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Ancient Plant Garden

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.'

 

Explore the Ancient Plant Garden 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.

 

Featured Plants


Gunnera tinctoriaGunnera tinctoria
Chilean rhubarb, Dinosaur food

 

Araucaria heterophyllaAraucaria
heterophylla

Norfolk Island Pine

 

HelleboresHellebores
Christmas Rose

 
Ancient Plant Garden

Gunnera tinctoria. Photo by Photo by Derek Powazek.



More Images


Ancient Plant Garden. Photo by Heidi Wohlwend. Ancient Plant Garden. Photo by Heidi Wohlwend. Ancient Plant Garden. Photo by Heidi Wohlwend. Ancient Plant Garden. Photo by Heidi Wohlwend.
Click for larger photosVIEW LARGER
 
Ancient Plant Garden

Footprints. Photo by Ron Sullivan.



 
ADMISSION  FREE for all SF City & County Residents, Members & School Groups     /     $7 Non-residents     /     Discounted fee: Seniors & Children

LOCATION Entrances at the corner of 9th Ave at Lincoln Way & at MLK Jr. Dr. off the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park

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