UC Santa Cruz Arboretum holds Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, October 11

Annual sale features beautiful, drought-tolerant plants from around the world

monkeyflower flowers

Mimulus 'Monkeys on Fire' (above) and X Graptoveria 'Little Opal' (below) are among the new plant varieties available at the Arboretum's Fall Plant Sale. (Photos by Stephen McCabe)

succulent leaves

The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum will hold its annual Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, October 11, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Eucalyptus Grove on High Street near the intersection of Western Drive. Held in conjunction with the California Native Plant Society, the sale opens early (from 10 a.m. to noon) for members of either organization. Memberships will be on sale at the gate.

There are limited quantities of many of the hard-to-propagate plants, so eager gardeners are advised to arrive early. Among the newest plant varieties to be offered exclusively by the Arboretum are succulents and native monkey flowers. Bob Grim of San Jose hybridized the Arboretum's  X Sedeveria 'Suavé' and X Graptoveria 'Little Opal,' both succulents with beautiful wax on the leaves. The monkey flower Mimulus 'Monkeys on Fire' is bright orange with red, while Mimulus 'Ben Lomond Yellow' was selected by Arboretum staff from among thousands of the typically apricot-colored monkey flowers. The third new monkey flower is Mimulus 'Tangelo,' which has flowers the color of the citrus fruit.

Sales benefit student gardener interns who are working their way through college by tending the Arboretum. The horticultural sales and memberships also benefit the Arboretum's conservation, research, and education programs.

The sale will feature an unusual selection of native and non-native species chosen to thrive in local gardens. Many are drought tolerant. A complete list is available on the Arboretum's web site. Fall is a good time for planting because roots can establish themselves during the rainy season, which makes for a stronger and healthier plant to withstand the dry summer.

Other plants available at the sale will include feathery Phyllica plumosa and South African Proteas. Many of the succulents being sold are perfect plants for dorm rooms as well as the home garden, according to the curators. In addition to plants with different textures and origins for the garden palette, there will be flowers and foliage in a variety of colors. The sale will also feature some dramatic and lesser-known members of the protea family from Australia and South Africa.

For more information about the sale, contact the UCSC Arboretum at (831) 427-2998 or visit the Arboretum's web site or Facebook page. The Arboretum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Norrie's Gifts is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.