Featured Plants 2019-04-10T11:18:28+00:00


Apr 19

April 10, 2019

Jo Falls Receives Roger Lidman Distinguished Service Award

James Schaub, Curator of Exhibitions, nominated Jo Falls for the Roger Lidman Distinguished Service Award at the Museum Association of Arizona’s Annual Conference on March 18, 2019. The esteemed award designates an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to an individual museum, the museum profession, the local community, to Arizona,...

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Photo Credit: Jeremy Hayes


Feb 19

February 12, 2019

Lucy’s Warbler Nestbox Project

We are very lucky to be living in the center of Lucy’s Warblers’ breeding range. These tiny, shy, gray birds are the only cavity-nesting warblers in Arizona and the only ones nesting in low elevation Sonoran Desert, likely because of their fondness for native mesquite trees. With the decline of...

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Nov 17

November 13, 2017

Desert Lavender – A Native Plant Knockout

Some people are always looking for low-water-use native plants that attract hummingbirds or butterflies; others search for plants to help with the declining bee populations. So when a water-thrifty native plant covered in bees, butterflies AND hummingbirds, all at the same time, it’s definitely worth talking about. The fantastic plant...

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Oct 17

October 3, 2017

Create Butterfly Magic in Your Yard

Traveling east of Tucson on I-10 there are a lot of expansive views of mountains and valleys that make up part of the basin and range district of Southern Arizona, Southern New Mexico and Northern Mexico. Although this trip is not necessarily ugly, it’s also not very memorable. There is...

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Sep 17

September 20, 2017

Coyote Gourd – A Handsome Groundcover

Three weeks after the onset of the summer rains, in a wash southeast of the Huachuca mountains, the coyote gourds grow. Mexico is less than two miles away. The air is filled with the sounds of birds. Since the first rains, numerous tuberous perennials (plants of diverse origins that have...

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Aug 17

August 21, 2017

Creosote – The Aroma of Rain

Creosote Bush aka Greasewood Larrea tridentata The wonderful experience of a storm in the desert includes the stark beauty of valleys and mountains, diamond raindrops, intense rainbows, wind and an unforgettable aroma that fills the air after the storm passes causing us to reflect that “the desert smells like rain.”...

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Jul 17

July 12, 2017

August Means Arizona Poppies

One does not normally think of the desert blooming in the summertime, since most of the showy annuals we are familiar with appear in the spring. However, the Arizona Poppy (which is not actually a poppy) is a striking exception, usually blooming after the start of the summer rains, July...

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Jun 17

June 1, 2017

Devil’s Claw or the Unicorn Plant

During the summer rainy period rather large, succulent, sticky plants are found along the floodplains and channels of arroyos throughout the Sonoran Desert. These plants have a long history of use as food and fiber by native peoples. The fruit, known as devil’s claw or in the Tohono O’odham language...

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May 17

May 3, 2017

The Velvet Mesquite

Consider the mesquite tree. Mesquites are not merely trees; they create a whole ecosystem.  Grubs nibble at their roots. Borers live inside the trunk, and if visible, their pathways would be seen as a beautiful network of engraved tunnels with insect woodcarvers at the ends. The long (3”-5”) catkins of...

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