Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

About Us

Southwest Desert Flora is a collection of photographs and information about wildflowers and plants native to or naturalized in the Southwestern United States, primarily in Arizona. The site is created for casual observers, hobbyists, recreationalists, students or professionals.

At Southwest Desert Flora, wildflowers and plants can be located using one or more of the following search methods: by flower color, common name, scientific name or by family names.

Gene Sturla is both the photographer and researcher of the plants seen in Southwest Desert Flora. As a retired wildlife biologist for the State of Arizona, Gene has had vast experiences exploring the flora and fauna of the southwestern United States. He uses his expertise and interest in the environment to bring to the reader photographs and information to aid in the identification, classification and enjoyment of naturalized plants.

Although I am not a professional botanist I accept complete responsibility for plant identifications and texts used here. I make every effort to provide correct information through reference's, on-line and written publications, as well as conferring with professional botanists. I realize that are likely mistakes with so many species, hopefully not too many. I would greatly appreciate your comments and corrections and I will respond quickly to review the material you identify and make corrections as quickly as I can.

"My work fills a void that I have noticed in current literature which generalizes plants in the southwest. Current literature, while excellent in what is presented is not detailed and or is lacking a focus of plants found in Arizona. Because all of my work is done by me personally, both by observation and photography, coupled with my extensive background working with habitats for the Arizona Game and Fish Department for more than 35 years, my work provides comprehensive resource material to the plant enthusiasts, student or professional. The information that is provided for each plant is unique and hopefully the reader comes away with a better understanding of the plant."

I am the photographer of all photographs on Southwest Desert Flora and they are copyrighted. However, the photographs and plants profile text may be used with prior permission and appropriate reference. Please contact me at the address below to request permission.

I am often asked what equipment I use to photograph plants. I have always used Nikon cameras, starting with a D300 which I used for several years. A couple of years ago I bought a D7000 when they came out and enjoyed it very much. More recently I upgraded to a full formate D750 and, for my purposes its perfect.

I would very much appreciate your comments, corrections and broken links.

Gene Sturla can be reached at: