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. 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.

November 2017 Plant Highlight: Faucaria candida

by Brian Kemble


The Aizoaceae, or Ice Plant Family, is a large and diverse group mostly native to southern Africa. Like the Cactus Family, it contains a wealth of species with extreme adaptations for storing water and surviving in dry environments. Among the many genera sought out by collectors is Faucaria, popularly known as Tiger Jaws. This common name refers to the way the leaves emerge in pairs, with tiny but ferocious-looking teeth along the edges of their upper surfaces, suggestive of little open mouths ready to take a bite. Like most members of the family, these plants are small in stature, but they proliferate in time to make clumps.



large flowerAlmost all the plants in Faucaria have yellow flowers, with the one exception beingthewhite-flowered Faucaria candida. Aside fromthe flower color, F. candida is very similar to the variable Faucaria felina, and recent taxonomic treatments tend to regard it as merely a white-flowered form of that species. However, the white flowers are distinctive, and the only name we have to refer specifically to such populations is Faucaria candida. It comes from near Cradock, South Africa, about 200 km north of Port Elizabeth.


The thick succulent leaves of F. candidafaucaria are about an inch to an inch and a half long (2.5 – 3.8 cm), with a smooth triangular upper surface which has a crenulate edge and a little tooth atop each bump.Each head has as many as 8 leaves, with new pairs arising in the middle and mature ones at the outside, and the heads are crowded together in a clump. The plants are bright green in color, sometimes with white teeth (or even flushed pink at the tips).


Like other plants in its genus, Faucaria candida is fall-flowering, with the flowers opening in the afternoon and closing at dusk. At the bud stage, or when not fully open, the flowers are often pink-tinged, but when fully open they are white. They are large and showy, about an inch and a half across or a little more (4 cm).

faucaria candida

Although its native habitat is not in the winter-rainfall area, F. candida can be grown outdoors in our part of California provided it is given sharp drainage and occasional water during the summer months. It is often grown as a potted plant, and it also does well when treated this way.



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.  He 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