The UNLV Arboretum was established in May of 1985. Legislation enabled the University of Nevada Board of Regents to establish arboreta at both of the four-year institutions within the state, including our sister arboretum at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The UNLV Arboretum includes the entire 335-acre campus. Of this acreage, 80 acres are landscaped with trees, shrubs, and turf, including a two acre Xeric Garden. The grounds are often referred to as the Emerald in the Desert, a maxim that has been attached to the recently created Arboretum logo.


Questions? Please contact us.

What is the UNLV Arboretum?

An arboretum is defined as a place that is set aside for the display and study of primarily woody plant material. The primary mission of the UNLV Arboretum is to display mature plant materials considered appropriate for high desert conditions. Of equal importance, the Arboretum has a continuing program of new plant and cultivar introduction and evaluation. This review has provided numerous new selections for use in southern Nevada. In addition, the Arboretum provides regular educational seminars and tours to the gardening community.

Arboretum Tours

Plants found in southern Nevada landscaping are displayed in mature form throughout the campus setting. One may tour the campus landscape at a leisurely pace, any time or day of the week.

The Xeric Garden is located at the entrance to the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art. Created in 1988, this garden contains plants from arid regions from around the world. Numerous informative signs are located throughout the garden. Many plants are in bloom, regardless of the season, but spring is the best time to visit as virtually every plant has some color.

Guided Tours

Guided tours of the campus grounds are available upon request. Inquiries may be directed to the Horticultural Supervisor by mail correspondence, phone, or through our contact form.