Ancient Plant Garden
What is old is new again, and again, thanks to evolution. One of the most visceral and enjoyable ways to experience time unfolding is in our Ancient Plant Garden. Tunnel your vision from any number of purviews here and you can imagine dinosaurs grazing just beyond the fern fronds. Many non-extinct living plant groups are represented in this garden, some of which are known as 'living fossils.'
About the Collection
The layout of the Ancient Plant Garden allows visitors to move chronologically through five periods or epochs: Early Devonian, Pennsylvanian, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Eocene. Low growing simple plants like Chara (green alga), Angiopteris and Osmunda (fern) represent the early Devonian epoch. Pennsylvanian plants represent a time when plants started growing to tree size, plants like, Equisetum myriochaetum, E. gigantum (horsetail), and Dicksonia (tree fern). The Jurassic epoch was when seed plants began to dominate. Here we begin to see Podocarpus, Araucaria, Cycas (Cycads) and Agathis. During the Cretaceous period angiosperms (flowering plants) started to appear including Illicium, Aristolochia, and Nymphaea (water lily). Finally in the Eocene epoch angiosperms dominated and leaf size grew due to a warm, moist climate. Magnolia, Mahonia, Ranunculaceae (buttercup family) and Zingiberaceae (ginger family) are all representative of this time period.
Chilean rhubarb, Dinosaur food
Norfolk Island Pine