National Public Gardens Day - May 9 Free Admission Day

Free Garden admission 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Behind-the-Scenes Open House opportunities
10 - 11:30 a.m. and 1 - 2:30 p.m.

Join Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden for this special day of celebrating the environmental stewardship, conservation, and education efforts put forth by botanical gardens around the nation.

The day will feature open house-style, behind-the-scenes looks at our diverse collections and areas not generally accessible to the public. When you arrive for this free admission day, visit our orientation station to learn how you can get behind the scenes. Follow signs to specific locations and learn first-hand about the work being done at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden experts will highlight the important work done here on a daily basis.

Behind-the-scenes Open House Opportunities
10 - 11:30 a.m., 1 - 2:30 p.m.

  • Herbarium
  • Molecular Laboratory with Loraine Washburn, Laboratory Manager and Conservation Botanist and Botany Program Graduate Students
  • Library and Archives
  • Seed Conservation Program with Evan Meyer, Seed Conservation Program Manager
  • Nursery and Greenhouses with Valentin Arvizu, Plant Propagator

Garden Walking Tours
Start at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Join us for a 75-minute guided walking tours of the Garden including our Wonders of Wildflowers exhibit in the California Container Garden. The tours depart from the front patio of the Garden Shop. The walking portion of the tour is approximately one mile.

 

National Public Gardens Day was established by the American Public Gardens Association in 2009 and celebrates the vital role public gardens play in communities and highlights the environmental stewardship, conservation efforts and educational programs undertaken by public gardens across the nation. National Public Gardens Day is sponsored by American Public Gardens Association and Rainbird. See our listing here for an admission voucher.

 

Butterfly Pavilion: May 10 - August 3

May 10 - August 3, 2014

The Pavilion is Open Daily 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Closed July 4)

Tickets: $2 per person in addition to standard Garden admission

Walk among and learn about native butterflies and the California native plants that they depend on for food.

See photos on our Facebook page from the Butterfly Pavilion at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

The Butterfly Pavilion at RSABG unites science education and hands-on fun for visitors of all ages. Hundreds of butterflies call the temporary enclosure home this spring and summer. Visitors can walk among the butterflies and caterpillars.

Adopt-a-Butterfly program - More information coming soon!


Butterfly Release Party: August 3, 2014

Beginning at 1 p.m. until all the butterflies are out and about, each family unit may escort a butterfly out of the pavilion and into the Garden. 

Visitors may notice many more butterflies flitting around the Garden following the release party!



As a steward of native plants of California, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden actively promotes the appreciation, understanding and conservation of native flora. Native plants are ideal for butterfly gardening because they provide food sources and in turn butterflies aid in flower pollination.

The 24’ x 36’ Butterfly Pavilion, erected near the Lantz Outdoor Classroom, is a temporary enclosure that combines science education and interactive fun for visitors of all ages. Visitors can walk among the butterflies and caterpillars as they feed. See caterpillars pupate into chrysalises and emerge as butterflies. The Garden is offering special educational workshops in conjunction with the exhibition to share how to nourish both common and threatened butterfly species in home gardens.

The discerning palate of caterpillars helps explain why so many butterfly species are threatened. The major cause of species disappearance in a given area is almost always habitat destruction and the elimination of the plants that they need to survive.

In spite of extensive urban sprawl, Southern California has many species of butterflies that are fairly abundant and easily attracted to flowers or food plants in local gardens.

Download butterfly information packet (PDF).

 

Blue Star Museum Days - May 24-September 1

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) is a participant in the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Blue Star Museums program, which offers free admission for active-duty military and their families between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.

Complimentary admission begins Saturday, May 24, and will continue through Monday, September 1, 2014, and includes all active-duty military personnel and their immediate family members (military ID holder and five immediate family members). The RSABG is also extending the free Garden admission to veterans (admission fees still apply for veterans' family members). To receive free admission to the Garden, bring your current military identification or family member identification or veteran identification card to the Garden's admission kiosk. The Blue Star Museum free admission offer does not include special summer events at the Garden including admission to the Butterfly Pavillion and Garden Groove summer concerts. Admission to all RSABG summer events is available with purchases of standard ticket pricing.

The Blue Star Museum program recognizes the efforts and commitment by military personnel and includes active-duty National Guard and reserve officers. The nationwide project is coordinated by Blue Star Families, a non-partisan, non-profit that sponsors morale and empowerment programs for military families and raises public awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life. The Blue Star Museums is a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and more than 1,300 museums to offer free admission to all active-duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014.

 

The complete list of participating Blue Star Museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

For more information about Blue Star Families is available at www.bluestarfam.org.

Mother's Day Champagne Brunch and Lunch - May 11

Sunday, May 11, 2014 

Brunch seating begins at 8:45 a.m.

Brunch served at 9:30 a.m. 

Lunch seating begins at 12:00 p.m.

Lunch served at 12:30 p.m.

This year, our Mother's Day Champagne Brunch and Lunch events are nestled among our new Wonders of Wildflowers Exhibit in the California Natives Container Garden. Sit amid a display of thousands of wildflowers for an unforgettable experience during this one of a kind exhibit.

Seating is limited for this exclusive annual event celebrating mothers. You'll enjoy fantastic food, superb table service and a dining atmosphere only possible at California's Native Garden; listen to live acoustic music and don't forget the giveaways we have in store for Moms at each table. Tickets inlcude free Garden admission and tickets to our popular Butterfly Pavilion for your party on Mother's Day. The Butterfly Pavilion is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Complimentary tram service to and from the venue will be available beginning at 8:30 a.m. for Brunch and 11:30 for Lunch.

Tickets:

Member: Adult $48 Member Child (3-12) $30
Public: Adult $65 Child (3-12) $40

Enjoy live music, artist to be determined.

Advance tickets are required - the event will sell out. Final menu TBD and does include child-friendly and vegetarian options. Please note the RSABG member discount - to view membership options and to become a member, click here

Click here to order BRUNCH Tickets

Click here to order LUNCH Tickets

Or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


Final Brunch and Lunch Menus to be determined

Preset:

Entrees and Sides:

Age 12 and under:

Dessert Buffet:

Beverages:

Garden Walking Club - Saturday Mornings

Saturdays, 8:00 a.m.

Relieve stress, boost energy levels, improve health, track progress and enjoy the beautiful scenery of California’s native garden on your own or with the group. Participation is free (Garden admission fees apply); register at the admission kiosk.

 "Although I have been visiting the garden for many years, the Saturday walks are the best experiences I've ever had here."

~Ruth Crandall, San Dimas

About the Garden Walking Club

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden’s Walking Club was created to provide members and frequent visitors with the opportunity to participate in a safe, healthy and educational walking experience while enjoying social enrichment, community building, and the wonders of the Garden.

Walking club promotes:

  • Physical and mental health
  • Enjoyment and appreciation of our natural environment
  • Awareness of one's surroundings, as well as ourselves

Walking club is free to join and participate in; register at the admission kiosk. Garden admission fees apply if participants are not RSABG members.

Group walks take place every Saturday beginning at 8:00 a.m. and are approximately 1 hour long, meeting at the admission kiosk. Walking club participants may walk any day or time (during regular business hours), individually or as a group. Informal group scheduling is encouraged. Don’t forget to log your time, distances and observations at the admission kiosk. Specially themed walks will be scheduled and announced via email and posted at the admission kiosk. For more information send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (909) 625-8767.

Track your route and distances using the guide and map available at the admission kiosk, as well as trail markers located around the main pathways of the Garden.

The Garden is laid out in three distinct areas:

Indian Hill Mesa Loop Trail: 0.5 mile around
(Or 0.7 mile total roundtrip distance from admission kiosk)

This loop trail highlights Indian Hill Mesa a large flat-topped hill of dense clay soils, heavily planted with mature cultivars and wild species of native plants. Traveling counter-clockwise along the trail you’ll pass the California Cultivar Garden, north mesa restrooms, Walter and Gracie Lantz Outdoor Classroom, California Natives Container Garden, Benjamin Pond and the California Garden Gift Shop and RSABG administration building.

East Alluvial Gardens Trail: 0.9 mile total roundtrip
(or 0.45 mile one direction)

This ‘out and back’ trail travels north from the admission kiosk along the East Alluvial Gardens found at the base of the eastern edge of the Indian Hill Mesa and includes the Desert Garden and the Coastal Dune and California Channel Islands collections. The trail passes the Tongva Village interpretive site and the Majestic Oak before terminating at the Plant Communities Loop Trail.

Plant Communities Loop Trail: 1.0 mile around
(Or 1.7 miles total roundtrip distance from the admission kiosk via the Indian Hill Mesa Loop Trail) (Or 1.9 miles total roundtrip distance from the admission kiosk via the East Alluvial Gardens Trail)

This loop trail is accessible from either the Indian Hill Mesa Loop Trail or the East Alluvial Gardens Trail. The northern 55 acres of the Garden are home to the Plant Communities with displays of some of our most impressive specimens in the entire collection. The large serene grove of Four-needle Pinyon, the spring-blooming California Flannel Bushes and distinctive jmlhua trees are found here.

 

Claremont Folk Festival - May 31

Claremont folk festival logo-201431st Annual Claremont Folk Festival

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tickets: On Sale March 16

General Admission: $40 

RSABG Member: $35 (with Discount Code; please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and membership number to receive the code or call 909-625-8767 ext. 221)

VIP Tickets: $125

CLICK HERE to Purchase Event Tickets online (online ticketing through Brown Paper Tickets; nominal service charge may apply - Select 'Enter a Password or Discount Code' where indicated to enter your discount code if an RSABG member)

Tickets may also be purchased IN PERSON at the Folk Music Center in the Claremont Village.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is proud to welcome the Claremont Folk Festival back for its 31st exciting year of live music, an artists’ village, music and art workshops, great food and children’s entertainment. The Claremont Folk Festival is presented by the Folk Music Center and Museum, a Claremont nonprofit organization.

The Garden will be open only to event ticket holders on May 31. Festival attendees can visit the Butterfly Pavilion for the standard admission fee, $2 per visitor, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Gourmet food trucks, local microbreweries and area caterers will provide food and drinks. Local artists will be selling art, musical instruments and more.

This year's lineup includes, on the Pete Seeger Stage:

  • Ben and Ellen Harper 
  • Dave Alvin and The Guilty Ones 
  • The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet 
  • The Chapin Sisters 
  • The Coals
  • Blue Highway 
  • On May 6 we will be announcing the addition of very special guests. 

The Oak Tree Stage performers are:

  • Peter Harper
  • Phoebe Bridgers 
  • Rick Shea 
  • Old Brown Shoe 
  • Steve James 
  • Ross Altman. 

New to the Festival will be Ohana Ukulele Island, featuring workshops, performances and all things uke. 

Children's activities run all day long, with storytelling, rhythm workshop, art activities, mosaic making and gardening.

The Garden's Butterfly Pavilion will be open as well ($2 additional per person)

Workshops in Gypsy guitar (master class), banjo (beginning), harmonica, songwriting, cajon drumming, protest songs, drum circle and bottleneck slide guitar are offered. 

Gourmet food trucks will be on-site, as well as Bert & Rocky's Cream Company, Dale Bros. Brewery, Claremont Craft Ales and Plume Ridge Bottle Shop will be selling beer and wine.

Local artists will be selling a variety of art, jewelry and musical instruments. The Folk Music Center Museum and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden are both California non-profit organizations. Those interested in a tax-deductible sponsorship can please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for information on opportunities and sponsor rewards.

Visit and Like the Claremont Folk Festival's Facebook page by clicking here.

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.