Events + News


As an integral part of our mission to connect people to plants, the Garden acts as a community gathering place for a wide variety of events. We host thought-provoking programs that connect people to nature, promote appreciation of plants, and explore our world through new lenses. Due to COVID-19, we are having some virtual events, but not currently hosting in-person events. Sign-up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive event announcements.

Paleobotany Event
Houseplant Natural History Event



Due to public health orders, the UCLA campus is currently closed. The Botanical Garden is closed to the general public. Essential UCLA staff, students, and patients that are already on campus can visit on weekdays. The Garden is completely closed on weekends. The only open gates are those near the La Kretz Garden Pavilion. Bathrooms are closed. Visitors must wear a face covering and practice physical distancing. Guided tours are on hold. Thank you for patience—we look forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as possible.

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Botany of the Holidays 2020

December 3rd 2020 – Online

Seasonal festivities bring together traditions, history, family and friends. To a botanist, they are also a case study of the deeply interconnected relationship between nature and culture. Join us for the 4th annual Botany of the Holidays as we travel to China and Brazil to share the botanical origins of some winter holiday traditions, and see just how important plants are to celebrations around the world. This year’s speakers include:

• Terry Huang • Assistant Director, Botanical Garden
• Xinyi Yan • UCLA Alumna, PhD Student at UT Austin
• Marcel Vaz • UCLA PhD Student, Kraft Lab

Nature Journaling Workshop

with Artist Deborah Shaw

October 10th 2020 10:00am – Online

Focused observation—drawing, sketching, and writing—changes how we look at the world around us. Nature journaling forces us to see, instead of look. Suitable for all levels and ages (including beginners) this workshop will explore various journaling techniques to enhance drawing skills, explore ideas and document our place and time. The only required supplies are pencil (a regular #2 or softer) and paper, although any other art supplies are certainly welcome. A reference sheet handout is available here. Watch the recording here.

ARS Electronica Festival

Telluric Vibrations — ARS Electronica Festival

September 9th-13th 2020

UCLA Art Sci Center x Botanical Garden

The UCLA Art Sci Center and the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical were excited to collaborate as a site in the prestigious ARS Electronica Festival! Virtual events were recorded throughout the course of the five days. From oak genomics and interspatial communication to COVID-themed opera and fungal projections, a wide variety of topics were explored! The festival was started in 1979, and this year’s theme encompassed ecology, art, design, humanity, and the dynamic changes we have experienced related to the global pandemic. Watch more archived videos here.


Botanical Art: A Continuing Tradition

with Artist Deborah Shaw

September 24th 2020 5:00pm – Zoom

Botanical artists have captured the likeness of plants as far back as records exist—ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian representational botanical art has been found dating back 4,000 years. Explore the western tradition of botanical art and illustration from historical to contemporary times through captivating images and tales of inspiration and adventure.

This event was not recorded.

The UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a promoter of nature at a California land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

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