Arboretums & Botanic Gardens

Tucson Botanical Gardens

Tucson Botanical Gardens was founded as a nonprofit corporation in 1968 and has since evolved from a backyard garden to a key educational and cultural resource in greater Tucson, serving about 100,000 people a year. The grounds are wheelchair accessible.

Prickley Pear

The Gardens

There are 13 different gardens that make up the Tucson Botanical Gardens:

Nuestro Jardín (Our Garden): The barrio garden honors the distinctive gardens and yards found in Tucson's Mexican-American community.

Plants of the Tohono O'odham Path: This garden honors the relationship between the Tohono O'odham people and plants of the Sonoran Desert. Featured are an authentic saguaro harvest ramada, a hands-on mortar and pestle for pounding mesquite beans and many different kinds of native plants used by the Tohono O'odham for food, fiber, construction and medicine.

Backyard Bird Garden: Attracting our feathered friends can be a rewarding experience, and this garden shows you how to do it.

Butterfly Garden: This garden includes a variety of low-water-use plants that attract butterflies in both the larval and adult stages of their life cycles.

Cactus and Succulent Garden: This garden, named for Rodney G. Engard, TBG's first director, includes cacti from Arizona, other southwestern states, Mexico, and South America.

Herb Garden: This garden showcases the rich variety of herbs that grow in the Tucson area. Plants used for seasoning food, fragrance and medicinal purposes are in abundance.

Historical Gardens: Shady, mature and inviting, these gardens are the legacy of the Rutger and Bernice Porter family. The gardens include many trees and shrubs commonly planted in Tucson during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

Iris Garden: April is the time for peak bloom in the Dr. Raymond C. Allen Memorial Iris Garden, which includes only low water use varieties.

Native American Crops Garden: This garden features Native American crops from the southwestern U.S. Traditional summer gardens include corn, beans, squash, melons and chiles.

Sensory Garden: The 5 ramadas of the Dr. Scholl Sensory Garden are filled with plants that invite you to use your senses and be curious.

Tropical Exhibit: Muted light, large leaves and high humidity will briefly transport you far away from the Sonoran Desert.

Wildflower Garden: The Edward McGinnies Wildflower Garden includes penstemon, lupine, Mexican gold poppy, desert marigold, owl clover, and many other native plants. Peak bloom occurs March-May.

Xeriscape Demonstration Garden: It is possible to garden with style and not use a lot of water? This garden shows you how.

Annual Special Events

There is something to see every day at TBG, but the following special events are annual highlights. Check with the Garden for pricing.

Butteryfly Magic at the Garden: Tucson Botanical Gardens’ greenhouse transforms into a magical place filled with hundreds of spectacular butterflies fluttering all around. Marvel at the brilliant colors, varied shapes, sizes and species of butterflies. (Special Admission Fee) Butterfly Schedule - Each month features a different region: November - Asia; December - Australia; January - Africa; February & March - Tropical Americas

Reindog Day
On a Saturday in December - Bring your dog to the Gardens! The Gardens will open its gates to visitors and their dogs for a celebration of the holidays. Dress your pets in their holiday finest and qualify to win a special prize for you and your pooch.

Luminaria Nights: First weekend in December. Two thousand five hundred luminarias light up the Botanical Gardens for this holiday family tradition. Music, refreshments, holiday decorations and entertainment make this a very popular event.


The Tucson Botanical Gardens is located at 2150 N. Alvernon Way in Tucson, Arizona.

Seasons & Hours

Open daily except January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving and December 24-25. Visiting hours are 8:30 A.M.- 4:30 P.M.

General admission is $7 and admission for children 4-12 is $3. Children 3 and younger and Gardens' members are free. Check with the Garden for admission costs for special events.

Tucson Botanical Gardens
2150 North Alvernon Way
Tucson, Arizona 85712
Phone: 520-326-9686
Fax: 520-324-0166

Arboretums & Botanical Gardens of Arizona
Arboretum at Arizona State University
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
Tohono Chul Park
Tucson Botanical Gardens

Share this page on Facebook:

DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)

The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms


Copyright © 1996-2015 and Digital West Media, Inc. ..