The UCI Arboretum is a 12.5-acre botanic garden and research facility located approximately one mile from the University of California, Irvine. The Arboretum features plants and communities from the California Floristic Province and also has an extensive collection of South African species.
In the late 1960s, less than a half-decade after the University of California, Irvine became a part of the UC system, the UCI Arboretum was used by the School of Biological Sciences as a plant growing facility for research and teaching purposes. The Arboretum is administered by and is a facility of the School of Biological Sciences.
Since its early days in the 1970’s, the Arboretum has shifted from its initial focus on South African plants and to include a broad diversity of habitats representative of the California Floristic Province. These include exhibits of Baja California, California Channel Islands including those near Baja California, California Native Grasslands and Wildflowers, Maritime Succulent Scrub, Mojave Desert, Southern Maritime Chaparral, Otay Mesa, and Oak Woodland.
Like many botanic gardens, the UCI Arboretum is concerned with the conservation of rare and endangered species, and we grow a number of rare, threatened and endangered species both for our displays and genetic conservation as vouchered living material, but also for re-introduction into natural habitats to supplement existing wild stocks. This work is conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Native Plant Society, and the Orange County Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology.
As a part of the School of Biological Sciences, the Arboretum hosts a diversity of research projects, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and post-doctoral scholars. In addition to providing shadecloth growing facilities, the Arboretum is the only site on the campus where “common garden” experiments can be conducted.