YEAR OF

Ethnobotany

CELBRATING PLANTS + PEOPLE

Free with Garden Admission

Docent-led Garden Tour · Every Thursday through Sunday, 1:30 pm

Discovery Station · First Wednesday of the Month, 11 am – 3 pm

Sick Plant Clinic · First Saturday of the Month, 9 am – 12 pm

Integral Taiji & Qigong* · Aug 16, Sept 20; 11 am – 12 pm

Intoxicating Plants Tour* · Aug 13, Sept 17; 1 – 2 pm

Butterfly Walk · July 23, Aug 27, Sept 24, Oct 22; 3 – 4 pm

*Registration required, limited spots available

July

Peter Raven Talk
1 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Discovery Station: Cactus and Agave
3 | 11 am – 3 pm

Intoxicating Plants Tour
9 | 1 – 2 pm

Global Ethnobotany Class with Kathleen Harrison
12 | 10 am – 4 pm

Contemplating Connection: Photography Workshop
15 | 1 – 4 pm

Integral Taiji and Qigong
19 | 11 am – 12 pm

Butterfly Walk
23 | 3 – 4 pm

Introduction to Botanical Art with Catherine Watters
28 | 10 am – 4 pm

Redwood Grove Summer Concerts
Every Tuesday & Thursday

August

Contemplating Silence: Photography Workshop
5 | 1 – 4 pm

Discovery Station: Young Docents
7 | 11 am – 3 pm

Intoxicating Plants Tour
13 | 1 – 2 pm

Integral Taiji and Qigong
16 | 11 am – 12 pm

Butterfly Walk
27 | 3 – 4 pm

Redwood Grove Summer Concerts
Every Thursday

Visit our Calendar for more details, registration, and the most up-to-date program listings.

Calendar

Annual Events

Spring Plant Sale
Last weekend in April

Bug Day
Sunday in June

Apples & Hops
September 8th

Fall Plant Sale
Last weekend in September

Holiday Pop-up Shop
Mid-December

Seasonal Exhibitions

Plants Illustrated
January

Fiber & Dye
March

Foods of the Americas

Archives

Past Featured Programs

Connecting Plants & People: An Ethnobotanical Conversation

The Garden hosted its first-ever Ethnobotany Symposium on October 11-12, 2019. Over the course of two days, the vast discipline of ethnobotany was explored through a variety of lectures, hands-on workshops, tours, and demonstrations. The Garden hosted both local and world-renowned speakers and presented examples of the undeniable, multi-faceted relationship between people and plants. Of the 200 attendees, many hearts and minds were changed by this extraordinary gathering of the Ethnobotany community. We thank our sponsors, speakers, attendees, and volunteer Garden community for making this a memorable experience for all!

Event Photos

Two models in nature-inspired outfits walking in the Redwood Grove

Runway in the Redwoods

A Nature-Inspired Fashion Show
Sunday, June 23 | 4 – 6 pm

The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley presents RUNWAY IN THE REDWOODS, a unique Redwood Grove Fashion Show with original garments, textiles, and sculptural adornments featuring plant-based design and innovation directly inspired by the Botanical Garden.

As part of its Year of Ethnobotany celebration, the Botanical Garden is proud to have brought together as Designers-in-Residence an array of the Bay Area and California’s most talented textile artists and fashion designers to collaborate on this show.

Event Video

Trees & Tones

The UC Botanical Garden hosted a four-part series that highlighted the relationship between music and plants as seen in instrument making and musical traditions throughout the world. Each lecture was accompanied by a concert or demonstration.

African Blackwood – Oboes · Brenda Schuman-Post, Sonic Forest
Resonating Woods – Classical & Folk Guitars · John F Mello, Peter Zisa, TARIMBA
Trees & Gourds – Sitars & Tamburas · J Scott Hackleman, Joanna Mack, Ferhan Quereshi
Pau-Brasil – Violin & Cello Bows · Zac Cande, Lisa Grodin

Science of Cannabis Symposium

The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley presented a month-long series of weekly symposia on the Science of Cannabis. While the lines between the scientific and social issues surrounding Cannabis can be porous, the focus on this symposium will be to disseminate knowledge based upon scientific research. The lectures were recorded and available for you to view.

The Environmental Impact of Large Scale Cannabis Cultivation · Amanda Reiman, PhD
The Genetics of Cannabis Breeds · Mowgli Holmes, PhD
The Neuroscience of Cannabis · David Presti, PhD
The Ethnobotany of Cannabis · Thomas J. Carlson, MD/MS
Cannabis as Medicine · Donald I. Abrams, MD

Watch Lectures

Noteable Events

Fall Harvest Dinner

Funds from this dinner and silent auction will go towards a wide array of education projects, such as gratis field-trips for low-income youth, low-cost workshops, outreach programs to schools, monthly Family Programs, exhibits and interpretation in the Garden, just to name a few.  We hope you will celebrate with us and we thank you for your support!

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Oliver Ranch Tour

Located in the heart of Sonoma County, 70 miles north of San Francisco, and known internationally for its wineries and scenic pleasures, the Oliver Ranch is home to 18 remarkable site-specific installations; the most recent of which is Ann Hamilton’s The tower where commissioned dance, poetry, theatre, and music performances take place. The picturesque 100-acre property was originally bought by Steve and Nancy Oliver in 1981 to graze a few extra sheep from, as Steve says, “My daughter’s 4-H project gone bad.” The ranch’s evolution from exiled sheep quarters to world-renowned sculpture ranch was gradual and organic, a natural convergence of the Olivers’ longstanding passion for art and deep connection to the land.

Apples & Hops

Live music, local breweries and festival food! Celebrate two favorite plants with us in the Garden! Beer & Cider Garden with: Fort Point Beer Company, Ocean View Brew Works, Gilman Brewing Company, AppleGarden Farm, Mission-Trail Cider. Snacks by Peter’s Kettle Corn, Firebrand Pretzels, Donut Savant, Bernie’s Best Apple Juice, Urban Remedy, Coolinaria Taco Truck. Live music by Jubilee and King Street Giants. Spirits Tasting Room with: Raff Distillerie, Mosswood Whiskey, San Francisco Mean Company, Vignette Wine Country Soda. And an evening concert with Bay Area band Rogue Wave!

Past Exhibitions

DISPERSAL: Seed Pod Photography by Anna Laurent

January 17 – 30, 2017 | 10 am – 4 pm

Individually, each photograph is a fine art portrait of a unique botanic specimen; as a series, it is a scientific inquiry into the diversity of botanic design. Each includes companion text about the specimen’s form & function.

Anna Laurent is an artist with a unique insight into the natural world. In her series Dispersal, she explores the myriad forms through which plants reproduce. To the uninitiated, Laurent’s close up portraits of flora and seeds could easily be mistaken for works of abstract art or images of contemporary sculpture. From samples collected as far afield as Hawaii and Kurdistan, Laurent’s work serves as a stunning reminder of the diversity, beauty and fragility of the natural world.

David Lance Goines

March 26 – April 7, 2016 | 10 am – 4 pm

The UC Botanical Garden is pleased to host an exhibition of the artwork of David Lance Goines in the historic Julia Morgan Hall.  His work has been exhibited around the world from the Museum of Modern Art to the Smithsonian. He has long-standing ties to Bay Area treasure Chez Panisse, and we are thrilled to bring his work to the Garden.

The Alcatraz Floreligium

January 16 – 29, 2016 | 10 am – 4 pm

The Northern California Society of Botanical Artists (NCSBA) in collaboration with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the Garden Conservancy has created a florilegium, a series of botanical paintings, to document the plants of The Gardens of Alcatraz. The UC Botanical Garden is thrilled to welcome the NCSBA to exhibit this special showing of the Alcatraz Florilegium, with over 70 drawings and paintings, in our beautiful Julia Morgan Hall.

Art Exhibition: Watercolors by Gary Bukovnik

August 25 – September 3, 2015 | 10 am – 4 pm

Bay Area watercolorist, Gary Bukovnik, has brought the artist’s eye to interpreting flowers for more than 30 years. At a time when modern American artists seem to have abandoned floral works, Bukovnik has made an illustrious career painting vibrant compositions of flowers.

Bukovnik’s work has appeared in many major art museums including the de Young, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian, and others, Bay Area residents may recognize Bukovnik’s work from the San Francisco Symphony’s annual poster, which he has contributed to for the past 29 years.

Following in the Bartram’s Footsteps

December 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015

This major art exhibition curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists,  includes forty-four original artworks based on the native plant discoveries made by John and William Bartram in their renowned and influential travels throughout the Eastern wilderness between the 1730s and 1790s. The UC Botanical Garden will be the only West Coast showing of this exhibition.

Natural Discourse

July 14, 2012 – January 20, 2013

Natural Discourse: Artists, Architects, Scientists & Poets in the Garden is a collaborative project between The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley (UCBG) and a multi-disciplinary group of artists, writers, architects and researchers who have been invited to spend time in UCBG’s extraordinary collection of plants, engage with the horticulturalists and develop new site specific work. The resulting works are as varied and multi-dimensional as the individuals who created the pieces.

Participating artists are Mary Anne Friel, Todd Gilens, Matt Suib, Nadia Hironaka, Hazel White, Denise Newman, Deborah O’Grady, Ron Real, Viginia San Fratello, Gail Wight, Nami Yamamoto, Mitch Maher, Shirley Watts, Shane Myrbeck and Jane Flint.

Artist in Residence: Marion Brenner

March 8 – March 15, 2013

The Garden presents a selection of renowned photographer and Berkeley resident Marion Brenner as our first Artist in Residence. Ms. Brenner has created a body of work featuring the beautiful plants and landscapes of the Garden and we are pleased to display this work in a one-woman show at the Garden.

Planting Comics

June 21 – July 30, 2010

A site-specific comics installation by comic artist Ozge Samanci  of twenty original comics printed on ceramic tiles.