Located in the shadow of Picketpost Mountain just outside the mining town of Superior, Arizona, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is the largest and oldest botanical garden in the state and the fourth oldest botanical institution west of the Mississippi. It was founded in 1924 as a desert plant research facility and “living museum”.
A riparian zone, the park attracts Sonoran Desert wildlife and migrating birds. Bobcats, javelinas, coatimundis, rattlesnakes, gila monsters, hawks, hummingbirds, and vultures can all be found to call the park home. 270 bird species have been spotted in the park and the Audubon Society has designated the Arboretum as an Important Bird Area.
The park hosts an impressive assortment of cacti and succulents, including 2600 species of arid land plants from around the world grow at the Arboretum. Agaves, aloes, boojum trees, cork oaks, jujube trees, legume trees, and, in the Eucalyptus grove, one of the largest red gum Eucalyptus trees (“Mr. Big”) in the United States.