Harvesting a Bountiful Desert

artist rendition of saguaro harvest
Michael Chiago artwork, part of the wayside image

Commissioned art with restricted use

For centuries, people have harvested plants for food, for medicine, and to make useful items for everyday living. Despite temperatures that can climb to 120º F, there is a diversity of plant species to be found in the Sonoran Desert. Many plants here have adapted to receiving only nine inches of rainfall a year. The rains peak twice: once in winter, and again in late summer.

Today Native Americans follow traditions of collecting desert resources passed down for centuries. Women still gather desert willow shoots, cattail, devils claw, yucca, and bear grass to make baskets.

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PDF of the wayside (16, 948 KB) is available.


Last updated: April 6, 2020

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