The summer that I began working in the Garden’s Australasian collection, the Dianella we grow had an exceptional flowering and fruiting year.  Dianella fruit at its most eye-catching is a deep, clear blue-purple.  That summer there were cascades of berries suspended on wiry black stems throughout the collection.  I became fixated with the color blue….

The University of California Botanical Garden was established on the Berkeley campus in 1890. It is approaching its hundredth anniversary in the Strawberry Canyon location where the garden was relocated in the mid-1920’s. As you can image, there have been a great many changes to the landscape over the course of nearly a century; buildings,…

It’s been a long seven years since Maladora the titan arum last bloomed and, boy, was I was taken by surprise this week. My observations of the emerging bud during these last few weeks pointed towards a new leaf – the new shoot was quite slim until recently when it fattened up and revealed a…

The Mexican/Central American Collection has long been one of my favorite areas of the Garden. It contains some of my favorite plants (read agave family), and being one of the farthest flung and quietest areas in the Garden, it can really feel like you’re out in the wilds of mountainous Mexico. This collection has notable…

The Garden’s 34 acres is not only a phenomenal collection of plants, but also a rich habitat for amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals. As a horticulturist for the Garden I have been able to observe some amazing creatures like the California newt (Taricha torosa). In the winter they breed in the Japanese Pool but during…

Working as a horticulturist in a glasshouse is an interesting job, particularly in a collection as diverse as that in the UCBG Arid House. The Arid House harbors a phenomenal collection of over 10,000 plants. The unifying theme of the collection is adaptation to habitats of extreme aridity and the plants display a fascinating range…

At the end of last month, I had the pleasure of representing UCBG at the XIX International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen, China.  Given that the IBC is only held every six years, it was a much anticipated and heavily attended event. Over 6500 botanists from around the world convened for an intense week of scientific…

The Garden has a tripartite mission:  research, education, and conservation.  I have spent many years working with botanists at the NY Botanical Garden to support their global research agenda, and engaged closely with the NYBG Herbarium to support that collection of several million dried plant specimens that are critical to botanical research, from genetic studies…

Starting in June of 2016, UCBG staff have taken regular trips to Point Arena, California to conduct a floristic survey of the 1,665 acre Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument. This work has been accomplished through a contract for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Our team scoured ocean bluffs, fog-drenched pine forest,…

If you look for UCBG on Yelp, you will find that many of the comments come from people who came to the Garden for a wedding or other event.  While the primary purpose of the Garden isn’t to generate revenue, weddings and rentals are an important way to support our core mission of education, conservation,…

© 2015 UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley
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