- There are more than 1,500 different desert plants on display here. In 1927, William Boyce Thompson started this arboretum 101 miles north of Tucson in an effort to preserve desert plants and study their potential as food and medical resources. Greenhouses contain cacti and other succulents while giving shelter to many species of birds. There is a visitor's center, gift shop and miles of trails to explore. Free for children four and under.
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