The Wallace Desert Gardens (WDG) collection has 1650 taxa (species, cultivars, hybrids, varieties, etc.) of which over 50% are new to the existing collections of the Arboretum and Desert Legume Program (DELEP). The combined collections place Boyce Thompson Arboretum (BTA) within the top 25 botanical gardens in the United States in total taxa maintained (plants and seeds) and within the top 75 in the world. Moreover, over 200 of these taxa are globally unique, meaning they are found at no other botanical garden—anywhere.
Even more significant are the conservation and research opportunities that such a unique collection can afford to visiting scientists who study arid land plants. Rather than traveling the world to the native habitats in which these plants are native, they can find them growing in one 392-acre location at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. And because 40% of the Desert Legume Program’s seed accessions of threatened taxa were collected in the wild—with 43% wild-collected overall—we are preserving legume biodiversity while making the seeds available that might lead to agricultural advances or contain lifesaving pharmaceutical properties.
With the combined collections, it’s not surprising that the Arboretum now ranks first in the world in the number of desert legume taxa. But we’re now also stronger in cactus and succulents (5th in the US and 13th globally) and Eucalyptus taxa (2nd in the US and 10th globally) with an increased diversity of cycads and oaks (Quercus). Over 250 taxa in the combined collection are considered to be globally threatened, ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered in the wild.
Once they are successfully growing in their new home at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, visitors will learn and experience them in an entirely new way, via a new trail system through the collection, a bridge to span Queen Creek, and a greenhouse pavilion to protect dozens of tall columnar cacti and other plants.
Unfortunately, as exciting as this incredible project is, only a portion of it is fully funded. Sixty percent of the entire WDG collection is on schedule to be completed by the summer of 2016. Since late December 2015, new plants have been steadily arriving at the Arboretum, with many more staged and ready to be shipped throughout the winter and spring. But by July 2017, the remaining 40%, roughly 2,000 plants, have to be moved before the lots on which they are growing are sold, and there is currently no funding source to move these plants.
http://bareprod.wix.com/gardenonthemove Video trailer