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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Arboretum sale on last leaves

    The Boyce Thompson Arboretum, located about 90 miles north of Tucson near Superior, will be concluding its fall plant sale this weekend.

    Students with CatCards get free admission for themselves and the guests in their cars, as well as a 10 percent discount on all plants through the end of this month.

    “”We have trees, shrubs, cactuses and succulents,”” said Lynnea Spencer, director of the plant nursery and gift shop. “”We have native and non-native cactuses that can take our cold and take our heat.””

    The (arboretum’s) most unique feature is its location and the ambiance of the plants and the

    Bruce Klewer
    business manager

    Bruce Klewer, the arboretum’s business manager, said “”the arboretum was created as a museum of living plants to help instill in humanity an appreciation of plants.””

    Opened in 1923, the arboretum is operated under a tripartite agreement among the UA, Arizona State Parks and the nonprofit Boyce Thompson Arboretum organization, Klewer said.

    “”We grow, display and do research on arid plants of the world,”” he said. “”We have plants from the desert, a butterfly garden, a hummingbird garden, cactuses, trees, different types of gardens from around the world and various deserts from around the world.””

    “”The (arboretum’s) most unique feature is its location and the ambiance of the plants and the mountains,”” he added.

    Through the UA’s agricultural program, the arboretum is working to publish a book about the legumes of Arizona, a category including peas and beans, Klewer said.

    “”We also have a department called the Arizona Desert Legume Program, housed on Allen Street, which is owned by the UA,”” he said. “”They harvest seeds, store seeds and provide seeds to people around the world.””

    A variety of tours, walks and classes will be available this weekend, Klewer said.

    Dave Oberpriller, a volunteer at the park and a Bible scholar, will be hosting a “”Plants of the Bible”” walk Saturday 1:30 p.m., said Sally Mink, senior clerk at the arboretum’s bookstore.

    “”He takes you through the park and shows you plants that are in the Bible and tells you what they were used for,”” Mink said.

    She said Oberpriller will be showing myrrh, which is found in various Nativity scenes, and tamarisk, which was used to make the basket that floated baby Moses down the Nile River.

    Other events include a morning bird walk and “”Thrillin’ Grillin’ with the Herb Lady,”” Mink said.

    Catherine Crowley, author of “”101+ Recipes from the Herb Lady,”” will be grilling a variety of herb-laden foods from the book, Mink said.

    Preston Cox, a horticultural technician and nurseryman at the arboretum, is one of the experts who will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice on growing plants in Arizona.

    “”Primarily, I’m in charge of propagation of sale plants,”” Cox said. “”I spend a lot of time cultivating plants on the grounds. I go around, collect seed and cuttings, and produce new plants from those for our sales.””

    One of the most popular plants for sale at the arboretum is malvavi viscus, or the Turk’s Cap flower, he said.

    “”The flower keeps a turban look to it; that’s how it gets its name,”” Cox said.

    For hours, directions and more information about the arboretum, call 520-689-2811 or visit

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