Promoting the conservation and appreciation
of plants of the Sonoran Desert through botanical art
drawing of wild chiltepine pepper

THE SONORAN DESERT FLORILEGIUM

Read about this unique florilegium established to document plants native to the Sonoran Desert. Browse the selection of artworks of Sonoran Desert plants.

map of the Sonoran Desert
painting of octopus agave

ONLINE EXHIBIT

Visit our online exhibit, a complete presentation of Botanical Art of the Sonoran Desert: Past & Present, a 2013 exhibit shown at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's Ironwood Gallery.

watercolor of cholla blossom and butterfly
painting of an apple

The USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection

The artists of the USDA's Pomological Division painted some 7000 works between 1886 and 1942. Hundreds of these paintings can be seen in two recently published books. A selection of the works can be viewed here.

painting of a mamillaria cactus
colored pencil drawing of Desert Ironwood

“FROM THE FLORILEGIUM”

An archive of articles about botanical art from the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society's newsletter The Desert Breeze. Olneya tesota, desert ironwood, by Margaret Pope (right).

lithograph of desert ironwood
photo of the Joseph Wood Krutch Garden

THE JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH GARDEN

Read about the life and writings of Joseph Wood Krutch and the new Florilegium of the Joseph Wood Krutch Garden at the University of Arizona

photo of the Joseph Wood Krutch Garden
lithograph of scenic view by John Mix Stanley

HISTORICAL ART
OF THE SONORAN DESERT

Read about the 19th century artists who first illustrated the landscapes and plants of the Sonoran Desert for the great survey expeditions in the American West

chromolithograph of saguaro grove
painting of Opuntia basilaris

CREATING A BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION

Learn about the process of creating a scientific botanical illustration, also called a botanical plate.

photographs of dissected cactus flower
pen and ink drawing of Senna lindheimeriana

Illustrations from Legumes of Arizona,
an Illustrated Flora and Reference

Twenty-eight of the plants illustrated for the Legumes of Arizona project are native to the Sonoran Desert and are included in the Sonoran Desert Florilegium. These intricate pen and ink illustrations can be viewed here, along with information about the Legumes of Arizona project.

pen and ink drawing of Mexican palo verde
photograph of project volunteer

PROJECTS

Read about our projects to preserve and exhibit botanical art, both historical and contemporary.

exhibit gallery poster for Gentry's Agaves
colored pencil drawing of queen of the night

Illustrations of the
Queen of the Night Cactus

The Sonoran Desert's beautiful summer nightbloomer, Peniocereus greggii, can be seen here in 15 illustrations, ranging from historic scientific illustrations to evocative portraits of the flowers.

drawing of Peniocereus greggii
colored pencil drawing of barrel cactus flowers

GALLERIES FROM PAST EXHIBITS

View works from several past exhibits of botanical art of the Sonoran Desert, including Gentry’s Agaves, illustrations from Howard Scott Gentry’s landmark work on the genus Agave.

pen and ink drawing of an agave