Skip to content

South Africa in Berkeley

September 25, 2010

Is this place for real?

After three years of living in San Francisco, we finally visited UC Berkeley’s Botanical Garden. I’m extremely embarrassed it took us so long go. We even had free passes, so there really is no excuse. It’s fabulous!  I took TONS of pictures. Today I’m posting pics from the South African section. Many of the coolest succulents around originate from here.

Brunsvigia josephinae with Aloe mitriformis friends

This striking beauty, commonly known as Josephine’s lily is in the Amaryllidaceae family. The foliage happens during the rainy winter season, and then out of nowhere this gigantic flower pops up in late summer after the leaves are long gone. They hang in the same family as my favorite common name plant Naked Lady.

Aloe polyphylla

You gotta love spiral aloes. They’re just so gosh darn cool. Last spring we checked out our friend Rene’s in bloom.

Aloe striata - Coral Aloe

Phylica pubescens I love you!

Earlier this month I fell in love with Phylica pubescens at the SF Botanical Gardens. My love is still going strong for this fuzzy, almost impossible to find plant. Why do you have to be so difficult to propagate beautiful one? Once in a great while Annie’s has it.  Annie’s also has a sweet new blog, hurray!

Athanasia pinnata

Another cutey which Annie’s has  in stock right now. Doesn’t need ANY summer water. The Cape of South Africa is similar to coastal California climate wise. Lucky for us, most of these plants have adapted summers with no rain.

Kalanchoe laxiflora

Machairophyllum bijlii

Thank you UC Botanical Gardens for marking almost every single plant with easy to find labels! Some even have exact locations of where they were collected and dates.

Aloe cryptopoda

This Sunday, September 26th the garden is having their Fall Plant Sale.  They have a really cool available plant list online too. Today Garden For the Environment is celebrating their 20th anniversary with festivities all day long.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2010 9:26 am

    I’m delighted you finally made it over to see the Garden. And you’re right, plant labels are a real strength of the UC Botanical Garden. We have more plants with documented wild origins than any other public garden in North America. When you’re at the Garden pay special attention to the labels with a red dot- those plants are endangered or rare in the wild.

    I look forward to seeing another post on your visit!

    Vanessa Crews

  2. September 25, 2010 11:00 am

    You should be embarrassed it took you so long!!! That place is amazing. We visited last fall and I didn’t want to leave. Are you going to the plant sale? (please say yes!)…take lots of pictures!

    Oh and thanks for the tip on Annie’s Blog….I had no idea!

  3. September 25, 2010 11:00 am

    I try to visit at least once a year-what a great garden . And Annies is right on the way home-what could be better ?

  4. Rene permalink
    September 25, 2010 1:11 pm

    Thanks for the mini tour guys! Never get tired of that garden. And thanks for the shout-out! I hope my Aloe blooms next year too!

  5. September 25, 2010 2:45 pm


  6. September 25, 2010 10:34 pm

    i heart spiral aloe!!🙂

  7. September 25, 2010 11:56 pm

    What a fabulous place! Thank you for sharing. I was lucky enough to go to South Africa a few years ago, and went to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, which hug the sides of and merge into Table Mountain. Your post brought back some memories. Does this mean you could grow Proteas in California? And Restios? I am envious… Here succulents are house plants or small displays in troughs!

  8. September 26, 2010 8:31 am

    Vanessa: We’ll definitely be back again soon! I love that there’s an area dedicated to the Canary Islands. So many cool plants. Many more posts to come.

    Loree: We’re ashamed, but didn’t someone who really loves spiky plants miss out on Ruth Bancroft’s Garden when they were here🙂 There’s really no excuse. We have been to SF Botanical Gardens at least 25 times this year. It’s just not the same.

    Kathy: It was so hot we didn’t even have the energy to stop at Annie’s. Anything over 80 is pretty hot for us coasties.

    Rene: Your spiral is so darn cool. It better bloom next Spring🙂

    Janet: You were able to visit Kirstenbosch?!? It’s true, we can grow proteas, succulents and a bunch of other cool things here in California.

  9. September 26, 2010 8:49 pm

    Wow those are great succulents! What a terrific place. I should check it out! My spiral is not so great! Every winter it takes a beating and then try’s to come back in the summer. I wonder how they keep looking so great? We have about the same weather.

    • September 28, 2010 6:34 pm

      Weird. Maybe it gets a little colder in your neck of the woods? Did you check out our friend Rene’s spiral in bloom? Amazing.


  1. East Bay Agave Heaven « Far Out Flora's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: