.Botanical Garden Reopens

UC Botanical Garden showcases Southern African ‘super bloom’

The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley has reopened to the public with a special attraction, a Southern African “super bloom” consisting of plants from South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia. Thousands of yellow, purple, orange, fuchsia and white flowers have created a blanket of vibrant colors.

Director Emeritus Dr. Paul Licht called the display the best he’s seen in more than 30 years with the garden.

But garden officials advise not waiting to visit—because the blooming condition is only expected to last about two weeks.

Featured in the bloom are plants rich in Mediterranean-climate flora from the Cape region, and plants from the Karoo habitat and the fynbos plant community, among various other plants. 

“Now is a great time to see the floral display in the Southern African Area,” said Chris Carmichael, advisory board member. “Annuals, succulents and geophytes—plants growing from bulbs and corms—are blooming in abundance in the Karoo beds.”

The Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse in the world, containing over 10,000 rare and endangered plants.

Executive Director Lew Feldman encourages people to come see the attraction before it changes over the next couple of weeks.

“The garden offers a dynamic and immersive experience where everyone is welcome to observe and delight,” he said. “Our mission is to create a place for people and plants to partner and thrive. We invite you to visit, engage and cultivate your curiosity.”

A variety of bird species are also attracted to the blooms. Garden staff have observed Hooded Orioles and Bushtits, among other species, sipping nectar from the charismatic candelabra aloe (Aloe arborescens) in the collection since 1943. —Bay City News Foundation 

University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley; 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley. Open daily from 11am to 5pm to visitors with reservations, which can be made online at www.botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu.

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