Fall Planting Festival at Grow Native Nursery Claremont - October 4, 2014

October 4, 2014, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.fpf-sales-floor-image
Members-only 8 -10 a.m.

Buy beautiful California native plants at Grow Native Nursery’s season opening spectacular.

The Fall Planting Festival at Grow Native Nursery at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden will showcase thousands of California native and water efficient plants, many propagated from our own collections and not available anywhere else. Proceeds support Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden programs.

Click here to > Download plant list availability (Coming soon!)



The event will include a lecture series with 30-minute horticultural and landscape design talks at 10 a.m, 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and much more. Speaker line-up TBD and subject to change:


Teacher Open House - August 16

August 16, 2014, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Free RSVP Here

RSVP by August 16. Reserve your spot online or send an email with your name, school name and district to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

  • Free Garden admission for school teachers and administrators and their immediate family.
  • Explore school tour and program displays; complete your passport to be eligible for great prizes!
  • Reserve field trips. Spring reservations fill up quick. Bring your calendar to schedule a fun and educational trip for your students.
  • Stay an hour or stay all day
  • Great prizes and giveaways
  • Free refreshments

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden offers walking tours and programs that include activity stations to help educate students about the Golden State. Tours and programs convey the importance of native plants, cultures of indigenous people and natural history of California. RSABG tours and programs align with life science and history/social science content standards for California public schools.

Read more about RSABG School Tours and Programs


California Author Series - June 7, 2014


California Author Series – Hosted by the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Library

The library staff and volunteers at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden are pleased to announce a series of presentations by published or soon-to-be-published authors. The California Author Series is free with standard Garden admission.

The library hours are: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please call (909) 625-8767 ext. 210.

Saturday, June 7, 11 a.m.Rancho Los Alamitos book cover

Author Claudia Jurmain (co-author with David Lavender & Larry L. Meyer)

Rancho Los Alamitos: Ever changing, always the same

Free with Standard Admission or Membership

A book-signing will follow the presentation.

Book Description:

Rooted in sacred ground and located under temperate skies, Rancho Los Alamitos is a microcosm of Southern California, with a history reflecting every decade from the late-eighteenth-century Alta California of New Spain to the headlong American present of Long Beach, California.

Filled with fascinating detail and intriguing characters, Rancho Los Alamitos begins over two thousand years ago, when the land was known as Povuu'ngna, an important ancestral village of the Tongva people. By the early twentieth century, Rancho Los Alamitos had become the home and working ranch of Fred and Florence Bixby (brother and sister-in-law of Susanna Bixby Bryant, founder of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden), whose idyllic way of life was supported by a newly discovered cache of crude oil buried deep within the ground.


WildflowersOfOC book cover imageSaturday, January 25, 11 a.m.

Authors Robert L. Allen and Fred M. Roberts, Jr. present:

Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains

Free with Standard Admission or Membership

A book-signing will follow the presentation.

Book Description:

Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains which includes Orange County, Santa Ana Mountains, Whittier-Puente-Chino Hills, Prado Basin, Temescal Valley, Elsinore Basin, Santa Rosa Plateau, San Mateo Canyon wilderness area, and San Onofre State Beach. This publication is a novice-friendly, technically accurate guide to wildflowers of cismontane southern California. Tailored to Orange Country and adjacent portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego Counties. it will prove a useful tool to identify and learn plant families, genera, and species in the Golden State.

Describes over 600 species with one or more photos of each. Arranged alphabetically by plant family, the plants are described, summarized, and illustrated to facilitate learning. Similar plant specifies are mentioned and their differences highlighted.

Includes section on geology, geography, flower parts, scientific names, plant communities, and places to go wildflower-watching, all accompanied by photographs and illustrations. Though technical terms are minimized, those used are presented in a glossary. Written, edited, and review by professional biologists and local experts.

In an approach unique among wildflower guides, living things that rely on specific plants are presented alongside those plants, such as monarch butterfly, goldenbush borer beetle, snowberry clearing moth, coastal California gnatcatcher, cactus wren, Anna's hummingbird and phainopepla. Groups of associated species ("guilds") discussed include milkweed, cactus, California sycamore, California buckwheat, California lilac, yucca, and cattail.

Each entry features:

- Common and scientific names.

- Description with diagnostic characteristics italicized.

- Flowering time, habitat, and local range.

- Known and suggested places to find the plant.

- Meaning of its scientific name and name of the person that named it.

- For many, similar species with which it may be confused.

From shoreline of Crystal Cove State Park; to the canyons, grasslands, and foothills of Caspers Wilderness Park; beckoning peaks of the Santa Ana Mountains; and the rolling hills and washes of Temescal Valley, this book will be your guide to the beautiful wildflowers you encounter.

Tyler Nordgren, "Stars Above, Earth Below: A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks"

In “Stars Above, Earth Below,” Tyler Nordgren uses a photo essay approach to examine the connection between astronomical topics and the landscapes of U.S. national parks. Nordgren's book is both a personal guide and scientific exploration into the deeper meaning for the astronomical phenomena on view in the night sky above national parks. Professor Nordgren teaches physics at the University of Redlands. 


Helen Popper, "California Native Gardening: A Month-by-Month Guide"

Please join us for the next California Author Series presentation at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, featuring Helen Popper. Popper’s recent book, "California Native Gardening: A Month-by-Month Guide" is the first month-by-month guide to gardening with native plants in a state that follows a unique, nontraditional seasonal rhythm. Her book provides detailed, calendar-based information for both beginning and experienced native gardeners. 

Popper explains, "The contents of the book reflect many lifetimes of experience. The information is culled from years of monthly meetings of the California Native Plant Society’s local ‘Gardening with Natives’ interest group. The group is made up of professionals and avid amateurs, including many who have been gardening with natives since the 1960s.” Popper has carefully assembled their thoughtful observations, added a few of her own, and this book is the result.

The author is an ardent native gardener and an economics professor at Santa Clara University. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. 

Following the presentation, visit the Library's used book sale, hosted by library staff and volunteers with proceeds benefiting ongoing library programs. The Free Native Plant Clinic will be held on the same day at Grow Native Nursery Claremont from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. 

New Library display: The Beauty of Wildflowers will feature books and prints from the RSABG library collection, focusing on wildflowers from California and the world.


The first in this series features Tom Sitton, author of “Grand Ventures – the Banning Family and the Shaping of Southern California.” Sitton is the former head of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. He has written several publications about Southern California political history. His most recent book, “Grand Ventures”, will be the focus of his presentation, Saturday, February 11 at 11 a.m., in the East Classroom.

After the presentation, the library is hosting a Library Open House, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., with tours of the special collections and archives room.

The author talk series and library open house are free with standard Garden admission.


In collaboration with the Family Bird Fest, February 19, the library’s current rare book display “Birds in Print—Words and Pictures,” highlights several of RSABG's beautiful bird books and original paintings from the special collections.

Guided Tram Tour - Third Sundays

Third Sunday of every month, 10 a.m.

First come, first served. Seating is limited.

Tours are 60-90 minutes in length.

See the plant communities of the California coast and Mojave Desert in an hour! The RSABG Guided Tram Tour offers guided exploration of the Garden’s northern 55 acres and highlights the beautiful and amazing diversity of the California Floristic Province.

Tickets are available after 8 a.m., at the admission kiosk the day of the tour. Tickets $5 per person; ticket required in addition to standard Garden admission or membership.


Gateways to the Communities

Gateways to the Communities Exhibition Opening Events Thursday, April 4 through Saturday, April 6

Free with Garden admission or membership.

An inspirational fusion of horticulture, science, conservation and art revitalizes the California Plant Communities at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Step off the pavement onto a new trail designed to help you explore the diversity of plant life in California. Brightly painted arbors are your threshold—gateway—to plant community interpretative hubs along the Communities Trail.

Along this new loop path you can learn how each area will evolve so that RSABG may more effectively demonstrate California plant associations while also connecting horticulture, conservation and research.

Fifty-five acres make up the California Plant Communities at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

The California Plant Communities offer visitors a chance to experience the distinct regional association of plants that share growing conditions. But the communities are some of the least publicly appreciated areas in the Garden. Scott LaFleur, director of horticulture, is working to change that.

“I want to make the communities more understandable to visitors,” said LaFleur. “The Gateways to the Communities will help us tell the story of our collections and share information about the connections between botanical research and conservation horticulture.”

The Gateways project is a long-term undertaking and a critical aspect of RSABG master planning that involves reorganization of the California Plant Communities. The communities’ overhaul will help RSABG better convey plant diversity and adaptations within specific geographical boundaries such as the California islands, Baja California and scrub communities.

It will rearrange the communities and gardens to put the right plant in the right place, while preserving accessioned plants that cannot be moved. Following the Master Plan, The Gateways project creates the Communities Trail, a main loop around the California Plant Communities with educational signs and occasional respite with shade, water and plant and communities information.

More than a dozen arbors donated to RSABG will soon become the thresholds—gateways—to each plant community. The brightly colored arbors will be interpretative hubs along the Communities Trail and will offer visitors an opportunity to experience the creativity and ingenuity of the RSABG horticulturists who in addition to caring for the Garden’s beautiful plant collections are creating amazing environmental art in the California Plant Communities.

Listen to an audio tour of Gateways to the Communities.

Claremont Zombie Run! May 3

Claremont Zombie Run logo graphicSaturday, May 3, 2014

The outbreak begins at 7 a.m.

For full details and registration visit the full Claremont Zombie Run website.

Run, walk, or crawl; whatever you do, don't get lost in the zombie-infested maze! There has been a breakout of the zombie virus at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and scientists need your help to contain it. Surviving the maze will require a good sense of direction, stamina, and the ability to adapt quickly in a dense jungle of native California plant life.

The Botanic Garden used to be a beautiful place to take a peaceful stroll on a late afternoon; now it's ground zero of the latest zombie outbreak and you'll be lucky to make it out alive!

Whether you survive the maze or lose all your lives and come back from the dead, there is plenty of fun to be had at the post-apocalyptic party for zombies and humans alike.

This isn't just another zombie run. Our zombies have gone to our exclusive Zombie Training Camp and are highly skilled in making sure the run is filled with suspense and excitement.

Make sure to register early to get the discounted rate!

A percentage of the proceeds support Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden to assist in increasing awareness about native plant life and sustainable habitats.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Red Cross are among the other charitable organizations that will be beneficiaries of this event. Please join us in showing support for these great organization and we will make sure you have fun doing it!