May 2010 banner
UC Garden Clippings
University of California Botanical Garden
May 2010 - Vol 2, Issue 11
In This Issue
May at the Garden
Mother's Day at the Garden
New Orchid Species is Discovered
Membership Matters
May Programs
Celebrate National Public Gardens Day
New Camp for Tweens!
Tell Your Story
Take Note: An ACT Play for Garden Lovers


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May at the Garden:
Visit the World's Biggest Collection of
California Native Plants

I love you, California, you're the greatest state of all
I love you in the winter, summer, spring, and in the fall.
I love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore,
I love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore.

As the words to California's state song suggest, our state is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, with more plant variety than any other US state. One-third of the more than 3400 native plant species are found only in California. The great variety of plant communities in California has evolved in response to the state's vast geological, topographical, and microclimate diversity.

vernal poolThe UC Botanical Garden is home to the world's largest species collection of California native plants. The collection is arranged by plant communities such as the pygmy forest, alpine fell-field, chaparral, serpentine and Channel Island beds. Horticulturist Ken Bates cares for the California collection and Bates advises visitors to take a close look at the area's vernal pool in May. "The meadowfoam (Limnanthes vinculans) is profusely flowering in the vernal pool and will soon be followed by the vivid purple of  Pogogyne douglasii  which is currently the outer ring of leafy vegetation. It's a great opportunity to see the concentric rings of flowering plants that appear as the water in the pool evaporates."

Come walk our California collection this month and discover the diversity of California plant life. We love you California!

Ken Bates will lead a walk through the California collection on Thursday, May 13 from 1 - 2:30 pm. This walk is free for members and $10 for the public. Reservations are advised. Call 510-643-2755 x03.

Holly Forbes discusses research and conservation efforts in the California collection, along with the collection's history in this article. We will post Paul Licht's interview with Ken Bates on this page on Monday, May 3, so please check back.

California poppy
Bringing Back the Natives

The Garden's California Native Plants Nursery will be open to the public for shopping on Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2 from 10:30 am until 2:30 pm. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to shop the nursery on a weekend. Be sure to check out the nursery plant list for new additions, including items that were not available at the plant sale.

Sunday, May 2, noon & 2 pm
Come celebrate natives with our two special tour offerings.

At noon families can join docents to learn about California Natives: Plants and People on our popular ethnobotanical tour.

At 2 pm join docent and California native propagator, Cristina Campbell,  on a tour through the California collection.
Free with Garden admission
Mother's Day at the Garden

Treat the Mom in your life to a special day on Sunday, May 9.
Pack a picnic with her favorite lunch and bring her to the Garden to enjoy the lush bloom of the Garden of Old Roses or discover the unique natives in the California collection.

Stay for the Redwood Grove Concert at 2 pm or take a free walk with a docent at 1:30 pm. Treat her to a gift membership on Mother's Day and your gift will come with a fine art print (see the Membership Matters article later in this Clippings).

Visit our shop for gifts your Mom will love!
New Orchid Species is Discovered in the UC Botanical Garden Collection

A Haitian orchid is enjoying celebrity status at the UC Botanical Garden, after scientists discovered that the long-time Garden resident is a distinct new species.

A low-growing plant with showy red-orange flowers, the plant has been in the Garden collection since the 1990s, bearing the name Maxillaria croceorubens
Ornithidium donaldeedodii
Maxillaria croceorubens
. But recent DNA analysis of flower and leaf material from the orchid, provided by the Garden, confirmed that the plant, in fact, is genetically distinct from M. croceorubens; study of its physical form and structure confirm its uniqueness.

The new orchid species - described recently in Lankesteriana, the international journal on orchidology - is named Ornithidium donaldeedodii, after orchidologist Donald Dod, who collected the specimen in the 1980s and served, in his later years, as a research associate for the UC Herbarium. Dod died in 2008, at 95. Read more...
Baker's larkspur (Delphinium bakeri)
Baker's larkspur (Delphinium bakeri)
by Holly Forbes, Curator

The Garden's Baker's larkspur (Delphinium bakeri)  introductions in Marin County are going well. Sites are on Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) land and two private properties. There were flowers on all but one plant at the fenced MMWD site. We are thrilled with this success and also with the amazing floristic diversity of the site. We will continue to monitor each population for seed production this spring. The only-known natural population sported another flowering individual this spring, not seen flowering in this particular spot for the last ten years.

Nearly 40% of 12,500 seeds of San Mateo Thornmint (Acanthomintha duttonii) have germinated and some are starting to flower. These seeds were provided by the Garden for an effort to supplement the only natural population in the world at Edgewood Preserve, south of San Francisco. This annual species flowers and sets seed in May and June. The 180 pots of additional seeds of the thornmint in the Garden nursery germinated at a rate of 44%, so we will be providing thousands more seeds for future projects. Our partners are the Creekside Center for Earth Observation, with funding from the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Propagator's Choice: 
Garrya elliptica 'Evie'
by Bryan Gim
Volunteer Propagator Coordinator & Horticulturist, Arid House

This cultivar of the native silktassel bush is more compact and denser than 'James Roof'. The 8 to 10 inch catkins are shorter but more profuse. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree and grows to 10 feet. Give it full sun to part shade, and good drainage. Winter brings a dazzling display when it is covered in catkins of creamy white flowers with a maroon tinge. We have nice one-gallon pots for $15.00.

Why Membership Matters
Bukovnik PosterMembership gives you the opportunity to help the University of California Botanical garden fulfill its mission as guardian of the world's largest species collection of California native plants including many rare and endangered plants. Your gift will have an impact on the entire Garden helping to maintain and preserve this priceless collection. Benefits include free Garden admission, a 10% discount in the Garden shop and reciprocal admission to over 100 public gardens around the nation.

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

Special Gift if You Visit and Join on These Days
National Public Gardens Day: Friday, May 7
Mothers Day: Sunday, May 9
Visit the Garden and make a membership gift (or a gift membership) and we will give you a fine art print by Gary Bukovnik.
Programs and Events
And to say veritie, and not to fable,
We are a merry rout, or else a rable,
Or company, or, by a figure, Choris, That fore thy dignitie will dance a Morris. - John Fletcher and William Shakespeare, The Two Noble Kinsmen (1684)
Sick Plant Clinic
Saturday, May 1,  9 am - noon

Berkeley Morris Dancers
Saturday, May 1,  12:15 - 12:45 pm
Welcome the merry month of May with a performance in the Garden entry plaza by the Berkeley Morris dancers. Morris dancing is a living tradition, linking pastoral communities of long ago with the cities, towns, and extended communities we live in today.
Free with Garden admission

Bringing Back the Natives
Sunday, May 2, noon & 2 pm
Come celebrate natives with our two special tour offerings. At noon families can join docents to learn about California Natives: Plants and People on our popular ethnobotanical tour.
At 2 pm join docent and California native propagator, Cristina Campbell,  on a tour through the California collection.
Free with Garden admission

National Public Gardens Day 
Friday, May 7,  9 - 5 pm
Come support your favorite public garden. To show our gratitude for your support we'll be handing out postcards and free one-time use passes to all visitors who come through this day.
Sign up for a membership and receive a fine art print (for details see the Membership Matters article in this Clippings). There will be docent tours at 11 am and 1 pm leaving from the Garden Shop.
Free with garden admission

Succulents for Little Green Thumbs
Saturday, May 8,   2  - 3 pm
Children of all ages, together with their parent/guardian, will explore amazing succulents, discover where and how they grow, and pot-up their plants to take home. The program features a mini-tour of the Arid House and Desert collections, and refreshments made from edible succulents.
$20, $17 members; price includes one adult and one child; $12 each additional child or adult per family, Registration required

sitarRagas and Redwoods:
Indian Classical Music in the Grove
Sunday, May 9,   2  - 4 pm   Mothers Day!
Join visiting artists from India Partha Bose on sitar with tabla player Indranil Mallick at this special Mother's Day concert. Perfect for families.
$15, $12 members

Horticultural Walk
Thursday, May 13, 1 - 2:30 pm
Join Horticulturist of the California Area Ken Bates on this special tour through the Garden's California collection.
$10; Free for Members, Space is limited;
Registration required

Vertical Gardens

Saturday, May 15, 1 - 3 pm
Join guest horticulturists and designers from Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco to learn how to design vertical gardens. You'll learn the appropriate plants to use, their care and you will plant a vertical garden to take home with you.
$50, $40 members, Registration required

A Walk Through the Garden of Old Roses
Garden of Old Roses
rose garden

Saturday, May 15, 10 am - noon
Join horticulturist Peter Klement for a lovely morning stroll through the Garden of Old Roses at the peak of its bloom. Discover the rose's rich historical background and listen to amazing ethnobotanical tales.
$20, $15 members, Registration required

Introduction to Chinese Traditional Medicine
Sunday, May 23, 10 am - noon
Come listen to Anastacia White, practitioner and teacher of Chinese Traditional Medicine talk on the principles of CTM. The talk will be followed by a walk in the Garden's Chinese Medicinal Herb Garden.
$20, $15 members, Registration required

Monthly Butterfly Walks
Tuesday, May 25, 3 - 4 pm Join Sally Levinson, Garden volunteer propagator, docent and caterpillar lady as she guides you through the collection in search of butterflies. Rain cancels this walk.
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.

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day on May 7
National Public Gardens Day
Did you know there are over 500 public gardens in the United States?

National Public Gardens Day was established to raise public awareness of America's public gardens and their important role in promoting environmental stewardship and education, plant and water conservation, and education in communities nationwide.

Visit our Garden on May 7. We'll be handing out postcards and free one-time use passes to all visitors who come through this day. Sign up for a membership and receive a fine art print (for details see the Membership Matters article in this Clippings). There will be docent tours at 11 am and 1 pm leaving from the Garden Shop.
New Camp for Tweens!
by Christine Manoux, Education Program Coordinatort rex

Young Science Explorers: July 6 - 9, 9 am - 3 pm

In partnership with our fellow UC Berkeley Natural History Museums (BNHM), this summer we are excited to introduce a new camp for 11-13 year olds.

Young Science Explorers: UCB's Hidden Treasures is a special 4-day Summer Camp where youth are able to explore the amazing BNHM collections (many off-limits to the general public!), meet real scientists, conduct hands-on investigations, learn to think like a scientist, and document their discoveries!  Each day's explorations will take place at a different museum and includes the Museum of Paleontology, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the Essig Museum of Entomology, and of course our own Botanical Garden. 

For more information, go to:

Tell Your Story in the Garden on our New Tribute Plaza

brickPlans are underway to refurbish the Garden's current tour deck and include a Tribute Plaza. Two sizes of bricks are 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 are available on the Garden web site. Interested in a brick? Contact Vanessa Crews.

Now Showing in San Francisco: An ACT Play for Garden Lovers

Round and Round the Garden
by Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by John Rando
April 29-May 23, 2010

ACT 405 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

In the "explosively hilarious" (London's Guardian) third installment of Alan Ayckbourn's acclaimed trilogy The Norman Conquests, librarian Norman, to whom family members refer as a "badly built haystack," channels his inner Casanova in fervent attempts to seduce his two sisters-in-law, as well as his estranged wife, during a weekend family gathering. In this British farce full of unfulfilled desire, Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown, the Musical) allows us a satisfying voyeuristic gaze into Ayckbourn's "gleefully torrid little world" (Entertainment Weekly).
As a thank you for supporting the UC Botanical Garden, ACT offers you $40 off a pair of tickets!
Use promo code GARDENS online or call 415.749.2228.*

*Offer only available for orchestra and dress circle seats for performances April 29-May 23. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. Subject to availability.

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 this Clippings. 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 publication 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,, 510-643-2937