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UC Garden Clippings

University of California Botanical Garden

September 2011 - Vol 4, Issue 3
In This Issue
September in the Garden
Fall Plant Sale
Programs & Events
Garden Membership
The Garden Shop


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September in the Garden  

Visit the East Coast...

without leaving Berkeley   


For those who grew up on the east coast, the Garden's Eastern North American collection offers nostalgic encounters with plants from our past.  Whether it's the beautiful flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) from North Carolina that lines the main road with a billow of white blossoms in the spring, or the tall white pine (Pinus strobus) from Michigan just not far away, these plants are iconic reminders of an eastern North American plant heritage.  To our knowledge this collection is unique on the west coast.

Echinacea Sp by Melanie Hofmann
Echinacea sp by

Melanie Hofmann

From July to September species of coneflowers (Echinacea and Rudbeckia), boneset and joe-pye weed (Eupatorium), campion or catchfly (Silene), goldenrod (Solidago) and Aster deliver a wide spectrum of colors. These plants serve as nectar and pollen sources for honeybees and native bees, as well as for anise swallow tail, painted ladies and blue copper butterflies. The Eastern North American area has a beautiful fall foliage color display, including reds of dogwoods (Cornus) and maples (Acer) and the gold of the spice or benzoin bush (Lindera benzoin).

Be sure to include the Eastern North American Area in your Garden visits throughout the year. In addition to interesting and beautiful plant material that just may evoke your nostalgia for home, the area is pleasant for strolling and has a lovely picnic area.


 View a slideshow of the Eastern North American area created by Garden volunteer  Melanie Hofmann. 


Eastern North American  

Horticultural Walk 

Thursday | September 27 | 1 - 2 PM


Colin Baxter Join horticulturist Colin Baxter as he guides you on this unique autumn tour of the Garden's Eastern North American collection. Plants in this special collection occur east of the Mississippi, from the Canadian provinces through the Gulf states. The tour will highlight a rich assortment of summer perennials, an endangered conifer and the deciduous trees which give so much pleasure during their fall color display.


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

Downy Skullcap (Scutellaria incana) Propagator's Choice: 

Downey Skullcap (Scutellaria incana)  

 by Bryan Gim 


This Missouri native wildflower occurs in open woods, clearings, on slopes and along streams in the north central and ozark regions of the state. It grows to 3 feet tall. Small, two-lipped, purplish-blue flowers (typical mint family) appear in branching, loose racemes in summer. The downy skullcap tolerates full sun to part shade. It is drought resistant and low maintenance, a great addition to the water-wise garden.


We are selling one gallon pots of this plant for $8.00.


Selected cacti and succulents in the Garden Entry Plaza are 20% off retail prices until September 5.

Save the date for the Fall Plant Sale on Sunday, September 25!

Banner photo:
Catchfly (Symphyotrichum puniceum) by Melanie Hofmann
Fall Plant Sale
        fall plant sale 2011
Sunday September 25           Public Sale 10:30 am - 2 pm         Member's Sale 9 - 10:30 am  


Magnificent Plants 

Come shop for outstanding plants in an enchanting garden setting! Our much awaited Fall Sale always pleases with an incredible selection of fabulous plants. We specialize in regionally-appropriate Mediterranean-climate plants. We also sell rare cycads and palms, carnivorous plants, cacti and succulents, rare bulbs, Asian plants, glorious vines, tropical and houseplants, dry-growing Mexican and Central American plants,and much more. Our wide variety of plant offerings will appeal to everyone.  

Member Privileges

As always, members get a jump on things with the Member's Only Preview Sale. This special preview includes a light breakfast and a silent auction of especially choice items from 9-10:30 am. If you're a non-member and want to enjoy the benefits of this preview sale, sign up or renew a membership ahead of time and take advantage of the year-long perks afforded members.
It helps the Garden too. Thank you to our breakfast sponsors Trumpet Vine Catering and Events and International House Catering Services



Echinacea paradoxa

Echinacea paradoxa

Local Rarity and Common Distribution 

by Holly Forbes, Curator


There are sixteen rare species in the Eastern North American Area, including two coneflowers. Coneflowers of various types are popular late summer and fall elements of gardens across the country.


Yellow coneflower (Echinacea paradoxa) is native to Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma.  In Arkansas, it occurs in such small numbers that it is listed as threatened with extinction there. However, it is more common in other states and is available in the horticultural trade.

Wavyleaf purple coneflower (Echinacea simulata) is listed as threatened in Tennessee, but is more common in other states (AL, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, VA). This species is very similar to the more widespread pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), but has yellow pollen instead of white. Both species are perennials and can be seen flowering in Beds 306 and 307.

This characteristic of local rarity, versus generally more common distribution, is repeated in many parts of the country. The East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society publishes Unusual Plants of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. This document informs us about plants that are locally rare, but are otherwise more common in other parts of the state. It is useful for local planning agencies who take rare plants into account under the California Environmental Quality Act when considering permits for development.

Bee Inspired
Garden of Mouthings
Garden of Mouthings at the

2009 Late Show Gardens in Sonoma

Garden of Mouthings

Landscape designer and artist Shirley Alexandra Watts and Ross Craig, builder and sound artist bring their acclaimed bee-inspired vignette Garden of Mouthings to the Garden in September. Garden Design magazine explains, "In response to the impending threats to our bee populations, Shirley Watts' A Garden of Mouthings seeks to inform, delight and inspire its viewers by celebrating not only honey bees, but also our often overlooked native bees."

The vignette is perched on a plateau above the Garden of Old Roses. Cast concrete stools dripping with "honey" provide inviting seating under an undulating honeycomb structure. Visit with bee experts, enjoy honey tastings and meet the artist at our companion programming this fall.

Opens September 16. Free with Garden admission.


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.


Concerts in the Redwood Grove - This Charming Band

Thursday | September1|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: $12, $10 for Members/UCB; Youth: $5 (under 5 free)


Sick Plant Clinic

Saturday | September 3 | 9 am - noon

 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.


pear by Catherine Watters
Pyrus communis 'Conference'

by Catherine Watters

Botanical Latin: It's a dead language but it's still aliiiiive.

Tuesday | September 13 | 10:30 am - 2 pm

Back by popular demand! Join the Garden for a brief introduction to botanical Latin. Learn the names for plants and the way they are constructed. We'll look at some common Latin and Greek roots for plant names and botanical terms, and use simple rules of thumb to pronounce plant names with confidence. Al Luongo originally developed this course for the New York Botanical Garden and now he's bringing it to Berkeley! Workshop will include refreshments and a full copy of course notes. Pre-registration required; $30, $25 members


Botanical Art: Painting Apples, Pears, Quince

Friday | September 16 | 10 am - 4 pm

These beautiful fruits are wonderful botanical art subjects!  Celebrated botanical artist Catherine Watters will teach you how to compose your painting and capture their elegant shapes and rich colors.  Students will be instructed on the use of shadows, highlights and the mixing of colors. All levels are welcome and students may use graphite, colored pencils or watercolor.  

Pre-registration required; $80, $75 members


Garden of Mouthings: Artful Garden Installation 

September 16 - Spring 2012 

Exhibition: Free with Garden admission beginning September 16


bee in hive

Can you see the queen bee in this photo of the Observation Hive by Melanie Hofmann?


 Bees Explained 

Sunday | September 11 |2 - 3:30 pm

Sunday | September 18 | 2 - 3:30 pm


An expert docent will be available to explain the bee activity revealed when you open the door to our Observation Hive located inside the Tropical House. Find the queen and her court. Identify larvae, eggs and honey in the comb and understand the roles of bees.


Free with Garden admission. Registration not required.





Fall Plant Sale

Sunday | September 25

Members' Sale: 9 - 10:30 am                 Public Sale (Free!): 10:30 am - 2 pm


Eastern North American Member Walk

Tuesday | September 27 | 1 - 2 pm

Join horticulturist Colin Baxter as he guides you on this unique autumn tour of the Garden's Eastern North American collection. The tour will highlight a rich assortment of summer perennials, an endangered conifer and the deciduous trees which give so much pleasure during their fall color display.   

Pre-registration required; members-only; free


Butterfly Walk

Tuesday | September 27 | 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


Members Only


Garden Membership  

Suzanne Field

Suzanne Field, Membership & Program Manager

As a Garden Member you are a highly valued individual- whose generosity directly supports the Garden's sustainability and future. When you become a member of the Garden you join a circle of individuals who share a passion for horticulture, the environment, nature, and culture and remain true to the credo of the Garden- Be a voice for plants!

Enjoy a full year of benefits and make the most of the Garden's vibrant and diverse collection, tours, exhibitions and other special events by renewing your membership or becoming a Garden Member today. Members receive invitations to exclusive events and tours, and discounts on classes, workshops and programs enabling you to develop a close relationship with the Garden based on your specific interests and favorite activities.

In September you can go back-to-school with the Garden when Al Luongo brings his irreverent and informative Botanical Latin course to the Garden on September 13. We invite you to take a Members-only tour of the Garden's Eastern North American collection on September 27. On Sunday, September 25, Members enjoy an exclusive sneak-peek and Silent Auction at the pre-sale event during our annual Fall Plant Sale. There are so many ways to use the Garden-each visit is unique!



On-Site: Stop by the Garden Kiosk

Phone: 510-643-2755 x0

FAX: 510-642-3012

Mail: 200 Centennial Dr Berkeley CA 94720-5045



The Garden Shop

Show Off the Garden with our Logo Gear

shop UCBG logo items are perfect for gardening or farmer's market shopping or as souvenir or gift. Take the Garden with you wherever you go! Shirts, hats, bags and more are available in The Garden Shop or at the Fall Plant Sale.

Proceeds from The Garden Shop benefit the UC Botanical Garden.


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