In the Garden

What's in Bloom?

There's always something to see at The Ruth Bancroft Garden! Pick up a "What's in Bloom" guide when you check in for your tour. You can click the images below to see what's blooming this month or click here to view pdf.

Check out our Flickr Photostream as well! With photos organized by the month they were taken in, you can see what the Garden looks like throughout the year.

June 2017 Plant Highlight: Notocactus herteri ssp. roseoluteus

by Brian Kemble

Because cactus taxonomy has been in flux in recent years, it is often difficult to decide what name to use. The plant featured in this highlight was first named Notocactus roseoluteus, but was then put into the genus Parodia (along with all the other Notocactus species) and treated as a synonym of Parodia mammulosa. Now the genus Notocactus has been brought back, and N. roseoluteus has been re-named as a subspecies of Notocactus herteri. Part of the problem here is that the plant is in many respects intermediate between the deep pink-flowering N. herteri and the normally yellow-flowering N. mammulosus, and experts have disagreed on which one it actually belongs with, or if it should be considered as a species in its own right. For now, we will go along with the latest classification which treats it as a subspecies of Notocactus herteri.
Notocactus herteri ssp. roseoluteus comes from a small area in northern Uruguay, near the border with Brazil. It is a deep green solitary globular plant, reaching a diameter of about 7 inches, with 15 to 20 vertical ridges running down its sides. Atop each ridge, or “rib”, are tufts of short stiff brown spines at short intervals.
Notocactus herteri ssp. roseoluteus flowers in late spring, beginning at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in April or May, and ending in June. Like many species of cactus, it has several bursts of flowers at intervals during its blooming season, with the first burst typically the most intense. Although each individual flower only lasts for 2 or 3 days, a mature plant produces dozens of them each year. The flowers are about 3 inches (8 cm) across, and the petals are pink for most of their length, giving way to yellow at their bases. In the middle is a tuft of bright yellow pollen-bearing stamens surrounding the pink stigma. The small fruits which follow bear many small black seeds.

This species is easy to grow, and can withstand temperatures down to at least 25° F (-4° C). Plants are self-fertile, so it is not necessary to have two in order to get viable seed.

Plant Donations to The Garden

Many people express interest in donating plants to the Ruth Bancroft Garden. These include plants that have grown too large for their space, may no longer be desirable for the owner, mature landscape plants that are being removed to make way for new plantings, or were owned by friends or loved ones. Plant donations to the garden are most appreciated but must be approved by staff prior to drop-offs. Many donations are repotted in our nursery and sold at our plant sales to raise money to support the garden, while a choice few plants will be accessioned into our collection, depending on the species and whether it is represented in our collection.

If you are interested in donating plants, we request that you email digital images of the plants along with any identifying information you may have to our Garden Curator, Brian Kemble or Nursery Mananger, Steven Wexler.  They will be happy to determine which plants are appropriate for donation.

Garden Plant Information

The Ruth Bancroft Garden Tree Map

What's New in The Garden? Look here for interesting garden updates from the RBG gardeners' perspectives

Ruth's Tips
The Ruth Bancroft Garden Staff has been contributing "Ruth's Tips" articles to the Home & Garden section of Bay Area newspapers since 2005. We are currently in the process of scanning the printed articles to make them available online. Scanned articles are available here.
Plant Highlight Archives
View list in order of publication.
View list in alphabetical order.

To Plants in the Nursery

What's in Bloom?

Plant Highlight

Plant Donations

Garden Plant Information

Ruth's Tips Article

Plant Highlight Archives


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Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.  
Grant Funders

The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the following grant funders:

The Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s position

The Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation and The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our directional signs

The California Horticultural Society for funding towards our restoration projects

The Bonita Garden Clubfor funding restoration and education projects


The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy