Visitors admire the magnolia sprengerii “Diva” at the SF Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park Photo: Saxon Holt

 

Tickled Pink!

Magnolia soulangeana
Magnolia x soulangeana Photo: Saxon Holt

Magnificent Magnolias Bloom

It’s gotten nippy out there and that means that the gorgeous winter bloom of San Francisco Botanical Garden’s magnificent magnolias ... starting mid-January, nearly 100 gorgeous trees, many rare and historic, typically begin to bloom ... the huge saucer-sized pink and white blooms are really stunning on the bare branches ... the photo opps are endless. Instagram heaven.

We celebrate this bloom each year with free Magnolia Walk maps, docent-led tours, special signage, and a magnolia mobile app, and unique classes.

Magnolia denudata Photo: Peter Stephens

 

The bloom usually rolls out from mid-January into March. It’s one of the city’s most breathtaking natural marvels as nearly 100 magnolias at the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park burst into bloom. Velvety silver buds on the often bare branches of these elegant trees, many rare and historic, open into dazzling pink, magenta, and white flowers, filling the wintery Garden with dramatic splashes of color and sweetly fragrant scents.

The annual floral spectacle, with trees reaching 80 feet, is at its peak this year from mid-January through March, and visitors to the Garden can take advantage of free Magnolia Walk maps, docent-led tours, special signage, a magnolia mobile app, and more to celebrate and learn more about these magnificent magnolias.

Magnolia denudata Photo: Saxon Holt

San Francisco Botanical Garden is home to the most significant magnolia collection for conservation purposes outside China, where the majority of species originated. Its current collection includes 44 species, 42 cultivars and 16 hybrids or varieties, including many important specimens from Asia.

 

 

 

 

 

January 15 – March 31;

Magnolia stellata Photo: Nina Sazevich

open every day

7:30am to 5pm (February – early March)

7:30am to 6pm (2nd Sunday in March – April)

SF Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park, 9th and Lincoln Blvd.

SFBotanicalGarden.org,
(415) 661-1316

 

 

 

 

February 2017

 

 

Magnolia doltsopa Photo: Saxon Holt

Magnolia denudata Photo: Peter Stephens

100 Magnolia Trees To Brighten Gloomy Winter Days

magnolia campbellii
Magnolia Campbellii / Photo: Tom Karlo

During the grayest days of winter, nature stages a one-of-a-kind disruption every year at San Francisco Botanical Garden as more than 100 magnolias, many rare and historic, defy the gloom and erupt into a riot of pink and white blossoms. Velvety silver buds on the often bare branches of these elegant trees open into saucer-sized, vibrant flowers, filling the wintery Garden with dramatic splashes of color and sweetly fragrant scents. The breathtaking annual floral spectacle, with trees reaching 80 feet, is at its peak from mid-January through March.

One of the most famous species he planted was the cup and saucer magnolia or Magnolia campbellii, the first of its kind to bloom in the United States in 1940, attracting huge crowds of excited and curious visitors who stood in long lines to see the magnificent large pink blossoms of this lovely magnolia that still stands in the Garden today.

Visitors to the Garden can take advantage of free Magnolia Walk maps, docent-led tours, special signage, a magnolia mobile app and more, as well as unique classes and activities, including Valentine’s Day treats and tours for couples and families and special Magnolias by Moonlight tours, to celebrate and learn more about these unique trees. Families can enjoy the collection using a free family-friendly adventure map with activity suggestions for children.

Magnolia Campbellii / Photo Charlotte Masson

SFBG is home to the most significant magnolia collection for conservation purposes outside China, where the majority of species originated. Its current collection includes 44 species, 42 cultivars and 16 hybrids or varieties, including many important specimens from Asia.

This unique and long-standing collection began in 1939 with Eric Walther, who planted the very first magnolia in the Garden and continued to introduce species and cultivars throughout his tenure as the Garden’s first Director. One of the most famous species he planted was the cup and saucer magnolia or Magnolia campbellii, the first of its kind to bloom in the United States in 1940, attracting huge crowds of excited and curious visitors who stood in long lines to see the magnificent large pink blossoms of this lovely magnolia that still stands in the Garden today. More than a dozen other M. campbellii can now also be found throughout the Garden.

“Magnolias have long been the signature flower of San Francisco Botanical Garden,” says Don Mahoney, the Garden’s Curator Emeritus. “The bloom is absolutely one of the peak experiences of the year here. A towering tree with thousands of large pink flowers held upright against a blue sky is a sight you will remember for the rest of your lifetime.”

Magnoliaceae, named for botanist Pierre Magnol in 1748 – is considered by paleobotanists to be one of the earliest flowering plant families. Magnolia fossils date back nearly 100 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. The flowers are pollinated by beetles since bees had not yet evolved at that time. Survivors of several ice ages, magnolias thrived in the protected mountains of southern China, the southern United States, southern Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Eighty percent of the more than 247 species occur in Asia.

Magnolia campbellii Darjeeling
Magnolia campbellii ‘Darjeeling’. Photo: Nancy Hwang

In addition to the flagship M. campbellii, some of the other prized magnolias in the Garden’s collection include:

Magnolia campbellii ‘Darjeeling’ – Propagated through cuttings from a tree growing in the Lloyd Botanic Garden in Darjeeling, India, this Himalayan species is thought by many to be the most spectacular of all the magnolias that bloom at the Garden with magnificent deep pink flowers emerging on leafless branches in a dramatic display.

Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’ – A special white form of Magnolia campbellii grown from seed purchased in India in 1934 and propagated at the Golden Gate Park Nursery. Planted in 1940 here, it is the largest magnolia at the Garden towering over 80 feet.

Magnolia stellata -Waterlilly
Magnolia-stellata-Waterlily Photo: JamesGaither

Magnolia denudata – One of the most beloved of all magnolias. Called the “Yulan” or “Jade Lily” by the Chinese, the exquisite lily shape of the blossoms with their often pure white petals, has the longest history of cultivation going back to the Tang Dynasty - 618 AD. Its beauty was celebrated on ancient Chinese embroideries, scrolls, and porcelains in scenes of the countryside. Its elegant flowers made it a “gift worthy of an emperor.” Magnolia denudata was the first magnolia from the East introduced to the western world when it was brought to England in 1780, and is one of the parents of many cultivars.

Magnolia zenii – The rarest magnolia in the Garden is listed as critically endangered. Only a few dozen of these plants were discovered in China in 1931.

Magnolia amoena – Also known as charming magnolia, this gift from the Shanghai Botanical Garden was presented to the Garden by then-Mayor Diane Feinstein in 1982. It was discovered on Mt. Hwang in China in 1933, one of the last magnolias discovered in the wild.

Magnolia dawsoniana – This endangered magnolia from China has large pink flowers, up to 10 inches, that droop with age and look like flags blowing in the wind. This magnolia was named after the first superintendent of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Magnolia campbellii ‘Late Pink’ – Introduced at the Garden from seed purchased in 1934 from G. Ghose and Co. in Darjeeling, India, the flowers of this magnolia appear two to four weeks later than other Magnolia campbellii, extending the magnolia viewing season at the Garden.

Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ – This cultivar has particularly dark, rich, rose pink petals. The Garden’s tree is one of the very few mature specimens in cultivation.

Magnolia campbellii / Photo: Far Out Flora
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Magnolia doltsopa – An evergreen magnolia, formerly known as Michelia doltsopa, it was discovered near Kathmandu, Nepal around 1803. The highly fragrant white flowers are about six inches across, opening from velvety-brown buds. It is often grown in the Bay Area, sometimes as a street tree, but the specimens in the Garden are some of the largest in cultivation in California.

Magnolia laevifolia ‘Strybing Compact’ – This species, native to Yunnan province in China, can grow at altitudes as high as 9,000 feet, far higher than most other magnolias can survive. The flowers are fragrant and used to make perfume. This special cultivar is unique for its outstanding dwarf form.

RELATED PROGRAMMING

Free Magnolia Walk maps, highlighting key species and their location within the Garden, are available to the public. In addition, the Garden offers a free Magical Magnolia family adventure map that takes families on either a stroller friendly path or a more adventurous route off the beaten path to search for furry buds and giant flowers on magnolia trees large and small. A free magnolia mobile app is available as well, providing a dynamic, searchable map of the collection. The Garden also offers free magnolia docent tours every Saturday, January 9 through March 26 at 2 PM, and visitors of all ages can ask questions and explore magnolias in more depth at Garden Interpretation Stations on Sundays, January 10 through March 27, from 1:30-3:30 PM.

Visitors can enjoy a special digital exhibition of stunning magnolia illustrations from rare books in the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, Northern California’s most comprehensive horticultural collection. The Rare Book Room is not open to the public so this is an excellent opportunity to see these beautiful illustrations. In addition, visitors can find over 250 magnolia related items in the publicly accessible book collection, and the library will feature a special magnolia book display during the month of February. Free bibliographies for children and adults will also be available on a variety of magnolia-related themes.

In the Bookstore, visitors enjoy special discounts on magnolia items including greeting cards, books, posters and more.

In addition, the Garden offers special programs for adults and families: www.sfbotanicalgarden.org/

Children’s Story Time in the Library and Family Garden Walk

Sundays, January 3 & 17; 10:30 – 11:30 AM

FREE (admission required for docent walks following story readings)

Families will love January’s Children’s Story Time theme, Blooms and Branches, which will feature magnolias and other flowering trees. Following the story, the guided Family Garden Walk will also explore the magnolia bloom. For families with children ages 4-8.

Story Time is offered every month on first and third Sundays. Themes vary.

Magnificent Magnolia Walking Tours

Saturdays, January 23, February 20, March 5; 1:30 – 3:30 PM

$20 general

Take a fascinating walking tour of the magnolia collection in the company of SFBG staff. Learn about the history of the Garden’s collection and even get tips on growing your own here in the Bay Area. Bring your cameras and take home a lasting memory. Heavy rain cancels. 

Magnolias by Moonlight

Friday, January 22 & Monday, February 22; 6 – 8 PM

$25 general

Stroll moonlit paths guided by a Garden naturalist. Marvel at the magnolia blossoms overhead reflecting the silvery moon and inhale their lovely fragrance. The walking tour includes a refreshment stop for hot, aromatic tea and delicious snacks. Bring a flashlight. Heavy rain cancels. 

Magnolias, Camellias & Rhododendrons: Pencil Drawing with Nina Antze

Thursday, January 21; 10 AM – 3 PM

$90 general

Botanical artist Nina Antze shows you why colored pencil techniques are ideally suited to capture the fragile glories of the winter garden. The unique colors of magnolias, camellias and rhododendron provide the opportunity to practice mixing and layering color. Participants will explore a variety of colored pencil techniques including burnishing, layering and using watercolor pencil. Live blooms from the Garden will be provided or you may bring in your own beauties. The day usually includes a visit to the botanical exhibit in the Library and to the Garden, if weather permits. All drawing levels welcome. A supply list will be provided. Bring a lunch.

Meet Me Under the Magnolia: Valentine’s Day Treats and Tours

Saturday, February 13; 3 – 5 PM

$60 per couple

Treat your sweetheart to a pre-date night visit to the Garden. Taste delicious garden-inspired treats including pie from Butter Love Bakeshop and sip sparkling wine before heading out on an expert-led tour of the Garden’s blossoming magnolias.

Family Valentine Fun

Sunday, February 14; 10 AM – 12 PM

Free with admission

Spend the morning with all of your Valentine sweeties enjoying delicious hot cocoa and magnolia-themed crafts. Then explore the Garden’s magnificent magnolias with a Family Adventure Map.

San Francisco Botanical Garden, located in Golden Gate Park with entrances on 9th Ave at Lincoln Way and on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive off the Music Concourse, is open 365 days a year at 7:30 AM. Last entry changes with the seasons as follows: 4 PM 1st Sunday in November – January; 5 PM February – early March; 6 PM 2nd Sunday in March – September; 5 PM October – early November. Admission for San Francisco residents (with proof of residence, e.g., CA ID with SF address, or photo ID and utility bill) is FREE. Admission for non-residents is $8 general, $6 youth 12-17 and seniors; $2 children 5-11; children 4 and under FREE. Families of 2 adults and one or more child pay just $17. Admission is FREE to all visitors from 7:30 to 9 AM. SFBG members receive free admission and discounts on fee-based programs. The public should call (415) 661-1316 or visit www.sfbotanicalgarden.org for more information.

About San Francisco Botanical Garden

San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum is a living museum within Golden Gate Park, offering 55 acres of beautiful gardens displaying over 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world. Seasonal highlights include the magnificent Magnolia collection, the most significant for conservation purposes outside China; the unique Mesoamerican, Andean and Southeast Asian Cloud Forest collections; and the California Native Garden and century old Redwood Grove.

Established in 1940 originally as Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco Botanical Garden is a collaboration of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the non-profit San Francisco Botanical Garden Society.

February 2016

January 15 – March 31, 2016

San Francisco Botanical Garden

One of the most famous species he planted was the cup and saucer magnolia or Magnolia campbellii, the first of its kind to bloom in the United States in 1940, attracting huge crowds of excited and curious visitors who stood in long lines to see the magnificent large pink blossoms of this lovely magnolia that still stands in the Garden today."

Magnolia campbellii. Photo: Far Out Flora

Magnificent Magnolias

Magnolia campbellii Bob-Gunderson
Magnolia campbellii Photo: Bob Gunderson

In the winter of 1940, horticultural history was made at the newly opened San Francisco Botanical Garden when its exotic cup and saucer magnolia tree

became the first of its kind to bloom in the United States. Huge crowds of excited and curious visitors stood in long lines to see the stunning large pink blossoms of this famous magnolia that still stands in the Garden today.

The annual bloom of these magnificent magnolias, with trees reaching 80 feet, is at its peak from mid-January through March and is one of the city’s most breathtaking natural marvels. Velvety silver buds on the often bare branches of these elegant trees open into dazzling pink and white flowers, filling the wintery Garden with dramatic splashes of color and sweetly fragrant scents.”

And that was just the beginning. The Garden, celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, is now home to nearly 100 rare and historic magnolias. It is the most significant magnolia collection for conservation purposes outside China, where the majority of species originated.

Its current collection includes 51 species and 33 cultivars, including many prized examples from Asia.

The annual bloom of these magnificent magnolias, with trees reaching 80 feet, is at its peak from mid-January through March and is one of the city’s most breathtaking natural marvels. Velvety silver buds on the often bare branches of these elegant trees open into dazzling pink and white flowers, filling the wintery Garden with dramatic splashes of color and sweetly fragrant scents.

Magnolia campbellii by Tom Karlo
Magnolia campbellii Photo: Tom Karlo

Visitors to the Garden can take advantage of free Magnolia Walk maps, docent-led tours, special signage,and more, as well as unique classes and activities, including a special Magnolias by Moonlight tour, to celebrate and learn more about these unique trees.

“Magnolias are absolutely the signature flower of San Francisco Botanical Garden,” says Don Mahoney, the Garden’s Curator. “The bloom of that first famous Magnolia campbellii was really the inaugural moment at the Garden. And now we are the stewards of one of the world’s most important magnolia collections. It’s quite a legacy. And there is nothing quite like looking up into a 50-foot tree with thousands of large pink flowers held upright against a blue sky ... unforgettable.”

The Magnolia family – Magnoliaceae, named for botanist Pierre Magnol in 1748 – is considered by paleobotanists to be one of the earliest flowering plant families. Magnolia fossils date back nearly 100 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. The flowers are pollinated by beetles since bees had not yet evolved at that time. Survivors of several ice ages, magnolias thrived in the protected mountains of southern China, the southern United States, southern Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Eighty percent of the more than 245 species occur in Asia.

In addition to the flagship M. campbellii, some of the other prized magnolias in the Garden’s collection include:

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'
Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling' Photo: Larry Beckerman

Magnolia campbellii ‘Darjeeling’ – Propagated through cuttings from a tree growing in the Lloyd Botanic Garden in Darjeeling, India, this Himalayan species is thought by many to be the most spectacular of all the magnolias that bloom at the Garden with magnificent deep pink flowers emerging on leafless branches in a dramatic display.

Magnolia campbellii‘Strybing White’ – A special white form of Magnolia campbellii grown from seed purchased in India in 1934 and propagated at the Golden Gate Park Nursery. Planted in 1940 here, it is the largest magnolia at the Garden towering over 80 feet.

Magnolia denudata – One of the most beloved of all magnolias. Called the “Yulan” or “Jade Lily” by the Chinese, the exquisite lily shape of the blossoms with their often pure white petals, has the longest history of cultivation going back to the Tang Dynasty - 618 AD. Its beauty was celebrated on ancient Chinese embroideries, scrolls, and porcelains in scenes of the countryside. Its elegant flowers made it a “gift worthy of an emperor.” Magnolia denudata was the first magnolia from the East introduced to the western world when it was brought to England in 1780, and is one of the parents of many cultivars.

Magnolia zenii– The rarest magnolia in the Garden is listed as critically endangered. Only a few dozen of these plants were discovered in China in 1931.

Magnolia amoena – Also known as charming magnolia, this gift from the Shanghai Botanical Garden was presented to the Garden by then-Mayor Diane Feinstein in 1982. It was discovered on Mt. Hwang in China in 1933, one of the last magnolias discovered in the wild.

Magnolia dawsoniana
Magnolia dawsoniana Photo: Saxon Holt

Magnolia dawsoniana – This endangered magnolia from China has large pink flowers, up to 10 inches, that droop with age and look like flags blowing in the wind. This magnolia was named after the first superintendent of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Magnolia campbellii ‘Late Pink’ – Introduced at the Garden from seed purchased in 1934 from G. Ghose and Co. in Darjeeling, India, the flowers of this magnolia appear two to four weeks later than other Magnolia campbellii, extending the magnolia viewing season at the Garden.

Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ – This cultivar has particularly dark, rich, rose pink petals. The Garden’s tree is one of the very few mature specimens in cultivation.

Magnolia doltsopa
Magnolia doltsopa Photo: James Gaither

Magnolia doltsopa – An evergreen magnolia, formerly known as Michelia doltsopa, it was discovered near Kathmandu, Nepal around 1803. The highly fragrant white flowers are about six inches across, opening from velvety-brown buds. It is often grown in the Bay Area, sometimes as a street tree, but the specimens in the Garden are some of the largest in cultivation in California.

Magnolia laevifolia ‘Strybing Compact’ – This species, native to Yunnan province in China, can grow at altitudes as high as 9,000 feet, far higher than most other magnolias can survive. The flowers are fragrant and used to make perfume. This special cultivar is unique for its outstanding dwarf form.

RELATED PROGRAMMING

Free Magnolia Walk maps, highlighting key species and their location within the Garden, are available to the public. In addition, the Garden offers a free Magical Magnolia family adventure map that takes families on either a stroller friendly path or a more adventurous route off the beaten path to search for furry buds and giant flowers on magnolia trees large and small. The Garden also offers free magnolia docent tours every Saturday, January 10 through March 28 at 2 PM, and visitors of all ages can ask questions and explore magnolias in more depth at Garden Interpretation Stations on Sundays, January 11 through March 29, from 1:30-3:30 PM.

In addition, visitors can find over 250 magnolia related items in The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, Northern California’s most comprehensive horticultural collection. Free bibliographies for children and adults will also be available on a variety of magnolia-related themes. A special exhibition Fotanicals: the Secret Language of Flowers will be on display January-April 2014 and features the work of photographer joSon whose flower portraits are presented against a solid black or white background, offering a striking visual display of their intricate beauty. All works are for sale.

SF Botanical Garden is in Golden Gate Park at 9th Avenue.

March 2015

63rd Annual Pacific Orchid Exposition

A Jungle Blooms

This year’s theme, “The Thrill of Discovery,” provides an exciting atmosphere and urges guests to venture beyond the wall of exotic tropical treasures at the 63rd annual Pacific Orchid Exposition, happening February 19-22, at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco—a world of rare orchids seldom seen in the U.S.

This year’s show will feature a 18 foot wide by 9 foot tall curved plant wall of orchids and tropicals on display at the Fort Mason entrance.

Chris Bribach of Plants On Walls will erect a Florafelt Pro Vertical Garden System for the show. His patented system uses recycled plastic water bottles to create a non-toxic growing medium to grow organically. The living wall will feature over 500 tropical plants and orchids.

Behind the plant wall you’ll find a captivating world of discovery all with orchid oddities, waterfall and jungle noises.

For its 63rd annual show, the Pacific Orchid Exposition will feature several special varieties of orchids never before seen in the United States

The Pacific Orchid Exposition kicks off with the wildly anticipated Gala Benefit Preview, February 19th from 6:30-10:00pm. The Gala Benefit gives attendees the first chance to view and purchase some of the best orchids in the world.

orchid display
Photo: Gregg Case

Guests can also enjoy delicious gourmet hors d’oeuvres and wine tastings from some of California’s premier wineries, including winners of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world. They can bid on fabulous auction items which will include artwork by renowned water color artist, Sally Robertson, orchid greeting cards by Lydia Faiella, bottles of wine, ballet tickets, trips and much more.

The general show follows February 20-22 and boasts over 150,000 beautiful orchid flowers from across the globe. Throughout the weekend there will be docent tours, orchid potting demonstrations and much more.

Who: San Francisco Orchid Society

Orchid
Photo: Gregg Case

What: 63rd Annual Pacific Orchid Exposition, “The Thrill of Discovery”

When: Gala Benefit Preview: Thurs, Feb 19, from 6:30pm – 10:00pm

General Show: February 20-22, 2015

Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 9am-6pm and

Sun. 10am-5pm

Where: Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion, San Francisco, Calif.

Tickets: Gala Benefit Preview: $43 online; $50 at the door

General Show: $14 online/$15 at the door,

Seniors (65+): $11 online/$12 at the door

Weekend Pass with Gala: $60

3 Day Pass without Gala: $25