AAA Editor Notes
Botanic Garden entrance is at Wildcat Canyon Dr. and South Park Rd. within Tilden Regional Park. This jewel of a garden is devoted entirely to California natives. These trees, shrubs and flowering plants come from a diverse spectrum of habitats—rugged mountains, arid foothills, desert, coastal dunes, Pacific rain forest. Represented within the garden's 10 acres are nearly all of the state's varieties of conifers and oaks as well as extensive collections of shrubs, grasses and bulbs.

There is something to appreciate in every season. In January the distinctive red bark of the manzanita, an evergreen shrub or small tree, is complemented by pretty pink flowers. Rhododendrons, California poppies and other wildflowers bloom in spring, perennials during the summer months. Cottonwoods, hawthorn, willows and vine maples provide fall foliage color.

Unusual plants include Humboldt's lily, which flaunts deep orange trumpets speckled with oval-shaped brown spots, and woolly blue curls, an evergreen shrub that produces fuzzy spikes of purple flowers. Many California natives are adapted to survive in semi-arid or desert climates; the garden's redwood grove, on the other hand, is a cool, damp, hushed retreat, the tall trees forming a deep canopy of shade. It's a perfect spot for a few quiet moments of contemplation.

Guided tours are available.

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