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UC Garden Clippings
University of California Botanical Garden
April 2010 - Vol 2, Issue 10
In This Issue
Plant Safari
Spring Plant Sale
April Programs
Garden Shop
Green Stuff Camp
Tell Your Story


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Plant Lists
 April at the Garden: Take a Plant Safari

Ferraria crispa
Consider South Africa for a moment. Nelson Mandela, diamonds, and exotic animals will come to mind, but the plants of South Africa are famous for their diversity of flowers and forms. The range of microhabitats created by topography and climate fosters this plant diversity.  Many species are found nowhere else in the world.
Come walk the Karoo, stroll the Fynbos and discover the plants of the Cape region in the Southern African Area of the UC Botanical Garden. Our collection is especially rich in mediterranean-climate flora of the Cape region. Some adaptations found in these communities include water and nutrient storage, such as succulent leaves and carbohydrate-rich bulbs (geophytes). Plants from the Cape region are well-suited to conditions in California gardens (with the right kind of soil) and have become popular in horticulture.
The Garden's collection is especially significant because most of the plants were wild-collected from seed in known localities and include many rare and unusual species. A large number of southern African plants are of ethnobotanical importance. Demand for medicinal plants from the wild threaten many species with extinction.
Meghan Ray, horticulturist for the collection, suggests April as the best month to see the intense colors of the sweeps of Cape Region daisies and to search carefully for bulbs blooming in rock crevices. Among her favorites are the plants that grow from corms, and are pollinated by flies. To some, the flowers may have bizarre markings and some have unpleasant odors, presumably adaptations to attract the flies, but others have a delightful vanilla-like fragrance (it may be a personal thing).
 "This collection has an ephemeral beauty where there's something new to see every day," states Ray. Standing in sharp contrast to South Africa's wealth of diamonds, plants may be considered by some as the nation's gem of biodiversity.
Plant Safari!
conservation plants
Meghan Ray planting a confiscated cycad (Encephalortos)

Listen to Meghan Ray, Horticulturist, talk about this collection while enjoying a 360 degree panorama.

Take a walk with Meghan Ray and learn more about the Southern African Area of the UC Botanical Garden.
Thursday, April 8, 1 pm - 3 pm
Registration Required, Free for Members; $10 Public

spring plant sale photo 20102010 Spring Plant Sale

After the wonderful season of rain...

 its time to redo your garden!

Members' Preview and Silent Auction:
Friday, April 23rd, 5 - 7:30 pm

Public Sale: Saturday, April 24th 10 am - 2 pm

Exquisite Plants, Rarities, Exotics and More
Visit our website for plant lists, silent auction updates and more information.

Join the Garden! Become a member online.

by Holly Forbes, Curator

Restio in South African planting
Restio in South African planting
The wonderful flowery show described above may obscure somewhat the many other gems in the Southern African Area.
These include endangered cycads in the genus Encephalartos. Endemic to the African continent, this genus has most of its diversity in the country of South Africa. Numbers of species are especially rich in the Eastern Cape Province, and these are featured in the collection. The plants were obtained by the Garden in 2004 from a federal confiscation of illegally imported plants. Some are obviously many years old but have not yet produced cones, thereby revealing their sex - male or female. Garden staff are creating a stud bank of these endangered cycads with the future goal of providing plants for reintroduction into habitat in South Africa. Given that most are slow-growing, we have adopted this as an institutional commitment that will be carried on by our successors.
Other gems include the fascinating restio family (Restionaceae), rush-like plants with dramatically architectural inflorescences. Elegia fistulosa graces the western face of the Entrance Kiosk, providing golden contrast to the dark siding behind them. See this link for pictures and more detailed information about Elegia fistulosa, provided by the South African National Biodiversity Institute:
Celebrate in the Garden with Friends & Family
We know you never tire of strolling through the Garden because it always has something wonderful to share with you. weddingWhy not share the Garden's treasures with your family and friends? The Garden has a variety of sites that may be rented for a special birthday picnic, anniversary reception or perhaps a Redwood Grove or Rose Garden wedding. Imagine a summer wedding reception with guests dancing under the stars on the Conference Center terrace. Make the Garden the backdrop of your family memories. See wedding photos here.

Please let me know if I can tell you more about planning an event in the UC Botanical Garden.

Margie Richardson, UCBG Rental Coordinator, 510-642-3352, mdrich@berkeley.edu

Programs and Events
Fiber & Dye Exhibit
Until April 4,10 am - 4 pm
Visit our special display of plant fibers and dyes from around the world. Take the self-guided tour throughout the collection highlighting plants used for fibers and dyes. See dye samples made by textile students of California College of the Arts.
Free with Garden admission

conservation plantsIntroduction to Birding: A Field Course
Thursdays: April 1, 15, 29,  8:30 am - 10:30 am
Learn the basics of identifying birds by sight and song on this rare opportunity to study out in the Garden. This three part course will take you through the Garden's collections with an emphasis on hearing and observing birds in the field. Your instructors will be Phila Rogers, expert birder and Chris Carmichael, Associate Director of Collections and Horticulture.
Registration required: $95, $75 members

Sick Plant Clinic
Saturday, April 3,  9 am - noon

Hands on Weaving Demonstration
April 3, 1 pm and 2:30 pm
Come meet master weavers from the Golden Gate Weavers Guild as they show you how to weave. A demonstration will be followed by an opportunity to sit at a loom and try for yourself! All levels welcome. Registration required
$15 General Public,  $10 Members; price includes Garden admission and Fiber & Dye exhibit

Plant Safari Through Southern Africa
Thursday, April 8, 1 pm - 3 pm
Spring is always an exciting time in the UC Botanical Garden and one that ends much too soon. After the winter rains, early annuals and spring flowering bulbs fill the Southern African Area with color. Come and see the floral display in full bloom before it is gone for another year with horticulturist for Southern Africa, Cycads and Palms Meghan Ray.
Registration required: Free for Members; $10 Public

Felting with Plant Dyed Wool 
Sunday, April 11, 2010 1pm - 4 pm
Back by popular demand! Join fiber artist Ashley Helvey as she teaches you how to create a felted textile in 2D and 3D. You'll be using gorgeous plant dyed wool from 13-mile wool.
Registration required: $50, $40 members
Butterfly Walks
Monthly Butterfly Walks
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 3 pm - 4 pm Join Sally Levinson, Garden volunteer propagator, docent and caterpillar lady as she guides you through the collection in search of butterflies. Space is limited. Free with Garden admission; Space is limited; Registration required; Children welcome

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 or to purchase/renew a membership.

Garden Shop
weeding glasses
Stop by the Garden Shop for fresh gifts for spring! Tempting new items: weeding glasses, solar lanterns, Peony candles, sun hats, grow-your-own carnivorous
plant kits, egglings, and hand crafted John Doyen
wooden bowls.


~ Get a head start for Mother's Day: We have a variety of gifts for the moms in your life ~
Green Stuff Camp
by Christine Manoux, Education Program Coordinator

Green Stuff Camp is filling up!
Our summer science day-camp has been a Berkeley favorite for generations. Children explore our amazing collection of plants from around the world through walks and creek discoveries, hands-on investigations, journaling, crafts, and edible gardening.

Monday - Friday; 9 am - 2 pm
$210 per week or $195 w/ Family Membership Weeks grouped by age: 5-7 yr olds, 8-10 yr olds

 Click here to see this year's schedule and to download a registration form.
Five Reasons to Join the Garden
Free Plant Safari on Thursday, April 8 (see below)
Order a gift membership now and it will arrive in time for Mother's Day May 9.
Free unlimited Garden visits for a year
Reciprocal privileges with nearly 200 gardens nationwide
Admission to the Members Only Plant Sale on Friday April 23

Five Ways to Join
On-Site: Stop by the Garden Kiosk
Phone: 510-643-2755 x0
FAX: 510-642-3012
Mail: 200 Centennial Dr Berkeley CA 94720-5045

Plant Safari Through Southern Africa
Thursday, April 8, 1 pm - 3 pm
Spring is always an exciting time in the UC Botanical Garden and one that ends much too soon. After the winter rains, early annuals and spring flowering bulbs fill the Southern African Area with color. Come and see the floral display in full bloom before it is gone for another year with horticulturist for Southern Africa, Cycads and Palms Meghan Ray.
Registration required:Free for Members; $10 Public
Tell Your Story in the Garden on our New Tribute Plaza

tribute plazaPlans are underway to refurbish the Garden's current tour deck and include a Tribute Plaza. Two sizes of bricks will be available with a variety of inscription options. The bricks and the stories they tell - your stories - will become a permanent part of the Garden's history and provide an inspirational place to pause and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Details and order forms will be available on the Garden web site soon. Interested in a brick? Contact Vanessa Crews. Pictured right: draft sketch of proposed plaza modification

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 five 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.
  • Tours: Be the first to know when the Garden has a new tour available for schools and other groups. Get details on arranging tours for your group.
  • Garden Events & Programs: This is a quarterly preview of upcoming workshops, classes, tours and festivities.
Editor: Vanessa Crews, vcrews@berkeley.edu, 510-643-2937