About the Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Mimetes cucullatus, South African Garden

caesia flowersThe UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a research and teaching facility committed to plant conservation and serves both the campus and the public. Its rich and diverse collection, containing representatives of more than 300 plant families, provides beginning students with a broad survey of the plant kingdom. Facilities for growing plants offer students and research faculty opportunities to experiment with living plants. The Garden maintains collections of rare and threatened plants of unusual scientific interest. Particular specialties are world conifers, primitive angiosperms, and bulb-forming plant families. Large assemblages of plants from AustraliaNew ZealandSouth Africa, and California natives are displayed on the grounds. Many of the species in these collections are not otherwise available for study in American botanical gardens and arboreta.

Watch a video narrated by Frans Lanting, noted wildlife photographer, explaining the unique value of the Arboretum & Botanic Garden.

group touring the South African Garden

Garden events educate and engage the public about plant diversity and conservation. Of service to the public and the nursery industry are the Garden's activities in importing, selecting, and breeding choice ornamental plants, especially those that are drought tolerant and pest resistant. To date, the Garden is the original importer of more than 1,500 different selections of choice ornamentals. Many of these have been and will continue to be the plants of future for California gardens.

Read more on how volunteers have played a crucial role in the Arboretum & Botanic Garden's first fifty years.

Norrie's Gift & Garden Shop, a volunteer-run gift shop, supports the Garden and is open every day the Garden is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.