the study area compared to adjacent grazed sites. Steep and rocky uplands were dominated by Threeawns (Aristida spp.), Curly Mesquite (Hilaria belangeri ), and Sprucetop Grama (B. chondrosioides). These species generally are characteristic of poor sites, and they were more common on grazed lands than on our study area.
  • Desert Plants, Volume 8, Number 1 (1986)

    University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986
  • The Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch Sanctuary of the National Audubon Society

    Bock, Jane H.; Bock, Carl E.; Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch Sanctuary (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986)
  • A Career of Her Own: Edith Shreve at the Desert Laboratory

    Bowers, Janice E. (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986)
  • Moth Pollinated Ipomoea longifolia (Convolvulaceae)

    Austin, Daniel F.; Florida Atlantic University (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986)
  • Arizona: The Land and the People

    University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1986