Desert Legume Program



Legumes of Arizona: An Illustrated Flora and Reference
A publication of Boyce Thompson Arboretum in collaboration with DELEP.

Projected publication late 2018/early 2019

The legume family, Fabaceae or Leguminosae, is one of the most economically and agriculturally important plant families in the world. It includes plants that provide protein-rich foods, livestock forage, medicines and herbs, and poisons. The family also includes a variety of ornamental plants, and many species host nitrogen fixing bacteria in their roots. These plants are particularly significant for Arizona as many species are adapted to arid lands, and desert-adapted plants will be increasingly important as water issues in the state become more critical. Despite the significance of legumes, there is no comprehensive reference to these plants for Arizona.

In order to meet this need, Boyce Thompson Arboretum and the Desert Legume Program initiated work on a comprehensive reference to these plants in Arizona, Legumes of Arizona: An Illustrated Flora and Reference. When completed, this book will provide an up-to-date, scientific description of all native, naturalized and cultivated legumes in Arizona. It will include written descriptions, identification keys, distribution maps, illustrations and photographs. It will also provide users with information to better understand the history and potential of Arizona legumes through discussion paragraphs covering ecology, ethnobotany, potential uses and cultivation. This book is being written to appeal to a broad audience, and will minimize the use of technical jargon. Legumes of Arizona will become a valuable reference for land managers, farmers, ranchers, conservationists, gardeners and others with an interest in the natural history of Arizona.

Major support for Legumes of Arizona: An Illustrated Flora and Reference has been provided by the Wallace Research Foundation. Additional support has been provided by many individuals and by organizations including the Art Institute (Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum), Sonoran Desert Florilegium Program, the art program at the Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Arizona Native Plant Society.

For further information, please visit or contact Kirsten Lake, Managing Editor, Legumes of Arizona,

Cacti, other Succulents, and Unusual Xerophytes of Southern Arizona
Matthew B. Johnson

This pocket-sized field guide features 83 species of cacti and other succulent plants that may be found in southern Arizona. One or more color photographs illustrate each plant in its natural habitat, and often include close-up images of the flowers. The book is organized with related plants on consecutive pages to facilitate identification. The text lists both scientific and common names. Information on habitat and distribution of each species is provided along with a brief, non-technical description, flowering times, interesting facts about the plants and useful tips on distinguishing similar species. Arizona residents and visitors alike will find this an interesting and convenient reference for these fascinating plants.

The handbook cost is $9.95 plus shipping costs. It is available through CALSmart, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona, 4042 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, Arizona, 85719. Toll free: 1-877-763-5315, 520-318-7275, Fax: 520-795-8508, online:

Proceeds from the sale of this handbook support the Desert Legume Program.

Desert Plants

Desert Plants is a journal published by Boyce Thompson Arboretum and housed at DELEP's Tucson facility. For information online regarding this publication: or contact Kirsten Lake,


DELEP published a newsletter, Aridus, from 1989 to 2010. Back issues of the newsletter are available on request. Beginning with the April 2005 issue, Aridus is also available here online.


                                                                                                                                                        Updated August 2018



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