UC Santa Cruz Arboretum holds Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 18

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Arboretum offers colorful, drought-tolerant plants for California gardens

Telopea 'Fireball' (Photo by S. McCabe)
Lechenaultia biloba 'Ray's Moora' (Photo by S. McCabe)

The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum will hold its annual Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 18, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Arboretum's Eucalyptus Grove on High Street near the intersection with Western Drive.

Now in its 50th anniversary year, the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum has a long history of bringing new plants to local gardeners. Over the years, several of its introductions have been among the "Best New Plants" heralded by Sunset magazine. Plants now familiar to some central coast gardeners--such as proteas, pincushion proteas, grevilleas, banksias, and some manzanitas--were not nearly as widely grown when the Arboretum first started selling them years ago.

The Arboretum's annual sale is held in conjunction with the spring plant sale of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS). Both sales are open early (from 10 a.m. to noon) to members of the Arboretum and CNPS, and to the general public from noon to 4 p.m. Memberships will be on sale at the gate.

The Spring Plant Sale offers colorful, drought-tolerant plants for California gardens. The Arboretum has brought to market many plants that can help local gardeners cope with the current long drought. Going forward, the Arboretum will continue to focus on sustainability through plants that use little water and fertilizer, with a growing emphasis on California natives and succulents.

"Over the last 40 years, I have found the Arboretum to be one of the most beautiful, exciting, and inspirational places to see and acquire plants from and for mediterranean climate regions like our own," said Jeff Rosendale, owner of Sierra Azul Nursery.

This year's sale highlights old favorites as well as choice plants that may soon be popular. The California native Arctostaphylos pumila, a Monterey Bay endemic manzanita, is among the featured plants this year. Others include the water-wise Banksia ericifolia 'Fireworks', Boronia heterophylla, Darwinia citriodora 'Seaspray', and Hakea salicifolia 'Gold Medal'. In limited quantities, the popular Telopea 'Fireball' will also be available, as well as the deep blue Lechenaultia biloba 'Ray's Moora'.

For more information, contact the UCSC Arboretum at (831) 502-2998 or visit arboretum.ucsc.edu. 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.