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 thumbnail below to see what's blooming this month.

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.

March 2017 Plant Highlight: Echeveria colorata

by Brian Kemble

Echeverias, commonly called “hens and chicks”, are widely appreciated by California gardeners, both as potted plants and as bedding plants. Many of them have neat flower-like rosettes of leaves, and this is certainly true of Echeveria colorata, from the vicinity of Guadalajara in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

tight rosette of E. colorata 'Tequila'

E. colorata 'Tequila' in East shade house at RBG

The thick leaves of E. colorata are white to bluish-white with rosy tips, and in time they will put out a modest number of offsets, though they are not nearly as prolific as some other species such as Echeveria elegans. Typically, the rosettes are about 4 to 5 inches across, but larger forms can approach a foot in diameter.

E. colorata 'Mexican Giant'

The slender flower stalks of Echeveria colorata emerge around the beginning of March, rising to a height of a foot to a foot and a half (30 to 45 cm) and arching over at the tips. The stalk itself is pink, and the outside of the urn-shaped flowers is pink to pinkish-red, with the flared petal tips often grading to yellow-orange. The inside of the flowers is yellow to yellow-orange. At the bud stage, the flowers point downward, but they rotate outward as they open, and then turn upward as they go by, so that the seed capsules develop in an upright position.

Echeveria colorata is invariably found growing on rocks in nature, and it makes a great rock-garden specimen. If planted on level ground, a fast-draining mix should be used. This plant looks its best with some direct sun, so that the red in the leaf tips is accentuated and the rosettes remain tight. In hotter inland areas, full sun should be avoided so that the plants do not get scorched during summer hot spells, but under coastal conditions it can take all-day sun. E. colorata can endure temperatures down to the mid-twenties Fahrenheit (-3 to -4 C), but should be protected from anything colder than this.
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