Southwestern Deserts

September, 2013
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Plants of the Bible Land Walking Tour
Did you know that the Sinai Desert lies roughly at the same latitude as our own Sonoran Desert? For this reason, it is not surprising that many of the same plants common in the Middle East thrive at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Join an Arboretum volunteer on a guided tour to learn about palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other plants of the Bible Land at 8:30 a.m. on September 21. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, and don't forget your sunscreen and water bottle. The tour, conducted at a leisurely pace, lasts about 90 minutes and proceeds along wheelchair-accessible paths. Using references in ancient texts, guides will describe how people of the Bible Land used plants as food, medicine, and shelter in ways similar to how native peoples of Southern Arizona continue to do so in modern times. Tour is free with admission to the Arboretum; $10 for adults; $5 ages 5-12; under age 5 free. The Arboretum is located near Superior, AZ, about one hour's drive east of Phoenix. For more information go to http://arboretum.ag.arizona.edu/events/bibleplants.html or call 520-689-2811.

Favorite or New Plant

Jojoba
Native to the Sonoran desert, Simmondsia chinensis is an extremely tough plant. It takes full sun, reflected heat, and is drought tolerant. It is low maintenance, with minimal litter drop and no thorns. Jojoba (prounounced ho ho' ba) grows to 6 feet tall and wide, and its dense foliage makes a good screening plant. It can be sheared as a hedge, although it looks more natural left to its own growth pattern. Male and female flowers bloom on different plants, so you'll need both to harvest jojoba nuts.

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