Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

This arboretum was founded in the 1920s by Col. William Boyce Thompson and is Arizon's oldest and largest botanical garden encompassing 323 acres. Located in scenic Queen Creek Canyon, three miles west of Superior, is is managed by The Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretun Inc., The University of Arizona and Arizonia State Parks.

Besides an Interpretive Center, a Visitor Center and a picnic area, the park has a demonstration garden displaying a number of ideas for low-water use gardening. There is a mile and a half trail which takes the walker through a number of special garders including a cactus garden, a Sonoaran Desert Upland, a Sonoran Desert Trail, an Eucalyptus Forest and a herb garden

During our visit we took a number of pictures which are displayed below.

Above is a prickley pear cactus completely surrounded by a brittlebush shrub which was in bloom during the month of February 2001. Its leaves form a gray-green mound during the cooler months above which the lovely yellow flowers are held. During the hot summer this bush loses its leaves and slows its growth to a standstill.
This holly like shrub is called a Red Barberry and was very attractive. It grows to 6 feet and its fragrant flowers bloom from Feb. to May. A red jelly is made from its fruits.
This a scene in the cactus garden. With two types of barrel cactus in the front, a saguaro at the left, a blue aloe, a prickly pear cactus and in the background some cholla cactus. This is a scene looking toward the Magma Ridge from the path leading down to the Queen Creek area.
These two pictures are views of the blossoms of two of the 200 different aloe plants which are included within the various areas of this park.
This picture was taken in the Sonoran desert area of the park and includes a prickly pear cactus in front of an agave plant. This is a closeup of one of the more bluish types of prickly pear. All prickly pear cactus have fruit filled with a sweet juicy pulp which is eaten by humans and wildlife. It is also used for making jelly.


Pictures taken by B. Athanasiou using Mavica DV-88