A Walk in Strybing Arboretum

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February 17, 2007


The last couple days we have been having not entirely unseasonal weather, highs on Friday in the mid 60s, and around 70 on Saturday, calm and clear. After spending the morning sitting in the park reading and eating pastries from the local bakery (as opposed to the one 1.5 blocks away), watching the kids and dogs playing, I motivated myself to pack up the cameras and head to Strybing Arboretum to take some plant and flower pictures. Three tripods and two camera, as I also intended to take some camera pictures.

I took the bus to Geary and Sixth, then walked to the Brayton Gate of Golden Gate Park, into the park, intending to walk through the tunnels, but the Childrens Playground Tunnel was still locked up, so I continued to the Garden of Enchantment (next to the DeYoung Museum and poked around there a bit. Across the Music Concourse, the roof of the new Calaifornia Academy of Science looks like something out of a sci-fi movie..all round bulges and weird projections...I'm really looking forward to how it will come out.

Outside the Friend Gate of Strybing Arboretum was the first of many Magnolia campbellii specimens...I don't anyone is ever going to accuse it of having a beautiful form, but the plate sized flowers make up for that lack. I wandered along the northern border of the arboretum to the Moon Viewing Garden, home of a massive tree of M. campbellii 'Strybing White' as well as an assortment of other magnolias and rhododendrons. I followed the south edge of the prospect to the South African Garden, home to the fascinating Silver Tree (Leucodendron argenteum) and some warmer toned flowers.

Back across the Wildfowl Pond, stopping to visit the Gunnera tinctora plants, just emergeing from dormancy, and around the kids and ducks to the backside of the Primitive Plant Garden where there are three Araucaria species...the vicious looking araucana, the soft and more common heterophylla, and sharp bidwillii. The suggestive Gunnera in the middle of the Primitive Garden still hasn't fallen over, so I took a picture for those who appreciate that.

The flower jackpot, of course, is around Heidelberg Hill...many large M. campbellii (and allied species and hybrids) as well as large rhododendrons. Across the Main Lawn is another concentration of magnolias, more different species, including the delicate M. amoena. Wandering out of the arboretum, I heard a child describing a plant as an "oak tree"...which it does, in a very general way, if a scarlet oak had longer, more dissected, glaucous leaves palmately compound on a long thick petiole, said leaves densely arranged on a massive minimally branched stem...I was not much surprised, on reading the label to see it belonged to the Araliaceae.

Outside the arboretum, I remembered about my desire to take camera pictures and found a nook next to the County Fair Building with a tree dahlia (Dahlia imperialis) and a Mahonia to take a few images...also took a picture of the eBay item I picked up on the way to the park.


A note on the images...in the interests of conserving time, the images are not labeled beyond the file titles, nor are they annotated, cropped or otherwise modified...sorry. Index images are (maximum) 120 x 120 pixels, slideshow images are (maximum) 500 x 500 pixels. This set includes slightly over 100 images.

Trip Icon


Map of the Music Concourse and Strybing Arboretum area

Medium resolution
Map with route

Detailed Map (176K)

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Strybing Arboretum / Robert Parks / rparks@lvhot.org / revised February '07