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UC Garden Clippings

University of California Botanical Garden

March 2012 - Vol 4, Issue 9

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UC Botanical Garden 


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Garden Calendar 


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Garden Shop    


 Self Guided Winter Walk and Map 


What's in Bloom 


Tribute Benches


Memorial Gifts


Tribute Bricks  



California Native   

Plants Nursery  


Landscape Cacti &
Succulents Nursery


Bulbs Nursery  


Tropical & Indoor Plants Nursery  


Vines Nursery    


The Natives growing area is open to the public most Thursdays, weather permitting, from 10:30 AM until 1:30 PM. Come by and check our plants. There are volunteers who can give you help if you would like, or just stop by and browse.  








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Celebrate California

Celebrate California 

Aristolochia californica
California pipevine
(Aristolochia californica)
also pictured in the banner
Many of California's native plants lie dormant during the dry season, but awaken with winter's rains to provide a colorful burst of flowers each spring. Celebrate our state's native plants with a visit to the UC Botanical Garden's Californian Area. Stroll meandering paths among different plant communities including alpine fell-field, coastal dune, pygmy forest, redwood forest, and a vernal pool.

The Californian collection covers more than 1/3 of the Garden's 34 acres and holds the world's largest species collection of California natives including many rare and endangered plants. A red dot on the label identifies these plants.

Among the many interesting plants in the area, California pipevine (Aristolochia californica) was described as a new species by American botanist John Torrey (1796-1873) in an 1857 report of the Pacific Railroad. California pipevine is a widespread species in northern California, occurring from the Oregon border to Monterey County along the coast, and in the northern and central Sierran foothills. This perennial woody vine flowers in early spring, overlapping with its leafing out.
Pipevine Swallowtail (Danaus plexippus)
Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) with Aristolochia californica by Dana Gardner. Illustration is from the Illustrated Guide to Common Animals of the East Bay Hills available in The Garden Shop .
The flowers are pollinated by fungus gnats and the leaves are host to caterpillars of the pipevine swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor). You can observe these blue-black-colored butterflies in the Garden in late spring, drifting over the pipevine plants and nearby in the Californian Area. Adult butterflies feed on nectar from a wide variety of plants, including thistles, lupines, and gilias. Planting California pipevine and nectar plants in your own garden can lead to visits by this spectacular butterfly.

California pipevine (Aristolochia californica) (very limited quantity) is available for purchase on the Plant Deck in one gallon pots for $14.

California Tortoiseshell Butterflies
Thursday | March 22 & 29 | 9 - 9:30 am
On sunny mornings in late March California Tortoiseshell butterflies gather at an odd and secret place in the Garden before they fly off to lay their eggs in bountiful blue blooms. Gather at the Entrance Kiosk and we'll venture to the Redwood Grove side of Centennial to look for these butterflies and learn more about their wandering ways. Weather postpones tour.
Free. Members only. No registration required.

Members' Horticultural Walk: California
Wednesday | April 4 | 1 - 2:30 pm
Join Horticulturists Ken Bates and Ben Anderson for a tour through the California Area.
Free. Members only. Registration required. Call 510-643-2755.

Learn More About the California Collection
View a short presentation narrated by Horticulturist Ken Bates and narrated by Director Paul Licht and read more about the collection here.

green stuff camp

Green Stuff
Summer Camp

Registration is open for our popular Green Stuff Summer Camp. Children spend one magical week at our outdoor science day camp exploring our amazing collection of plants from around the world.  Each day is unique and includes walks and creek discoveries, hands-on investigations, journaling, edible gardening, animal studies, storytelling, crafts, and lots more.

June 18 thru August 17
Monday - Friday; 9 am - 2 pm
Weeks are grouped by age: 5-7 yr olds, 8-10 yr olds
To find out the schedule and to register, click here for our enrollment flyer.


Explore the NEW! Membership Central Website

Explore our new Membership Central website and discover FAQ's and a page devoted to our partner nurseries. Read about the benefits of membership and download a reciprocal admissions brochure. Best of all is the new interface for easy purchase or renewal of membership.

The first ten individuals to purchase or renew a membership online will receive an extra three months of membership!
Garden membership offers many paths to discovery, enjoyment and insight this spring. The Garden displays an ever-changing landscape season by season and spring offers a dramatic new appearance and visitor experience you won't want to miss. 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 unique interests and favorite activities.

Just for Members
Free Admission to San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles
In celebration of the Garden's Fiber & Dye Exhibition (March 24 - April 3) the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles is giving free admission to UCBG members the weekend of March 31 - April 1. Present your current Garden membership card and receive free admission to the museum featuring the 17th Biennial juried exhibition of Quilt National.

Foundesan jose museum of quiltsd in 1977, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles promotes textiles as art and provides an understanding of their role in cultural traditions, as historical documents and how modern technology is used in current fiber art practices. The museum is the first in the United States devoted solely to quilts and textiles as an art form. The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday 10am - 5pm. Visit their website to learn more about the museum.

Bonus Subscription to Better Homes & Gardens
This spring the Garden offers a magazine bonus to further enhance your membership experience.  When you purchase or renew a Garden membership at any level included with your membership is a one-year subscription to BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS magazine (valued at $8.13). Already a subscriber? Your subscription to will be extended an additional 12 issues.

Free Walks for Members
We invite you to take a Members-only tour of the Garden's Southern Africa c
Collection on March 20 and the California Collection on April 4. These walks fill up quickly so register now by calling 510-643-2755.


California Quail (Callipepia californica)
California Quail (Callipepla californica) by Dana Gardner
The Garden Shop

California quail and other creatures from our Illustrated Guide to Common Animals of the East Bay Hills are featured on the Garden's six newest notecards available in The Garden Shop. Attractively priced, the cards make thoughtful gifts for anyone who loves nature.

Mix and match the cards to create your own set for $12.95. Individual cards may be purchased for $1.50.


SAND MESA MANZANITA (Arctostaphylos rudis)
Sand Mesa Manzanita (Arctostaphylos rudis)
photo by Melanie Hofmann
Winter Self-Guided Tour

WELCOME to this winter tour of the UC Botanical Garden. The tour, which highlights a range of plants from around the world, is a circuit and takes about one hour. It starts at the entrance to the California Area and ends at the Arid House. Look for the BLUE numbered markers to guide you to the featured plants. Download the tour and map here. This tour will only be marked for another couple of weeks, so hurry in!

Take a photo journey of the tour on the Garden's Facebook page.

The manzanita is one of California's most attractive winter-flowering shrubs. It produces an abundance of white to pink bell-shaped flowers borne amid leaves that range from white-gray to bright green. Notice this one has peeling, shaggy bark, whereas other species exfoliate more quickly and thus have smoother stems. The manzanitas are a diverse group (over 50 native species), ranging in habit from ground covers to small trees. The common name comes from the Spanish word for "little apple" and refers to the shape and color of the fruits. Native people collect these fruits and eat them fresh or dry.


Ceanothus 'Berkeley Skies' is available in 1 gallon pots on the Plant Deck for $10 and is in bloom in the Garden.
Propagator's Choice

Did you know that the Garden has a propagation nursery devoted to growing California native plants? Staffed by volunteers the area is open for sales most Thursdays from 10:30 am until 1:30 pm.

California-Lilacs, or Ceanothus, are one of the signature plants of the California native garden. Ceanothus 'Berkeley Skies' is a UC Botanical Garden introduction that was discovered as a seedling in the Garden by horticulturist Roger Raiche. This evergreen and drought tolerant plant forms a small tree to 15'. It comes into flower in late January or February and graces us with pale, lilac-blue flowers. We have a very limited quantity of gallon-sized pots of this wonderful plant for $10.00.

Save the Date for Our Annual Spring Plant Sale:

Members' Preview and Silent Auction: Friday, April 27, 5 - 7:30 pm

Public Sale: Saturday, April 28, 10 am - 2 pm


Garden Programs

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 | March 3 | 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 cover plants and disease samples in containers or bags before entering the Garden.
No reservation required: free

Newts Explained at the Japanese Pool
Come visit the Japanese Pool at the Garden where the newts are having all kinds of fun. A docent will be available to explain the newt activity and maybe even net a newt or two for a close-up look, while explaining the newt's life-cycle and habitat.
Free with Garden admission. Registration not required.

Animals of the Garden Breakfast & Walk for Families
Sunday March 11 10 am - noon
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 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
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) Watters
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
by Catherine Watters
Guide to the Common Animals of the East Bay Hills. Registration required; $12, $10 members

Botanical Illustration:
Introduction to Botanical Art with Catherine Watters

Friday & Saturday || March 16 & 17 10 am - 4 pm
This two-day class will introduce you to the fascinating world of Botanical Art. Catherine Watters will teach you to observe, measure and draw plants in great detail and with botanical accuracy. Students will work with graphite, colored pencils and watercolor. All levels are welcome. $160/$150 members; registration required

blue Chair Jam
Blue Chair Fruit: Jam 101

Sunday | March 18 | 10 am - noon
Located in Oakland, CA, Blue Chair Fruit Company is the premier artisanal jam and marmalade company in the United States. Join Rachel Saunders, founder of Blue Chair Fruit as she brings her expertise on fruit and fruit preserving techniques to the Garden. In this demo-style class Rachel will demonstrate how to cook lemon marmalade with cardamom & lavender and instruct students on technique and flavor pairings. Participants will receive a small take-home jar of marmalade and a set of class notes. Rachel will also be signing copies of her book, The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook. Book will be available for purchase. Registration required; $85, $80 members.

Horticultural Walk: Southern Africa

Tuesday | March 20 | 1 - 2:30 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: members only; free.

Fiber & Dye Exhibition
March 24 - April 3 | 10 am - 4 pm
The biodiversity of plant-based fibers and dyes is vast. The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley invites you to learn more about the world of natural fibers and dyes. From traditional uses to inspired future innovation in eco-fashion and textiles, a walk through our exhibit illuminates the connection of culture with nature.

fabric dye Traditional Dye Plants From Around the World
Saturday | March 24 | 11 am - noon.
Join the Garden as we kick off our Fiber and Dye Exhibition! Join Deepa Natarajan from the Permacouture Institute as she takes you through a colorful slideshow of plants used historically and presently for natural dyes around the world. Free with Garden admission.

Creating a Garden Garment
Saturday |  March 31 | 1- 4 pm
Come learn how to create a beautiful scarf that you'll make and take home with you. You'll leave with an understanding of mordanting your textile, preparing a natural dye vat using local materials, making patterns on cloth using traditional resist techniques, and caring for your garment. Registration required; $40, $35 members.

California Tortoiseshell Butterflies
Thursday | March 22 & 29 | 9 - 9:30 am
On sunny mornings in late March California Tortoiseshell butterflies gather at an odd and secret place in the Garden before they fly off to lay their eggs in bountiful blue blooms. Gather at the Entrance Kiosk and we'll venture to the Redwood Grove side of Centennial to look for these butterflies and learn more about their wandering ways. Free; weather postpones tour.

Butterfly Walks
Tuesday | March | 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.

The California Collection
Wednesday | April 4 | 1 - 2:30 pm
Join Horticulturists Ken Bates and Ben Anderson for a tour through the California Area, the Garden's largest collection. See native flora from diverse regions of the state. Representing close to one-quarter of the state's native species, the UC Botanical Garden showcases one of the largest species collections of native California plants anywhere. Free; members only; registration required.


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