Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Home Horticulture:
Gardening & Landscaping in the Low Desert
Identifying and Selecting Landscape Plants
for the Low Desert
AMWUA - Arizona Municipal Users Association Web site: Landscaping with Drought Tolerant Plants.
This AMWUA page is a comprehensive site for selecting low water use plants and establishing landscaping irrigation schedules. It also lists of the excellent AMWUA color brochures of plants and typical xeric landscapes as well as reference books applicable to low desert landscaping.
Brenzel, K. N. (ed.).(1995) Sunset Western Garden Book
More than 6.000 plan listing keyed to 24 Western climate zones, climate maps, 2,500 color photos, illustrations, charts,and diagrams, 50,000 plant facts, complete guide to plant selection and hundreds of how-to tips and techniques. ISBN 0-376-03851-9
Dinchak, R.K. (1981). An Illustrated Guide to Landscape Shrubs of Southern Arizona. Mesa: 3D Publishers.
A useful guide to the identification and maintenance of landscape shrubs that thrive in the deserts of southern Arizona. This reference contains information on 125 species and varieties of shrubs. It includes botanical illustrations and descriptions, maintenance tips, information on common plant diseases and pests, plant selection guides, landscape uses and a thorough glossary.
Dinchak, R.K. (1981). An Illustrated Guide to Landscape Trees of Southern Arizona. Mesa: 3D Publishers.
A useful guide to the identification and maintenance of landscape trees that thrive in the deserts of southern Arizona. This reference contains information on 125 species and varieties of trees. It includes botanical illustrations and descriptions, maintenance tips, information on common plant diseases and pests, plant selection guides, landscape uses and a thorough glossary.
Epple, A. O. (1995) A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona.. Mesa AZ: Lew Ann Publishing Co.
A plant identification guide with color photographs and descriptions of 850 native and naturalized plants.
Lehr, J. H. (1978). A Catalogue of the Flora of Arizona. Phoenix: Desert Botanical Garden.
An alphabetical listing by genus, species, family, genera of all known plants occurring in the state.
Mielke, J. (1993) Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Descriptions and color photographs of over 300 trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, ground covers, wild and other plants native to the southwestern deserts that are suitable for landscapes. ISBN 0-292-75147-8
Schuler, C. (1993). Low Water Use Plants for California and the Southwest. Tucson: Fisher Books,
This reference provides detailed descriptions plus buying, planting and watering tips for more than 200 drought-hardy, heat-tolerant plants that thrive in fragile, dry environments. IBSN 1-55561-037-4.
Soil Conservation Society of America, Arizona Chapter of The Natural Vegetation Committee. (1973). Landscaping with Native Arizona Plants. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press.
Identifies the major climatic areas of the state and describes the vegetation type occurring naturally within these areas.
Walters, J.E. and Backhaus, B. (1992) Shade and Color with Water-Conserving Plants. Portland: Timber Press Inc.
Extensive description of more than 300 species and cultivars, more than 200 color plates. Included in each entry is a general characterization of the plant's habit, landscape uses, climate adaptation, cultural requirements, possible problems, scientific and common names, and information on propagation. Other chapters cover all aspects of planning, planting, and maintaining a beautiful and water-thrifty landscape. ISBN 0-88192-214-5
Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona College of Agriculture. (1996) Desert Landscaping: Plants for a Water -Scarce Environment. Tucson: The University of Arizona
A CD-ROM plant selector covering over 600 low water-use plants. Search by plant name, browse award-winning landscapes, compare groups of similar plants, or use the plant selector to precisely describe the plants you seek. The rich multimedia database includes plant size and growth rate, soil and sun requirements, irrigation needs, place of origin, allergens, wildlife interactions, and dozens of other useful factors. Additional information is provided through links to landscaping tips and a bibliography. For more details and ordering information, see URL: http://ag.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/html/pubs/cd.htm.
Other References on Gardening and Landscaping in the Low Desert
To Home Horticulture in Maricopa County, AZ
References for Identifying and Selecting Landscape Plants for the Low Desert
visitors since September 4, 1997
visitors since May 28, 1998
Last Updated July 18, 1998
Authors: Olin Miller, Master Gardener, Maricopa County & Lucy Bradley, Extension Agent Urban Horticulture
© 1997 The University of Arizona,
College of Agriculture,
in Maricopa County.
Comments to Lucy Bradley, BradleyL@ag.arizona.edu
4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040, Voice: (602) 470-8086 ext. 323, Fax (602) 470-8092