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Harriet K Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail


4_Wildflower Trail main.jpgThe Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail encompasses nearly two acres of North American desert wildflower exhibits planted with year-round displays. Just as in nature, the wildflower bloom is unpredictable and relies on the right combination and timing of rain and temperature. While wildflowers bloom all year long, the peak wildflower season is during the months of March and April.

The two acre Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail opened in March of 2001, a trail dedicated to the beauty and appreciation of desert wildflowers and their pollinators. This permanent exhibit was to be perpetual memorial to Mrs. Maxwell’s interest in wildflowers and the preservation of the natural environment of the southwest. 

A Connecticut native, Harriet Maxwell moved to Carefree, Arizona late in life. She became a Garden member and through her philanthropic foundation made gifts for irrigation of the Australian Desert Trail and helped to propagate seeds from the Australian National Botanical Garden. Gifts also funded construction of a propagation greenhouse in 1993 where over 1,000 wildflower seedlings were nurtured to grace Garden pathways the following Spring along with a wildflower research report in 1994.

Following Mrs. Maxwell’s death in 1999, a capital gift from the Harriet K. Maxwell Foundation provided for design and development of the Wildflower Trail with 32 interpretive exhibits illustrating the complex relationships between desert wildflowers and their pollinators (bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths and bats.)

Find out where the wildflowers are this season by visiting our Wildflower Infosite page for weekly updates March-April.

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How to Read a Plant Label

As a place of education, research, exhibition and conservation of desert plants, the Garden provides information about plants using many different techniques. One of these methods is through labels. These labels provide the Latin name used by the scientific community, its common name, where it grows and when it blooms.

You can customize your Garden experience further by downloading the Garden app. It includes trail guides, maps, garden tour, plant information and pictures, and a learning center that helps you care for your plants at home. You can download the app through iTunes or Google Play for 99 cents.

The Garden app was developed by Clarisoft & MuseumXP and Garden staff members.

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