About the Sonoran Desert Florilegium

For more than 400 years, florilegia, or “flower books,” have been have been created as botanically accurate renderings of living collections of plants from a particular botanical garden or region. These early published florilegia were compilations of paintings of plants found in flower gardens in Europe, 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. With an online collection, visitors can view the works of the florilegium, zoom in to see intricate plant details, follow links to the artists’ other works, and read interpretive materials. The advantage of a digital collection over a curated physical collection is that these works of botanical art are always available for viewing online.

As the Sonoran Desert Florilegium expands its online collection, artists, scientists, and the general public can gain an appreciation of the scientific accuracy and aesthetic value of the art and an awareness of the unique and fascinating flora of the Sonoran Desert.

Information for Artists