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UC Botanical Garden

bamboo shade structure

bamboo shade structure

I took some more pictures at the UC Botanical Garden while I was there viewing the corpse flower. There’s a lot to see there. The garden is organized by region, like most botanical gardens, with an emphasis on mediterranean and low-water plants.

Dichelostemma volubile

Dichelostemma volubile, Snakelily

Snakelily stem

Snakelily stem

I tend to think of the Tilden garden when I think of natives, but California natives make up about one third of the UC garden’s acreage, and the garden claims to have about one third of California’s native species represented, including almost all of California’s native bulbs. One I hadn’t seen before is a Snakelily (Dichelostemma volubile), a climbing bulb whose stems twine their way up through shrubs in the oak understory.

serpentine dry stack wall

serpentine dry stack wall

Someone made a nice low wall of (I think) serpentine stone for the raised bed of serpentine plants. Serpentine, or serpentinite, is the state rock of California (though there is a languishing attempt to un-designate ti because it contains asbestos) and gets talked about in native plant circles because only certain plants will grow in serpentine soil. The stone is hard and smooth with a bluish or greenish cast to it; the white is from calcium. It’s rarely used for building in our area. About.com says that “serpentinite is a sexy rock.”

South African section

Southern Africa section

The Southern Africa section has some intense colors.

New World Desert section

New World Desert section

The New World Desert section might be my favorite. The garden has a huge collection of cactus.

Knot Garden

Knot Garden in the Mediterranean section

The garden has a great collection of palms near there, but I didn’t take any photos. I sometimes forget how nice palms can be, and even seeing them and realizing how cool the different shapes and varieties are, I still neglected to take a photo. Several more photos that I did take are below.

Crops of the World

Crops of the World

Crops of the World

Crops of the World

The Crops of the World section had several varieties of P. somniferum poppies. I’m tempted to speculate on how their use reflects a recent change in U.S. drug policy, “phasing out funding for opium eradication while boosting efforts to fight trafficking and promote alternate crops,” but I think someone just thought they would be pretty. More intentional is a planting of the Three Sisters and a collection of culinary herbs.

Mexico section

Mexico section

I seem to still reflexively photograph grasses, although Anita’s grasses class is past. I can’t be judgemental about a planting of Mexican feather grass when it is in the Mexico section.

California Fescue, Festuca californica

California Fescue, Festuca californica

Deer Grass, Muhlenbergia rigens

Deer Grass, Muhlenbergia rigens

New World Desert section

New World Desert section

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4 Responses to “UC Botanical Garden”

  1. July 2nd, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    lostlandscape(James) says:

    I’m curious how they had the poppies labeled–as bread poppies or how they’re used in much of the rest of the world. I haven’t been to this garden, but it looks like it’d be easy to slip into plant overload and forget to photograph something cool. The dichelostemma must have been neat in person. I’ve run across it in the Telos Rare Bulbs catalog but haven’t added it to the garden yet. Still it’s always easier to justify adding a bulb to the garden because they don’t usually take up the space that shrubs do.

  2. July 2nd, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    ryan says:

    I don’t think they were thinking of the opium or even the muffin seed angle with the poppies, just planting something ornamental. The dichelostemmas are pretty cool. It’s just a random flower head above a shrub that wouldn’t have that type of bloom, and then when you look you can see that it’s snaking up the stem of the shrub. I think they would be pretty fun to grow, kind of like a smaller-scale version of adding a clematis or climbing rose to a tree.

  3. July 10th, 2009 at 1:03 am

    Bird says:

    That snake lily is fascinating, a real mismatch between flower and stem!

  4. July 16th, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    chuck b. says:

    I got that Dichlostemma volubile from Telos last year and it grew quite a ways up my Fremontodendron this year. I hope it comes back next year too.

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