The University of California, Irvine's Arboretum has evolved and will see many exciting improvements during the coming months. The new role in the Ayala School of Biological Sciences and mission emphasis will be upon encouraging and assisting teaching and research. Although the facility will be closed to unscheduled public visitation, there will be an open house each quarter at which there will be public Arboretum and Marsh Tours, and during which researchers using the Arboretum will showcase their studies and research sites for the public. These events will be well publicized, posted on our website, and will be held during times of peak flowering in various of our exhibits, particularly the South African Bulb Garden and aloe exhibits.

Maritime Succulent Scrub

In Baja California, a large number of succulent species are found growing with coastal sage species, giving rise to the coastal succulent scrub community. Presumably, colder temperatures, or perhaps increased rainfall limits the northern distribution of many of these succulent species. Some of the succulent species are actually found in San Diego County, but this community is best developed in Baja California, particularly in the area around Ensenada.

Some of the plants characteristic of this community that you can see at the Arboretum include Agave shawii, a large, dark green agave at maturity, Coreopis maritima, a member of the sunflower family that dies back to a succulent root during the dry season, Fraxinus trifoliata, a small ash native to Baja California, and Ambrosia chenopodifolia, another member of the sunflower family, but one with wind pollinated flowers. Some of these species will also be found in the Baja desert area. This is appropriate, since coastal succulent scrub grades into desert regions.