Remembering Richard S. Felger, 1934–2020

Richard Stephen Felger, ethnobotanist, worldwide desert researcher, poet, champion of sea turtles, and visionary proponent of dryland food crops, passed away peacefully at his home in Silver City with his wife by his side on October 31, 2020. He was 86. 


Please click here for complete obituary.

Also see "Long-time Tucson botanist Richard Felger spent his lifetime exploring Sonoran Desert"


Richard near Tastiota

on the coast of Sonora, Mexico, with the rare Tiburon barrel cactus (Ferocactus tiburonensis) and senita (Lophocereus schottii



green ride on the names of plants, letting them roll deliciously in your mouth, remembering from your own history: screwbean, amaranth, jojoba, chia. 

—comments by Sharman Apt Russell, author and winner of the 2016 John Burroughs Medal 

PLANTS & ANIMALS IN THE YOEME WORLD: Ethnoecology of the Yaquis

of Sonora and Arizona

by Richard Stephen Felger & Felipe Silvestre Molina

Special Publication of the Desert Laboratory,

University of Arizona, Tucson

available Fall 2021, est. 550 pp., open access

THE DESERT EDGE: Flora of the Guaymas–Yaqui Region of Sonora, Mexico

by Richard Stephen Felger, Susan Davis Carnahan, &

José Jesús Sánchez-Escalante

Special Publication of the Desert Laboratory,

University of Arizona, Tucson

available Fall 2021, est. 900 pp., 3 volumes; open access

by Richard Stephen Felger, James Thomas Verrier,

Kelly Kindscher, & Xavier Raj Herbst Khera

March 2021, University of New Mexico Press, 328 pp.

SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL ARTICLE — Controls of plant diversity and composition on a desert archipelago.

Wilder, B.T, R.S. Felger, & E. Ezcurra. 2019. 

7:e7286 DOI 10.7717/peerj.7286 

Dark Horses and Little Turtles
and Other Poems from the Anthropocene

by Richard Stephen Felger 

to purchase, click here

Reader, beware, something in these poems may leap out at you like a big extinct sharp-toothed cat or a trickster god—both of whom prowl this book—or like your own anger and fear about the state of the world, so many humans now and not enough turtles. Don’t worry. There’s plenty of hope here, too, and sex and sly humor. Be prepared to time travel. Settle in, of course, for a 

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PLEASE JOIN US! — Celebrating the Life of Richard S. Felger 

Saturday, July 31, 2021 at Gomez Peak Pavilion, Silver City, NM. Festivities & remembrances begin at 11 a.m. Hosted by Silke Schneider and The Gila Native Plant Society. For more info, see

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