August 2011 banner quercus

UC Garden Clippings

University of California Botanical Garden

August  2011 - Vol 4, Issue 2
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August in the Garden
Garden Membership


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August in the Garden  

Quercus durata scrub oak

Quercus durata by Melanie Hofmann

Nationally Recognized Quercus Collection   


The Garden is home to an extensive collection of oak species, a collection so rich that it has earned the Garden national recognition. In 2004 the Garden was granted a place in the Multisite Quercus (Oak) Collection of the North American Plant Collections Consortium, a network of botanical gardens and institutions that strives to preserve plant species from throughout the world. The Garden proudly contributes over 70 taxa to this consortium collection.


The Garden's oak collection is richest in species from Mexico and Central America, but it also contains a healthy number of oaks that grow in the Gardenʼs Californian, Mediterranean, Eastern North American, and Asian sections. Like many of the Gardenʼs plants, most of the oaks are from wild sources. They range from the dwarfish huckleberry oak (Quercus vaccinifolia) which grows no higher than a shrub, to the massive netleaf oak (Quercus rugosa) that rise above the Gardenʼs cloud forest.  


View a slideshow of Garden Quercus created by Garden volunteers Katherine Rudebusch and Melanie Hofmann. 


Quercus Horticultural Walk 

July 8 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Quercus Collection


Chris Carmichael Associate Director of Collections and Horticulture Chris Carmichael will lead a walking tour of the Gardenʼs oak collection. The tour will provide detailed information about the oak trees that call this garden home as well as the flora and fauna that rely on them.


Members only. Free. Join the Garden. Register by calling 510-643-2755, or by emailing

Propagator's Choice: 

California Coffeeberry 

 by Bryan Gim 


Companion plants for the coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia have to meet specific requirements: they must endure summer drought, root competition, and be shade tolerant. We offer a great selection of plants meeting these requirements propagated from our California native and Mediterranean collections.  


Of particular note are two small forms of the California coffeeberry, Frangula (syn.= Rhamnus) californica, 'Eve Case' and 'Mound San Bruno'. Both do well in full sun or shade, are drought resistant, anFrangula californicad tolerate soils from heavy clay to rocky slopes. In early summer they produce berries that change from green to red to black. 'Eve Case' grows to 6 feet tall, 'Mound San Bruno' is smaller (to 4 feet) and a bit lusher in appearance. Both are frost hardy and long-lived, perfect for gardening under oaks.  


1 gallon pots of either are $10.00 each.  


Banner photo:
Island scrub oak (Quercus pacifica) by Melanie Hofmann

Garden Oak Collection

by Holly Forbes, Curator


The 2007 Red List of Oaks, published by Botanic Gardens Conservation International, provides a conservation analquercus conservation listysis of oaks throughout the world.
The Garden's collection of oaks includes two species rated "vulnerable" (Quercus cedrosensis and Q. tomentella). Vulnerable in this context means the species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. The Mexican species Q. polymorpha and Q. rysophylla are NT, or "near threatened" and are likely to qualify for a more critical category if nothing is done to reverse their downward trend.

Island scrub oak (Quercus cedrosensis) was described for science by the late Cornelius H. Muller, a professor at UC Santa Barbara and an acknowledged world expert on Mexican oaks. According to The Red List of Oaks, "this species is restricted to sclerophyllous vegetation in both lowland and
Q. tomentella

Quercus tomentella by Melanie Hofmann

mountainous areas. It occurs on Cedros Island where the vegetation suffers from over-grazing by goats. Recent surveys by the California Native Plant Society have discovered four new localities near Otay Mountain, San Diego, California, where it is considered rare." This species is also the subject of a recent research request by Dr. Marco Simeone, at the University of Tuscia, Italy. He says it is impossible to find in European botanical gardens.

You can see this small oak in the Baja Bed 171B of the New World Desert Collection.  Island oak (Quercus tomentella), from Santa Rosa Island, is planted in Beds 9 and 73 in the California Collection.

The Garden's award-winning curator, Holly Forbes, discusses efforts to save local endangered plants in this video. Forbes was recently awarded the Star Award from the Center for Plant Conservation for her work with rare and imperiled plant species. The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the concern, cooperation and personal investment needed to conserve imperiled native plants.

The Garden Shop

Save the Trees! Save the Planet with Your UCBG Reusable Bag!

The next time you come to the Garden Shop, pick up your favorite plants together with a UCBG chico bagreusable shopping bag. Our reusable bag is made of durable polyester, weighs only 1.5 ounces, and fits into a 3"x4" pouch. No special folding is required. You can carry the bag in your pocket or  clip it to your backpack, purse, or jeans. The bag has a 25-pound carrying capacity, so you can easily take home some plants from the Garden or a gallon of milk from the grocery store. It is machine-washable. Our UCBG bag with its attractive logo is very stylish, and shows that you support the UC Botanical Garden. So you may want to take it to your next potluck party!

The UCBG reusable bag is made by ChicoBag™, a leading producer of quality reusable bags in Chico, CA. Using a UCBG reusable bag not only reduces paper and plastic waste, but also supports our local businesses.

UCBG Logo Reusable Shopping Bag: $7.99

Proceeds from The Garden Shop benefit the UC Botanical Garden.


Programs & Events

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.

Sick Plant Clinic
Saturday | August 6 | 9 am -12 pm
Bay Area residents have brought their ailing plants to the sick plant clinic for more than 20 years now for diagnosis by a team of volunteer plant pathologists and entomologists from UC Berkeley and regional parks groups as well as private plant consultants. 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 too! Please cover plants and disease samples in containers or bags before entering the Garden. Read the 6/29 San Francisco Chronicle article about the Clinic.

Hooded Oriole by Melanie Hofmann
Summer Birding Walk

Saturday | August 13 | 9 - 10:30 am
Listen to the sounds of summer! Join Phila Rogers, expert birder, and Chris Carmichael, the Garden's Associate Director for Collections and Horticulture, on a morning walk to discover the Garden's bird life.
Registration required: $20, $17 members; registration required

Quercus Members Walk
Tuesday | August 16 | 1 - 2 pm
You might be surprised to know that the Garden contains a nationally recognized collection of oaks (Quercus) from around the world. Our oaks are part of a multi-institution collection recognized by the North American Plant Collections Consortium. Join Chris Carmichael, Associate Director of Collections and Horticulture on this Quercus walk to find out what this means, to learn a bit about oak biology, and to visit oaks in five of the Garden's collections.

Members only ,free; registration required  



121st Garden Birthday

Thursday | August 18 | 5:30 - 8 pm
Join us for a celebration of the Garden's 121th year. We'll have cupcakes from Teacake Bake Shop, wine from Artesa Vineyards and lemonade, live music and open hours to explore the Garden's beautiful paths. Get lost, wander, meet fellow garden members and UC Berkeley faculty and staff and enjoy the Garden.
Garden members, docents & volunteers and UC faculty/staff only; FREE

Butterfly Walk

Tuesday | August 23 | 3 - 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. Children welcome.
Free with Garden admission

faunal guide Animals of the Garden Breakfast & Walk for Families
Sunday | August 28 |10 am -12 pm
Children, with their family, are invited to join the Garden on this special journey to discover the many wonderful creatures living in the Garden. On our animal treasure hunt, we will learn about newts, birds, butterflies, frogs, lizards, foxes, snakes and more! Hone your skills of observation and learn how plants and animals live together. Fee includes a light breakfast and a copy of the Illustrated Guide to the Common Animals of the East Bay Hills (retailing for $8.95 in The Garden Shop).
$20 for each adult and child, $17 members; $10 each additional person; registration required


Members Only


Garden Membership  

Suzanne Field

Suzanne Field, Membership & Program Manager

Thanks to everyone who made the July New Member Welcome Wagon a success. Active, involved and concerned members make the Garden an amazing community to belong to. Membership support is vital and your contribution ensures the Garden can continue its innovative work.

This month the Garden challenges you to be an enthusiastic member!  Spread the word about our new bee hive in the Tropical House, join us for a summer concert in the Redwood Grove, take a Horticulture Walk with an expert or sign-up for a family program. You're invited to join us on August 18 for the Garden's 121st Birthday Party. Don't forget - the Garden's birthday event is an exclusive member-only celebration. You must be a current member to attend the party so now is the perfect time to renew!

With five ways to join we make it easy for you to support the Garden and manage your membership. We hope to see you on a Garden path or at a program this August!



On-Site: Stop by the Garden Kiosk

Phone: 510-643-2755 x0

FAX: 510-642-3012

Mail: 200 Centennial Dr Berkeley CA 94720-5045



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Foxtails Brigade

Thursday |  August 4 | 5:30 pm


Just featured on the cover of the Chron's 96 Hours, Foxtails Brigade is a San Francisco music collective headed by front-woman Laura Weinbach. They specialize in quiet, finger-picked guitar, ethereal vocals and simple violin and cello melodies. However, their pretty melodies and flower-strewn stories are undercut by a sharp lyrical edge. Their haunting vocal sound, violin harmonies, fairy-tale lyrics and classical technique make Foxtails Brigade the perfect accompaniment for an evening in the Redwood Grove.  Be sure to bring tea and treats for an idyllic woodland tea party!
Doors at 5:00; show at 5:30
Adults: $12, $10 for Members/UCB; Youth: $5 (under 5 free) 


Magic! Magic Roses and Dreamboat

Thursday | August 11 | 5:30 pm


Magic! Magic Roses are San Francisco vocal duo Sarah Simon and Kate Sweeney who specialize in country tinged folk music. They blend sweetly crafted 2-part harmonies with meditative lyrics. Their eclectic influences range from The Carter Family and Calamity Jane to the treasures they find in their own backyard. Join the Garden and the Magic! Magic Roses for an evening of wistful and dreamy Americana. Special guest Dreamboat will open.
Doors at 5:00; show at 5:30
Adults: $12, $10 for Members/UCB; Youth: $5 (under 5 free)

Mirah  + The Real Vocal String Quartet + Gojogo

Thursday | August 25 | 5:30 pm


Mirah's name  and voice may sound familiar as the front woman for Olympia, Washington's, The Hot Set, but she has developed a brand of lo-fi, slice-of-life indie pop uniquely her own.  For this special show Mirah is backed by the violins of the Real Vocal String Quartet. The Real Vocal String Quartet is a talented four-piece with influences ranging from West African to Irish to Brazilian folk and pop songs. Gojogo is an unusual quartet that combines the Western sounds of classical and jazz and the rhythmic traditions of India with electronic samples and loops. The acoustic instrumentation includes violin, bass, guitar, and dholki, a double-headed drum from Northern India. The Garden is thrilled to present these cutting-edge performers in the Redwood Grove.
Doors at 5:00; show at 5:30
Adults: $15, $12 for Members/UCB; Youth: $5 (under 5 free)



This Charming Band

Thursday | September 1 | 5:30 pm



This Charming Band is the preeminent Smiths tribute band. They have played to sold out audiences at some of the best venues on the West Coast and around the country - including the House of Blues (Las Vegas), Bimbo's, Slim's and the Troubadour. This is your chance to hear the literary, lilting dream-pop of Smiths songs performed live under the trees in the stunning Redwood Grove.  You won't want to miss our closing night event of the Summer Concert Series.

Doors at 5:00; show at 5:30
Adults: $15, $12 for Members/UCB; Youth: $5 (under 5 free)




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.

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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.
  • Botanical Art: You''ll receive exclusive information about classes and exhibitions.  
Editor: Vanessa Crews,, 510-643-2937