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The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens

by Michael Bains
photographs by Michael Bains and from the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens (RSABG) Facebook page

Photographs to illustrate the article published in The Mediterranean Garden No. 90, October 2017

Michael Bains writes: “The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is an 86-acre (34.8 hectare) garden in Claremont and is my favourite botanic garden in Southern California. The focus of the garden is on California natives and it contains natives from southern Oregon to western Nevada, extending well south into Baja California.”

He takes us on a guided tour of the garden pointing out many of its plants and features, some of which are illustrated below.

California fan palms, Washingtonia filifera with bear grass, Xerophyllum tenax

This is the only palm native to California. Its  "beard" is not trimmed in the garden as the old fronds provide nesting habitats for small owls and other bird species.

Majestic Oak, a coastal live oak Quercus agrifolia

The Boojum Tree, Fouquieria columnaris (RSABG)

Michael Writes: “I’m quite certain the Boojum tree has appeared in at least one Dr Seuss story – most likely with Sam I am sitting on top of it. It has a single thick trunk that resembles a candle with short pencil-like branches sprouting from it. It’s quite a sight.

Buckhorn cholla, Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa

Matilija poppy or California tree poppy, Romneya coulteri (RSABG)

Seed heads of the Matilija poppy

Manzanita, Arctostaphylos

Benjamin Pond (RSABG)

Two further native beauties from the RSABG Facebook photo gallery.

Woolly bluecurls, Trichostema lanatum. A small evergreen shrub or sub-shrub native to arid coastal chaparral regions of California and the northern parts of Baja California (RSABG)

St Catherine's Lace, Eriogonum giganteum. Young flower heads are white and lacy, gradually turning to warm, reddish brown over the summer (RSABG)

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