Botanical gardens offer a living museum filled with exciting and important plant collections. Native plants in botanic gardens feature regional flora and are often displayed as “plant communities” (groups of plants) much like they would grow in a naturally occurring ecosystem. Cultivars are identified in each display or grouping of plants. Interpretive panels are often posted to learn brief, but first rate information about the plants and plant communities while strolling through the gardens.

Most botanic gardens feature classes, workshops, lectures, art exhibits, and sponsor field courses and trips. Many of the botanic gardens in California are closely associated with and supportive of CNPS. Garden membership often provides unlimited admission, plant sale previews, and discounts. Finally, you will be sure to find plant sales fully stocked with native plants!

Leading Collections of California Native Plants

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden | Claremont

Credit: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
Credit: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

The largest botanic garden devoted to California native plants is Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Take a walk through these showy penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis).

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Regional Parks Botanic Garden | Berkeley

Credit Michael Short, East Bay Regional Parks District.
Credit Michael Short, East Bay Regional Parks District.

East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden located in the beautiful Wildcat Canyon of the Tilden Regional Park is dedicated entirely to native plants. Here we see the striking douglas iris (Iris douglasiana).

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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Credit Kristen Hehnke.
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Credit Kristen Hehnke.

The Santa Ynez Mountains are the backdrop to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s meadow of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium). You can explore CA plant diversity throughout the garden.

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University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley

Explore a major collection of worldwide and CA native plants at the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley. Walk above the Garden of Old Roses to see this amazing view of the San Francisco Bay.

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Credit: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
Credit: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

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