UC Botanical Garden
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.
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.
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.”
The Southern Africa section has some intense colors.
The New World Desert section might be my favorite. The garden has a huge collection of cactus.
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.
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.
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.
Tags: uc botanical garden
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