Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
University of California, Davis, Arboretum
The University of California, Davis, Arboretum (96 acres) along the banks of Putah Creek , at the south side of the University of California, Davis campus in Davis, California. It is open during daylight hours with free admission.
Established in 1936, the Arboretum contains 3.5 miles of paved paths and more than 4,000 varieties of plants and trees adapted to the Mediterranean climate--cool, wet winters and hot dry summer--typical of much of California. Temperatures in Davis range from 14°F to 118°F, and average rainfall is only 19 inches per year.
Plants in the Arboretum are arranged in gardens that represent different geographic areas, plant groups, horticultural themes, or historical periods:
- The Arboretum Terrace is a demonstration garden for California's Central Valley.
- The Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants includes drought-tolerant species suitable for landscape plantings as well as a number of rare and endangered plants. It showcases California wild lilac (Ceanothus) and a planting of native bunchgrasses .
- The Ruth Risdon Storer Garden features flowering perennials and small shrubs suited to central valley gardens.
- The Carolee Shields White Flower Garden is a theme garden based on medieval moon-viewing gardens of India and Japan. With its curving paths framing a vine-covered gazebo, the garden is a popular site for weddings and other events. Many of the plants here are fragrant, and their pale flowers are particularly luminous by moonlight.
- More than 80 kinds of oaks are collected in the Peter J. Shields Oak Grove, including a fine collection of oaks native to the western United States. Other important collections include conifers and acacias.
- The Mediterranean Collection features plants native to the Mediterranean basin, arrayed around a scenic lagoon. This section is noted for its collection of medicinal and culinary herbs. It also features plants from South Africa, Australia, the Southwestern United States, Mexico, and Chile.
- The Redwood Memorial Grove is one of the largest collections of Sequoia sempervirens, the coast redwood, outside its native range. Other native plants, including several 200-year-old Valley oaks (Quercus lobata), are found in the California Foothill Collection.
- The Desert Collection features cacti and succulents as well fan palms, mesquites, and other desert trees and shrubs.
- The Early California Garden represents a garden from the rancho period, roughly 1840-1860, when California was part of Mexico and plants from Europe, Asia, and Central America were introduced into Californian gardens.
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