The Cacti and Succulent Collection features species from warm desert or semi-arid places around the world, with an emphasis on those native to arid parts of the Americas.
Purpose and scope of the collection
The collection includes species important to ethnobotany, as well as plants suitable for outdoor landscape use in the Las Vegas Valley. New species should be introduced and tested for hardiness in the Las Vegas Valley and adjacent parts of southern Nevada with similar climatic conditions.
The collection contains plants that illustrate many strategies and modifications for survival in arid environments. It supports studies on convergent plant evolution among species that evolved in response to similar climatic conditions but widely separated places around the world.
The collection is concentrated in the Xeric Garden on the south side of the Marjorie Barrick Museum. Other desert plants may be used to complement the cacti and succulents, but they should not detract attention from them. Individual cactus and succulent specimens are often planted in combination with other desert plants in landscape settings throughout the campus. Plantings should demonstrate a variety of uses for cacti and succulents in residential, commercial, and public landscapes.
Collection — specific interpretations of this policy
- Focus on acquisition and management of species primarily from the families Cactaceae (cacti), Agavaceae (agaves, yuccas), Aizoaceae (ice plants), Liliaceae (aloes), Crassulaceae (sedums), and Euphorbiaceae (euphorbias).
- Acquisitions for the Xeric Garden east of the Marjorie Barrick Museum should adhere to the original intent of the garden, as designed by Jack W. Zunino, FASLA, in 1989. Plantings around Wright Hall from 2005 should gradually assume the character of an extension of the Xeric Garden.
- All cacti and succulents should be accessioned as individuals within the Arboretum Core. Outside the Core, accession a few individual cacti and succulents when they representative a limited population of the species on campus.
- Emphasize plants adaptable to Climate Zone 11(Medium to High Deserts of California and Southern Nevada as defined in the Sunset Western Garden Book). However, utilize microclimates found on campus to support as many genera and species as practical.
- Display specimens in a variety of landscape uses and styles.
- Plant native specimens in simulated natural groupings wherever possible. Otherwise, group specimens according to their planting and culture needs.
Programs supported by the collection
- UNLV Biology: BIO 120 Plants and People, BIO 122 Desert Plants, BIO 148 Natural History of the Desert Southwest, BIO 345 Urban Horticulture, BIO 422 Taxonomy of Vascular Plants, BIO 426 Plant Anatomy, BIO 442 Principles of Plant Physiology
- UNLV Landscape Architecture: AAL 246 Plant Materials, second through fifth-year design studios (AAL 284, AAL 286, AAL 384, AAL 386, AAL 484, AAL 486, AAL 494, AAL 496)
- CCSN Ornamental Horticulture: OH 103 Ornamental Plant Identification, OH 213B Drought Tolerant Landscape Plant Identification
Type of collection: Taxonomic
Year established: 2003
Guidelines created: March 2006
Last revised: March 2006
Proposed by: 2003 Long Range Planning Committee
Last inventoried: in progress
Number of species: n/a
Number of specimens: n/a