About the Project

The Unique Sonoran Desert

We live in a unique and beautiful region not only of the United States, but of the world. Recognized as one of the most biodiverse deserts of the world, the Sonoran Desert is one of the greatest gifts of living in Arizona.

The plants of the Sonoran Desert are also unique, and many can only be found here. There are the obvious ones like the Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and prickly pears (Opuntia spp.) but also flowering plants like Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata).

This is exactly why this project focuses on native plants. We must protect and keep this heritage alive! Take a look at what you can find growing on our Sonoran Seed Collaborative plot on the grounds at Tovrea Castle.

The Sonoran Seed Collaborative project is being carried out at Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights, a historic site owned by the City of Phoenix, operated by Tovrea Carraro Society. A plot of land has been dedicated for our purpose where Arizona Columbine Garden Club volunteers are devoted to caring for and growing out a selection of plants.

The first five priority species we are focusing on are:

Desert Lavender (Hyptis emoryi)


Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)


Bladderpods (Physaria gordonii)


Low Woollygrass (Dasyochloa pulchella)


Sweetbush (Bebbia juncea)

Each of these five species has a unique value to in our desert ecosystems and provides a multitude of benefits. Whether for pollinators, animal forage, or as early colonizers in disturbed areas, these plants are much more than just their beautiful blooms.