Promoting the conservation and appreciation
of plants of the Sonoran Desert through botanical art
drawing of rock fig, ficus petiolaris

THE SONORAN DESERT FLORILEGIUM

Read about this unique florilegium established to document plants native to the Sonoran Desert. View the gallery of works of Sonoran Desert plants.

map of the Sonoran Desert
painting of octopus agave

ONLINE EXHIBIT

Visit our online exhibit, a complete presentation of Botanical Art of the Sonoran Desert: Past & Present, a 2013 exhibit shown at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's Ironwood Gallery.

lithograph of Cereus dasyacanthus
exhibit gallery photograph

PROJECTS

Read about our projects to preserve and exhibit botanical art, both historical and contemporary.

photograph of project volunteer
painting of Opuntia basilaris

CREATING A BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION

Learn about the process of creating a scientific botanical illustration, also called a botanical plate.

photographs of dissected cactus flower
lithograph of U.S. Mexico boundary survey view

HISTORICAL ART
OF THE SONORAN DESERT

Read about the superb botanical illustrations that were created for the great survey expeditions into the American West in the 19th century.

lithograph of a cactus
pen and ink drawing of an agave

GALLERIES FROM PAST EXHIBITS

View works from several past exhibits of botanical art of the Sonoran Desert, including Gentry’s Agaves, illustrations from Howard Scott Gentry’s landmark work on the genus Agave.

painting of claret cup hedgehog cactus
painting of Opuntia hyptiacantha

“FROM THE FLORILEGIUM”

An archive of articles about botanical art from the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society's newsletter The Desert Breeze.

chromolithograph

The Sonoran Desert Florilegium

call for entries

For more than 400 years, florilegia, or “flower books,” have been created as botanically accurate renderings of living collections of plants from a particular botanical garden or region. The earliest published florilegia were compilations of paintings of plants found in European flower gardens, but over time, they have come to play a broader role in botanical and historical documentation.


In keeping with the Sonoran Desert Florilegium Program’s goal to promote conservation and appreciation of Sonoran Desert plants through botanical art, the program has established a florilegium to document plants native to the Sonoran Desert Region.


Traditionally the paintings of a florilegium were compiled and published as a book, but contemporary florilegia increasingly have become curated collections of botanical art. Unlike many of these florilegia, the Sonoran Desert Florilegium is an online collection of digital images of botanical art that can reach a far wider audience than a curated collection of physical artworks.


A call for entries for artists to submit works to the Sonoran Desert Florilegium can be found here.