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UC Garden Clippings
University of California Botanical Garden
September 2009 - Vol 2, Issue 3
In This Issue
Thursday Propagator Sales
Propagator's Choice
September: Eastern North America
Fall Self-guided Tour
Thank You Members
Garden Conservation
Volunteer at the Garden
August Programs
Garden Shop Specials

The UC Botanical Garden's Redwood Grove
is closed this summer due to restoration work on Winter Creek.


Join Our Mailing List!
Propagator Sales
Propagation Areas
Open for Sales

California Natives
Cactus and Succulents
Trees and Shrubs

10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Becoming a member of the UC Botanical Garden entitles you to 10% off most plant purchases.
Propagator's Choice

senna hebecarpa

Senna hebecarpa
, the wild senna or American senna, is a shrub that grows to 6 feet in height.  Native to the Eastern United States, it is very hardy and does well in a variety of soils and appreciates moderate watering. This member of the pea family (Fabaceae) blooms in the summer with clusters of ¾", showy, golden flowers; it is quite a delight in the garden. We have one gallon-sized plants for $8.00 on the plant deck.

Image credit:

Succulent Gardens

Succulent gardens in ceramic pots are now available year round on the plant deck. Each garden is hand-crafted and features a selection of exotic and unusual specimens of cacti, agave, sedums and other succulents. The gardens make fabulous gifts and prices start at only $10.

Becoming a member of the UC Botanical Garden entitles you to 10% off most plant purchases.
Quick Links
September in the Garden: Eastern North America
garden scene eastern north americaThe Eastern North American Area of the Garden is home to a unique collection of plants that (like many Californians from "back East") have put down roots and are flourishing in a new western home. Horticulturist Colin Baxter has cared for this collection for six years and explains with a smile, "I often find visitors looking for places like Tompkins County, New York or Perry County, Pennsylvania in the Garden. They are delighted when they find the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) or the milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) that evokes memories of home. This collection is the only comprehensive assemblage of the eastern North American flora in a public garden on the west coast." The Garden's plants are grown from seed collected in the wild and their place of origin is displayed on the plant's label.

false solomon's sealVisit the Eastern North American Area of the Garden in September to view brilliant color in sweeps of flowering summer perennials such as the purple joe-pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum) from Newport County, Rhode Island or the stunning cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) from Morrow County, Ohio. Look carefully on the woodland floor to see the poisonous sky-blue berries of the wood lily (Clintonia umbellata) from Mitchell County, North Carolina or the delicate speckled berries of false Solomon's seal (Smilacina racemosa) from Cheshire County, New Hampshire. A native of Australia, Colin Baxter has a special appreciation for this area, "This is truly an ever-changing four season collection. Fall color is already beginning, and soon the dogwoods, birches (Betula spp.) and sweet gums (Liquidambar styraciflua) will put on a spectacular show. Winter gives the thoughtful visitor an opportunity to examine the sculptural beauty, seed heads and interesting barks of deciduous trees. And the spring ephemerals are glorious. It's a place where visitors can return over and over and always see something new."

Banner Image: Rubeckia triloba
Upper Right Image: A visitor to the Eastern North American area of the Garden is dwarfed by the towering purple joe-pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum) and the bright yellow black-eyed susan flowers (Rudbeckia hirta).

Fall Self-guided Tour
by Christine Manoux, Education Program Coordinator

September 22nd marks the start of the Fall season, a gorgeous time in the Garden. Near each equinox/solstice, the Garden releases a new seasonal self-guided walking tour brochure. Free at the entrance kiosk, the brochure takes you on an around-the-Garden journey of seasonal highlights with fascinating anecdotes about each of the twenty or so featured plants.  

An excerpt from the North American section of the Fall guide includes:
#7) Gray Birch (Betula populifolia) and Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera).  There are about 40 species of birch worldwide.  Their most distinctive feature is their smooth pale bark, often peeling off in long strips.  The bark of each species is different and is a ready means of identification.  Native Americans prefer the bark of the paper birch to make canoes and to cover lodges and tepees.

Garden walking tours follow a circuit and take about an hour. The highlighted plants are marked with a number corresponding to the tour guide. Many thanks go to Garden docent and volunteer Alison Mills for creating this seasonal feature for Garden visitors.
Thank You Members: September Events

The Garden is pleased to present two free events in September as a thank you to our 1500 members. Your generous support maintains one of the most diverse plant collections in the United States.
Thank you!

Sunset Stroll & Wine
Enjoy the gorgeous evening hours and a glass of wine or sparkling lemonade in the Garden during this opportunity to wander the Garden paths after hours. Take in the beautiful light, the surprise of color, and the sounds of evening birds.
Wednesday, September 2, 5 - 8:00 pm
$12, FREE for members, become a member at the door or by phone.
Membership & tour registration: 510-643-2755 x03

Fall Plant Sale: Members' Sale & Silent Auction
Members enjoy a cup of coffee and exclusive shopping hours at the Fall Plant Sale.
Members' Sale and Silent Auction: 9 am - 11 am
Sunday, September 28, 9 - 11 am
Become a member at the door or by phone.
510-643-2755 x03
Garden Conservation: Stinking Cedars
Torreya taxifolia
by Holly Forbes, Curator

The stinking cedar (Torreya taxifolia) is a very endangered species restricted to the Florida panhandle and one nearby site in Georgia.

Since the late 1950s, there has been a sharp decline in the health and reproductive capacity of the species, probably due to fungal pathogens. At one time growing to heights of 80 feet, few specimens now reach 10 feet. In Georgia, 27 trees were recorded in 1981 (IUCN Red List). It has not reproduced in habitat since the early 1990s.

The Garden has two female trees, ranging from 20 - 25 feet tall. They are doing well, flowering each year. One tree produced seeds this year, but they are either sterile or hybrid with another species such as California nutmeg (Torreya californica). We have no male stinking cedars with which to pollinate the female trees.

Stinking cedars are propagated from cuttings and from seeds produced by ex situ populations (ex situ means "off-site"). Several organizations are working to propagate stinking cedars for the creation of new populations away from pathogen-infected habitats. See an update by the Georgia Native Plant Alliance for more information.

Support the Garden's conservation efforts by becoming a UC Botanical Garden member.

Volunteer at the Garden
Can you spare some time? We currently need volunteers in two areas, ongoing in the Garden Shop and at the Fall Plant Sale on Sunday, September 27. Join our community of more than 200 volunteers who support the Garden through educational and fund raising activities, generating an average of 2,000 hours of service each month.
Please contact Perry Hall (510-643-1924) for more information.

Garden Shop Volunteer Details

Plant Sale Volunteer Details

September Programs and Events

Sunset Stroll & Wine: Wednesday, September 2, 5 - 8:00 pm
Enjoy the gorgeous evening hours and a glass of wine or sparkling lemonade in the Garden during this exclusive opportunity to wander the Garden paths after hours. Take in the beautiful light, the surprise of color, and the sounds of evening birds.
$12, FREE for members    Reservations required.

Sick Plant Clinic: Saturday, September 5,  9 am - noon
Join Dr. Raabe for his monthly Sick Plant Clinic and find out which diseases ail your plants. Entomologists are also available to identify the pests that are living in your plants. Please bring plants and disease samples in closed containers or bags.

Stargazing in the Garden Wednesday, September 16,  8:30 - 9:30 pm
Join UC astronomer Jeffrey Silverman to view stars, constellations and even a planet. While the sun goes down listen to a presentation about the night sky and then go out into the Garden at night to see the sky in new ways. Learn about history and myths associated with the constellations you see.
$12, $8 members   Reservations required.

Butterfly Basics: Saturday, September 20,  2 - 4 pm
Join "Butterfly Lady" and Garden docent and volunteer Sally Levinson for an afternoon adventure with butterflies. View displays of live specimens and then watch a video on butterfly lifecycles. Then head out into the Garden's collection to find caterpillars and butterflies.
$12, $10 members    Reservations required.

Music in the Grove:
Thursday, September 24, 5:30 - 7 pm
Join us for an evening of soothing sounds and grove grooves with returning artist Hélène Renaut, Chloe Makes Music & Friends. Share a picnic with friends and family while you enjoy music in our magnificent redwood grove.
$15, $12 members

Fall Plant Sale: Sunday, September 28
Members' Sale and Silent Auction: 9 am - 11 am
Public Sale: 11 am - 3 pm

Always check the Garden Calendar for event details and updates.
Reservations are accepted daily, including weekends, 9 am - 4:30 pm.
Call 510-643-2755 x03 for event registration.

Garden Shop Specials
Sale price: $6.99 (regularly $8.99)
Garden Gloves 
nitrile gloves
Nitrile gloves are manufactured using synthetic latex, contain no latex proteins, and are three times more puncture resistant than natural rubber. Nitrile material also has a naturally low co-efficient of friction, making them easy to put on.

nitrile gloves colorsTough and durable gloves fit like a second skin.
Palms and fingertips are protected, while nylon knit liner and back repel dirt and let skin breathe.
Machine washable. Nitrile.
UCBG Horticultural Staff approved!
Assorted colors available.

No other discounts apply.
Sale ends September 30, 2009

Manage Your Subscription
The UC Garden Clippings is a publication of the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley. You can manage your subscriptions to Garden electronic publications by choosing Update Profile/Email Address at the bottom of the newsletter. The Update Profile/Email Address feature provides subscription options, allowing you to select those garden publications you wish to receive. Select Safe Unsubscribe to remove your email address from all UCBG electronic publications. The Garden offers four email publications:
  • UC Garden Clippings: This is a monthly newsletter featuring garden events and stories.
  • Updates: Occasional brief emails are sent to highlight special garden events.
  • Plant Deck: This is a monthly email describing plants available for purchase in the Garden.
  • Garden Clubs: This is an occasional publication describing special events and opportunities for garden clubs and plant societies.
Editor: Vanessa Crews,, 510-643-2937