Thursday, July 25, 2019

Tilden Botanical Garden (RPBG)

A friend and I spent a lovely day at Regional Parks Botanical Garden two weeks ago. The former Tilden Botanical Garden, it's located in the Berkeley Hills just up above the UCBG campus's Strawberry Canyon. Here are a collection of photos taken that day. I have positive identification for most, thanks to the Garden's scrupulous signage. There are a few questions, where signs couldn't be found or where access wasn't possible. So for those unfamiliar with RPBG, it is devoted to plants native to California. And it is laid out by regions of the state, with a handy map that lists those nine regions. As we know, California is an incredibly diverse state ecologically (and thus botanically), making this Garden a treasure trove of learning. Then again, one can wander the garden and enjoy its many treasures without knowing anything about plants at all.
So we start with one of the most common of California natives - Romneya coulteri, better known as Matilija poppy. It forms large drought tolerant clumps that produce very large 'fried egg' poppy flowers all summer.

Clarkia species. We couldn't find signage for this but do recognize it as a Clarkia species. Clarkias are a wide-ranging, late spring to early summer blooming annual. The flowers are mostly shades of pink, but that encompasses very pale to very bright pink. There are white flowering Clarkias as well.

This unusual plant (Iva mayesiana) is known as San Diego Poverty weed. A most curious common name, n'est-ce pas?

Yes, it's a tiger lily, but which one? In this case it's a Humboldt lily (Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum). They are known for producing tall (6-10' high) stalks filled with recurved and spotted orange flowers. Quite a sight, even from a distance!

Speaking of plants with odd common names, how about Southern Mountain Misery (Chamaebotia australis)? As you can see, it has feathery fern-like foliage and a weeping habit.

Though we're not 100% certain, my friend and I think this Datura is D. wrightii (Sacred datura). Daturas are related to Brugmansias but are shorter, have upturned flowers and generally act as annuals.

This Manzanita tree was probably tagged but we didn't wander off the trail to check it out. So beautiful, especially here with the light shining through its branches. 

Adiantum jordanii. Commonly called California Maidenhair fern, it has petite leaves and slowly spreads out. It likes shade and semi-moist conditions. It is a relative of the common southern maidenhair fern that is so popular as a houseplant.

We're not sure of the species info for this good-sized lupine. It has pale yellow to white flowers and has over time made a vigorous clump.

Many people are familiar with the shrub known as Ninebark but did you know there's a low-growing native species? It's Physocarpus capitatus 'Tilden Park.' Lovely!

If this looks like a Monkey flower you'd be right. It's not however the drought tolerant 'sticky monkey' flower found throughout northern California. This is Mimulus cardinalis, which actually prefers semi-moist conditions. 

It had been a few years since I'd visited the Garden and I'd forgotten how big it is. It comprises 10 acres and parts of it are quite wooded, with a series of very pleasing streams. Several of those streams are crossed with wooden bridges, as was the case here. In the right foreground is a Bay laurel stump that's resprouting.

Here's another shot of one of the wooded sections in the garden. The shrubs that are growing on the banks of the stream are riparian types, dependent on regular moisture.

Here's another stream bed, with the right side hillside covered in ferns. 

As with any well-designed botanical garden, there are plenty of elevation changes in the Garden. Here we're on one of the higher trails, affording us a nice view looking back over a surprisingly wooded Garden.

This lovely cascading maidenhair fern wasn't ID'd (or perhaps we never found the sign). My friend ID'd it as an Adiantum but we're not sure of the species.

Another higher elevation view over the garden, this from the western reaches of the Garden.

We did find signage for this prolific Clarkia (C. imbricata). As you can see, this one has a bit of purple to its pink tones.

We know this is an Aquilegia (Columbine) but couldn't find the sign. I think it may be A. longissima, a yellow flowering native with especially large flowers and long spurs.

Likewise, we know this is a Vitis (grape) but don't know which species or variety. It does have a lovely silvery cast to the leaves.

Abies procera (Noble fir). We both marveled at the immense size of the cones on this fir tree. 

Most people will recognize this as a prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) but we didn't stray close enough to get its species or variety info. It's already forming fruits.

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