This southwest-facing slope contains a stunning collection of plants from one of the most diverse botanical regions of the world. The prominent rocky, karoo habitat is a riot of color in spring with blooming bulbs and annuals such as Cape cowslips (Lachenalia), baboon flowers (Babiana), and Cape marigolds (Dimorphoteca). The chaparral-like fynbos beds feature fine-leaved heaths (Erica), proteas (Protea), and rush-like restios (including Restio, Elegia). Cycads, rare primitive conifer relatives older than the dinosaurs, are featured in a cliff-like simulation of their native Eastern Cape Province.
If you are living in the Bay Area or nearby, a ticket for Berkeley's Botanical Garden is probably the best short-cut to Southern Africa. Simulate an African travel trip within the Botanical Garden, located about a mile east from campus and the football and soccer stadium (California Memorial Stadium). Spring or summer is a great time for a visit. Start your “Hello, South Africa!” tour right here and get to know plants from South Africa's Cape Provinces and other areas: Phylica pubescens, Natal bottlebrush, Aloe saponaria, and blue margarito.