Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden covers over 145 acres of Papago Park. It is located at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix. Desert Botanical Garden was founded by the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society in 1937. It was established at this site in 1939. AAA gives it a “GEM” rating.

The Desert Botanical Garden has a large collection of agave and cacti. There are more than 21,000 plants in more than 4000 plant families. One third of these are native to the area. This includes 139 species which are rare, threatened or endangered.

Plants from less extreme climate conditions are protected under shade houses. There is an Australian collection, a Baja California collection and a South American collection. All of these plants have adapted to desert conditions.

There are several docent led tours offered that are included with your paid admission to the Garden. There are general garden tours, tours that focus on birds in the garden, “ask a gardener” sessions and children’s programs with hands-on activities.

The Garden’s mission is to be the premier center in the world for the display, study and understanding of desert plants and their environments. The Garden strives to be an indispensable resource in the Southwestern United States for teaching individuals about Sonoran Desert Plants as well as desert plants of the world.


Some highlights of Desert Botanical Garden

  • Desert Discovery Trail is the garden’s main trail and shows desert plants from around the world. The oldest plantings in the gardens are on this 1/3 mile trail.
  • Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Trail shows how the desert dwellers use desert plants for food, construction, tools, and basket making. There are hands-on activities on this 1/3 mile trail.
  • The Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Trail 
shows how desert wildflowers, hummingbirds, and bees interact in the Sonoran desert. You will enjoy this picture gallery of the Desert Wildflower Trail!
  • Sonoran Desert Nature Trail 
is a 1/4 mile trail where you can see the big picture of desert, mountains, plants, and animals.
  • Sybil B. Harrington Cactus & Succulent Galleries 
show beautifully arranged cacti and succulents from around the world.
  • Herb Garden 
includes the Wildlife Garden, Picante Garden, Tea and Culinary Gardens and Medicinal Garden.

When visiting Phoenix, Desert Botanical Garden is a  “must see” to get the flavor of the Sonoran Desert in the southwest.  Go to the Garden’s Website for complete information on this Phoenix gem.