Located on the steep, eastern edge of the Garden, this area evokes the feeling of climbing the rocky slopes of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. In this region, the meeting of three continents—Europe, Africa, and Asia—results in a particularly diverse flora.
Featured in this collection are plants from the maquis, a plant community of shrubs and low trees with small, leathery leaves, similar to the chaparral of California and the matorral of South America. Rockroses (Cistus), heathers (Erica), and brooms (Genista) are widespread in the maquis.
Plants from the Canary Islands and other Macaronesian islands are also featured because of their proximity to the Mediterranean Basin and for their similar growing conditions. Aeonium, Echium, and Sonchus are common in Bay Area horticulture.
The mediterranean climate is characterized by cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers.