Self Guided ToursPrint

Use this numbered description with its corresponding map below for a self guided tour of the garden.

  1. An outdoor classroom, the Nest, with semicircular bench seating, is partially shaded by a female ginkgo tree, which has distinctive fan-shaped leaves and originates from Asia.
  2. This massive specimen of Torrey pine is remarkable because it is one of the rarest pine species, known only near La Jolla in San Diego County and on Santa Rosa Island. Yet this species is very resistant to urban smog.
  3. The bromeliads, members of the pineapple family, are planted in a special collection to illustrate the beautiful leaves and floral designs of these American tropical and subtropical epiphytes and terrestrial monocots.
  4. Towering above the northern garden are two of the tallest U.S. specimens of Eucalyptus grandis, rose gum, a native of the rain forest in Queensland, Australia. These specimens are only 40 years old.
  5. On a hillside is planted a special collection of plants from subtropical to warm temperate locations of both hemispheres, including feather and fan palms, that exhibit many trunk surfaces.
  6. A special collection shows some of the many forms and sizes of ferns, ranging from small trees to tiny floating aquatics and epiphytes.
  7. Shrubs from our nearby chaparral are strikingly similar in appearance to others from sites around the world where there is a mediterranean-type climate, with cool wet winters and hot dry summers.
  8. In our desert collection you will find representatives from many dry sections of the world, including a large dragon tree from the Canary Islands, cacti from the Americas, stem-succulent euphorbs from Africa, leaf succulents of century plants and aloes, and green stemmed crucifixion thorns.
  9. Dawn redwood, or Metasequoia, was only known as a fossil until it was found in central China in 1944. Our plants were started from the first seeds brought from China in 1948, and our specimen by the stream is possibly the tallest in North America.
  10. A spectacular rain forest tree, the Mindanao gum (Eucalyptus deglupta) marks the entrance to a special collection of Rhododendron species native to tropical mountains of Malesia.
  11. The peculiar bunya-bunya (Araucaria bidwillii) from Australia is an evergreen that each year sheds its massive cones and branches, which are covered with sharptipped leaves.
  12. Our garden has a special collection devoted to plants unique to the Hawaiian Islands. Included are beautiful species of the hibiscus group and native Pritchardia palms.
  13. Cycads are a small group of slow-growing gymnosperms that survive today in tropical and subtropical habitats. Once they were widespread and common when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
  14. A picturesque specimen of Western Australia weeping myrtle (Agonis flexuosa) shades the hillside.
  15. Look at – but don’t peel – the protective shaggy bark of the prickly paperbark, a species of Melaleuca from a fire prone region of Australia.
  16. In this corner is a collection of many different plant forms in the order Liliales of olden times, the lily alliance, ranging from a tree to species that lie dormant belowground most of the year, to rosette plants, to vines on the fence.