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UC Botanical Garden: what we learned about roses, plants that can eat things

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Assistant News Editor

FEBRUARY 25, 2015

We all say we’re going to do things that we never get around to, and this has most certainly been the case for our trip to the UC Botanical Garden. This weekend, however, we at the Clog made the trek into the hills to explore one of our campus’ hidden gems.

First opened in 1870s, on grounds that are now the Moffitt Library, the UC Botanical Garden is home to plants from six continents. After the university purchased Strawberry Canyon in the 1920s, the garden was moved to its current location. A combination of faculty members from both the botany and urban design departments designed the garden, grouping plants based on geography rather than genus and family. Because of this, a trip through the garden feels like a trip through the landscapes of the globe.

Below, we have included some of the highlights of our adventure.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 6.07.16 PMChinese Medical Herb Garden

Founded in 1986 through efforts from the Guangzhou College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco and the UC Botanical Garden, this exhibit features pretty much every type of medicinal herb you have or haven’t heard of before, from “fragrant herbs for dissolving wetness” to “purging herbs” to “herbs for regulating blood.” Great place to hit up if you’re sick and don’t want to pay a co-pay at the Tang Center.

Orchids, ferns and carnivorous plants

We walked into this section expecting to see Venus fly traps all over the place — and there were — but we discovered there are more than one type of carnivorous plant. What’s even more interesting is that most of these plants aren’t even related and evolved this trait independently due to nutrient-poor environments. These plants’ innovative mechanisms for survival, in even the harshest of circumstances ,really spoke to us as UC Berkeley students, reminding us to persevere, even through midterm season.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 6.09.03 PM The Tropical House

If you ever need to warm up on a rainy day (that is, if we ever start having rainy days again), hit up the Tropical House. You will be pleasantly surprised that it is not only warm, but that many tropical terrains are actually quite dry, contrary to popular belief. If you are still down to get wet, however, the Tropical House features a four-layered rainforest so realistic that you feel like monkeys, leopards or poison dart frogs may be lurking about.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 6.10.01 PM

The Garden of Old Roses

Despite the title being slightly reminiscent of an old lady’s dusty garden, the Garden of Old Roses feels like a fairytale garden and looks like the perfect place for a princess to frolic or fall in love. The term “old roses” refers to the roses being a hybrid created before 1867, when modern roses were first developed. After seeing this garden, we’re not sure why the change was ever made.


Entrance to the garden is free with your Cal 1 Card — so check out the garden to see these collections and many more!

Image Sources: UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens.

Contact Pressly Pratt at [email protected].

FEBRUARY 25, 2015