Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix Features More Than Just Cactus
When you think of a botanical garden, you may envision lush greenery, blooming flowers, and bright colorful flowers. Phoenix's Desert Botanical Garden has some of that plus cactus.
History of the Desert Botanical Garden
In the mid-1930s, Gustaf Starck, a Swedish botanist began recruiting other desert lovers to conserve the desert environment of the Arizona Sonoran Desert. This group of Phoenix citizens formed the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society to develop a botanical garden. In 1939, Gertrude Divine Webster, a wealthy Arcadia resident, lent her financial support and helped found the Desert Botanical Garden in southeast Phoenix, Arizona.
Desert Botanical Garden Mission
The mission of the Desert Botanical Garden, according to the Sonoran Quarterly, the official magazine of the Garden, follows:
The Garden's commitment to the community is to advanced excellence in education, research, exhibition, and conservation of desert plants of the world with emphasis on the Southwestern United States. We will ensure that the Garden is always a compelling attraction that brings to life the many wonders of the desert.
Wildlife at the Phoenix Botanical Garden
The wildlife at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden is surprising. The typical desert lizards can be seen while walking on the paths around the Garden. Small lizards like this one who was sunbathing on a rock can be seen if you keep your eyes open.
Larger lizards like this guy also make their home at desert botanical gardens. These are rarer but can be seen too.
Have you ever visited a desert botanical garden?
More Wildlife at the Garden
This ground squirrel was scurrying about on a recent visit to the Desert Botanical Garden. He was out in the open, but when we approached, he ran and tried to hide. I think the shadows made him think he was invisible. He blended in to the rocks and sand very well and if you didn't know he was there, it would have been easy to miss him.
This little guy is a chipmunk, I think. His stripes help him stand out a little more. He too took refuge near a plant, but he chose a cactus. Just don't get too close!
Birds at the Garden
This pigeon was enjoying the small fountain at the entrance of the Desert Botanical Garden. Several fountains are scattered throughout the garden and offer a place for birds and animals to cool off and get a sip of water. It's almost always hot in the desert, after all.
This bird was perched high on a saguaro cactus. I was taking a picture of the blooms but saw that the bird was posing too.
The What, When, and Where of the Desert Botanical Garden
The Garden offers a chance to see cactus that bloom at different times of day, as well as desert wildflowers.
The Garden is open year round from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. It opens at 6 a.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays for members.
The Desert Botanical Garden is a located at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona 85008 in Papago Park.
The Garden has special exhibits throughout the year like the Butterfly House exhibit in the spring and the Monarch Butterflies in the Fall.
Audio tours are available free for members or for a small fee with a one-day visitor's pass.
Check ParkGrades for reviews of the Desert Botanical Garden or reviews of another botanical garden you want to visit.
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