desert garden

Botanical Gardens

Encompassing about 130 acres, the botanical gardens feature living collections in 16 stunning themed gardens with more than 83,000 living plants including rare and endangered species, and a laboratory for botanical conservation and research.

In 1903 Henry E. Huntington (1850–1927) purchased the San Marino Ranch, a working ranch about 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles with citrus groves, nut and fruit orchards, alfalfa crops, a small herd of cows, and poultry. His superintendent, William Hertrich (1878–1966), was instrumental in developing the various plant collections that comprise the foundation of The Huntington's botanical gardens. The property—originally nearly 600 acres—today covers 207 acres, 130 of which are open to visitors.

Nicole Cavender, Director of The Huntington Botanical Gardens on the Language of Flowers

"If you can believe it, we have over 83,000 living plants here. The botanical gardens serve as the entry way to the Huntington, connecting all three of the collections; the art collections, the library collections, and the plant collections."

Botanical Living Collections

In addition to 130 acres of themed gardens, The Huntington has significant holdings of botanical living collections including orchids, cycads, and bonsai, examples of which may be found throughout the grounds. These core collections are being preserved, expanded, studied, and promoted for public appreciation, and support many areas of botanical research including conservation and cryopreservation. The collections also serve as the foundation of The Huntington's educational programming, including botanical lectures, gardening workshops and demonstrations, and plant sales.

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Nicole Cavender stands next to a tree in the Huntington Rose Garden.

Rooted in Conservation

Most guests who visit the botanical gardens at The Huntington appreciate their beauty, but there is much more to them than meets the eye. Our living plant collection is both regionally and globally diverse. Thousands of the species in our care are not found in any other botanical garden.

Tom Carruth talks about the Elizabeth Taylor rose.

The "Elizabeth Taylor" Rose

Tom Carruth, the E.L. & Ruth B. Shannon Curator of the Rose Collection, talks about the creation of the "Elizabeth Taylor" Rose.

“You can’t possess radiance, you can only admire it.” ✨ #elizabethtaylor #LearnOnTiktok #planttok

Botanical Conservation & Research

In addition to 130 acres of themed gardens, The Huntington has significant holdings of botanical living collections including orchids, camellias, cycads, and bonsai, examples of which may be found throughout the grounds. These core collections are being preserved, expanded, studied, and promoted for public appreciation, and support many areas of botanical research including conservation and cryopreservation.

plants

Exotic Plant Depository Aids in Research and Identification

The Huntington Botanical Gardens Herbarium (HNT) was founded in the 1960's by Myron Kimnach, director of the botanical gardens from 1962 to 1986. It is a depository of mostly exotic plant specimens used in research and teaching. The purpose of these specimens is to serve as documentation for research projects, and as resources for plant identification.