Monday, April 25, 2011

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden - April 23, 2011

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic GardenPlants See Plants and Wildflowers in the San Gabriel Mountains at Dan's Hiking Pages

For several years I've been hearing that Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is the place for native plants. As a hiker on a continual quest to learn more about my surroundings, I'm always on the lookout for avenues of learning. And now that I've been considering creating a native plant garden at my house, I finally decided it was time check out Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. It was a choice to give up a primetime spring hiking day, but the weather was gloomy and drizzly so I figured it was better suited to wandering around a garden.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Clermont is less than 20 minutes from my house. I arrived at 9:00 and planned to look around for an hour before joining a garden tour at 10:00. The gardens were founded by Susanna Bixby Bryant in 1927 on her ranch in Orange County and relocated to Claremont in 1951. RSABG is the largest botanical garden dedicated exclusively to California native plants.

Guided tour at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic GardenThis is an amazing place and exceeded my expectations. I had thought that the morning hours would be sufficient to get my fill and then hit the trail for a hike in the afternoon. I was sorely mistaking and ended up spending the entire day there. Closing time came at 5:00 and there was still more to see! But other things helped stretch the day as well.

A good chunk of my time was spent photographing plants. The annual flower show also was an added feature. And I had several engaging conversations with people like Cricket Florance...our knowledgeable docent, Bart O' and native plant guru, and Lara Hartley...a professional plant photographer. I can scrawl a lengthy narrative of the day, but I'll let the following pictures do most of the talking.

Tidy tips
Tidy tips (Layia platyglossa) / Sunflower family (Asteraceae)

Brittlebush (Encelia farinose) / Sunflower family (Asteraceae)

Common yarrow (Achiliea millefolium) / Sunflower (Asteraceae)

Showy penstemon
Showy penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis) / Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)

Owls clover
Owls clover (Orthocarpus purpurascens) / Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)

Common monkeyflower
Common monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus) / Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)

California poppy
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) / Poppy family (Papaveraceae)

Matilija poppy
Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) / Poppy family (Papaveraceae)

White sage
White sage (Salvia apiana) / Mint family (Lamiaceae)

Black sage
Black sage (Salvia mellifera) / Mint family (Lamiaceae)

Baby blue eyes
Baby blue eyes (Nempphila menziesii) / Waterleaf family (Hydrophyllaceae)

Coffee fern
Coffee fern (Pellaea andromedifolia) / Maidenhair Fern family

Coville's serviceberry
Coville's serviceberry (Amelanchier utahensis ssp. covillei) / Rose Family (Rosaceae)

Lemonadeberry (Rhus integrifolia) / Sumac family (Anacardiaceae)

Morning glory
Morning glory (Calystegia macrostegia) / Morning-glory family (Convolvulaceae)

Wild cucumber
Wild cucumber (Marah macrocarpus) / Gourd family (Cucurbitaceae)

Blue-eyed grass
Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum) / Iris family (Iridaceae)

Yucca (Yucca Whipplei) / Lily family (Liliaceae) icon

Visit the website for Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Plants See Plants and Wildflowers in the San Gabriel Mountains at Dan's Hiking Pages

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