Native Seeds / SEARCH Cactus Donation

Native Seeds / SEARCH Donates Cactus for Historic Krutch Garden


In Summer 2019, Native Seeds/ SEARCH retail store contacted the Campus Arboretum seeking a new home for two large Lophocereus schottii, also known as senita cactus, that had grown too large for the pots in their storefront. Because of their size and origin in the Sonoran desert, they needed a more natural habitat and room to spread out. Store Staff member, Nancy Reid, a former member of the University of Arizona Grounds Services and dedicated caretaker of the historic Joseph Wood Krutch Cactus Garden, immediately thought of contacting the Campus Arboretum about the possibility of adoption. Senita are native to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and further south into Sonora and Baja California, Mexico and match the purpose of the Krutch garden to cultivate only Sonoran native plants.


The history of the Krutch Garden began with one of the original faculty, Professor James Toumey, who initiated a cactus display garden on the West side of University Hall (Old Main) in 1891. Since then, the tradition of University of Arizona faculty to use the campus landscape to support education and research took root. The cactus display garden was later relocated east of Old Main and expanded by President Homer Shantz. Now, although it has largely been replaced by turf grass on the mall, the Joseph Wood Krutch Garden is the last remnant of the University’s oldest and most significant educational garden. It not only represents our commitment to the land grant mission, but also encapsulates the historical and botanical heritage of our campus landscape, serving as a progressive model of sustainable landscaping and promoting study of Sonoran native plant ecology and ethnobotany.  The garden perpetuates the legacy of noted naturalist Joseph Wood Krutch, by encouraging appreciation for the science and beauty of the desert, modeling practices that preserve the natural environment in the midst of urbanization.  


We are grateful for partners from Native Seeds/Search who help us serve and expand our community connections. Native Seeds/SEARCH is a non-profit seed conservation group founded in Tucson in 1983. Their mission is to strengthen and sustain food security in the Southwestern United States and Mexico, through seed conservation, seed distribution programs and education. 


Learn more at:


Or, visit Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store at:

3061 N. Campbell Avenue

Tucson, AZ  85719

Phone: 520-622-5561


Enjoy these photos of the two Senita in their new historic home!






Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 09:00 to 10:00