University of California, Riverside

UCR Botanic Gardens

About Us

Garden Features

The Gardens is a living plant museum with more than 3,500 plant species from around the world for visitors and researchers to see and study. It was established primarily for teaching purposes. In a beautiful setting, the Gardens serves to provide a wide assortment of plant materials for courses at UCR and other local schools. Courses supported include anthropology, art, biology, botany, ecology, entomology, landscape plants, morphology, ornamental horticulture, plant pathology, photography and taxonomy. The Gardens also provides plant materials for various research projects and serves to test and exhibit plant species introduced from all parts of the world. The variable terrain and Riverside's subtropical climate create numerous "micro-climates" which allow for the notable diversity of plantings.This wealth of vegetation creates a hospitable sanctuary for wildlife, where nearly 200 bird species have been officially observed.

Though maintained separately, the University of California Riverside campus grounds is also considered a part of the Botanic Gardens, and serves to demonstrate landscape plants that do well in Riverside's climate.

Horticultural Collections | | Geographical Collections | | Other Features

Horticultural Collections

Alder Canyon
Cool and shady, Alder Canyon features California native riparian trees under-planted with azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas and ferns
Rose Gardens
With over 300 old and new selections - a cross section of species roses, heritage varieties, miniatures, floribundas, grandifloras and hybrid teas, including current AARS award winners
Herb Garden
Filled with aromatic, culinary, dye and medicinal plants from around the world
Cactus Garden
Displaying hundreds of cacti, ocotillos, agaves, yuccas and other plants with curious forms and spectacular blossoms
Iris Garden
Featuring more than 150 named bearded iris cultivars in a rainbow of colors
Lilac Lane
True lilacs, selected for their ability to flower in our mild-winter climate
Subtropical Fruit Orchard
Featuring citrus, guavas, sapotes, avocados, macadamia nuts and many other subtropical fruit trees for demonstration and trial

Geographical Collections

South African Garden
Spectacular displays of aloes, iceplants, naked ladies, and South African wildflowers in season
Southwest Deserts Section
An extensive collection of Southwest U.S. desert plants with emphasis on those native to the Mojave and Colorado Deserts (see Deserts of the Southwest self-guided tour booklet)
Sierra Foothills Section
Exhibiting Chaparral and Foothill Pine Woodland plants such as foothill pine, mountain mahogany, California buckeye, fremontia, sumacs and yuccas
Boysie Day Baja Calif. Garden
With rare and bizarre plants such as boojum tree, palo adán, elephant tree, lomboy and slipper plant
Australian Section
Specializing in Eucalyptus, bottlebrushes, melaleucas, grevilleas and acacias
Temperate Deciduous Forest
A selection of trees and shrubs from temperate China and the Eastern U.S. including paper mulberry, dawn redwood, golden rain tree, liquidamber and maples.

Other Features

Geodesic Lath Dome
An intriguing structure housing a special collection of cycads and other subtropical plants
Hiking trails
More than four miles of trails traversing the Gardens from top to bottom
Plant Families Comparative Collection
A wealth of plants grouped to show their relationship to each other regardless of geographical origin
Irises, cattails, koi, turtles and more

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

UCR LibrariesCampus Status
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Botanic Gardens Information

Botanic Gardens Schneider House Office
Botanic Gardens

Tel: (951) 784-6962

Mailing Address:
Botanic Gardens
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521-0124