Thursday, April 22, 2010

Botanical Garden of the University of California at Berkeley

A praying mantis is overlooking the Botanical Garden in Berkeley from the roof of a small building. The garden is beautifully situated in the hills between the main University Campus and Tilden Regional Park. Its easy to get lost on the many trails and narrow foot paths that meander through the garden between plants from around the world. The garden features sections with flowers and trees from the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Southern Africa, Australasia and different parts of the Americas—including Mexico and California! There are also special collections in the Orchid, Fern and Carnivorous Plant House, Arid House, Tropical House, Cycad and Palm Garden, Garden of Old Roses, Crops of the World Garden, Herb Garden, and Chinese Medicinal Herb Garden. Plants are labeled by common name, scientific name, family name and their country or continent of origin. A red dot on a label marks rare or endangered species. The garden has an amazing number of rare, odd, strange, and never-seen-before (for most of us) species—from tiny to giant and from water-loving to desert-proof. Even as a frequent visitor, you are likely making new discoveries when coming at different seasons. If you are a novice and got lost, look for the praying mantis next to the Tour Deck, which is not very far away from the Garden Shop and entrance/exit.

Getting there
From Piedmont Avenue in Berkeley take Stadium Rim Way between the Hearst Greek Theatre and the California Memorial Stadium. Drive half way around the stadium. As you get to the part that offers great views inside the stadium, turn left at Centennial Drive and drive uphill for about half a mile. The Botanical Garden entrance is on the right side; a parking area is on the left side.
Monday through Friday and on California Day there is a shuttle service, the H Line, that connects the botanical garden with the Shattuck Avenue BART station, Evans Hall, Strawberry Canyon Recreational Area, Lawrence Hall of Science, and Space Science Lab/MSRI.

[1] University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley.
[2] City of Berkeley, CA.

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