Gunnera chilensisThis area highlights plants from the Sierra Madre mountain ranges of Mexico south to the higher elevations of Central America and includes many species used in Aztec and Mayan medicine and ritual.

Evergreen cloud forest and pine-oak woodland communities are recreated in this collection.  Evergreen cloud forests occur at high elevations where low-level clouds reduce temperatures and provide abundant moisture.  Ferns, epiphytes, and mosses thrive in these wet, cool conditions.

Pine-oak woodlands occur in many types of terrain, including plateaus, foothills, and rugged mountains with deep canyons.  This community varies from distinct stands of pine and fir trees to areas dominated by oaks.

Pines, oaks, agaves and salvias are major components of this collection.  Rare species of magnolias, pines and spruces displayed here are threatened by habitat loss in Mexico and Central America.

The floras of Mexico and Central America have contributed many wonderful ornamental plants to Bay Area horticulture.  These include salvias, fuchsias, agaves, dahlias, and marigolds.