UCI Arboretum: A Hidden Gem


One of the five Mediterranean ecosystems of the world, is here at UCI.

The UCI Arboretum is a 12-acre botanical garden located next to the 200-acre San Joajquin Marsh on the UC Irvine North Campus, dedicated to the conservation of endangered plant species from California and South Africa.

The UCI Arboretum had its origins in 1964 as a nursery and holding area for plant materials supplying the landscaping needs of the new UC campus at Irvine. The nursery area was designated an experimental garden and eventually became the UCI Arboretum in 1977.

Located in one of the five Mediterranean ecosystems of the world, the UCI Arboretum is interested primarily in plants originating from these areas. The Arboretum boasts one of the finest collections of South African bulbous and cormous plants in the world. Among these are many rare and endangered species of such genera as Babiana, Cyranthus, Gladiolus, Ixia, Lachenalia, and Moraea.

Also represented at the gardens is an excellent display of South and tropical African aloes and other succulents displayed in a setting similar to their natural habitat, in their South African Perennial Garden.

They maintain an outstanding collection of rare and endangered plants from a variety of California habitats, including coastal sage scrub, coastal maritime scrub, the Channel Islands, native grasslands, and Otay Mountain.

Future plans at the Arboretum include sections dedicated to ccoastal oak woodlands, conifer forests, and the Mojave and Colorado Deserts.

For 25 years the UCI Arboretum has been on the forefront of species conservation and over 200 endangered species are maintained and actively propagated.

Visiting Hours: Open to the public and free of charge Monday-Saturday from 9:00am-3:00pm.

Support this hidden gem of UCI. I highly recommend you visit the Arboretum for close getaway from the busy life of UCI.


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