Plants in this collection are from the regions around the Mediterranean Sea. The meeting of three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia, in this region results in a particularly diverse flora. The Mediterranean climate is characterized by cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers.
Featured here 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. Rock-roses (Cistus), heathers (Erica) and brooms (Genista) are widespread in the maquis.
Plants from the Canary Islands and other Macaronesian islands are 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.