Descanso Gardens

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United States of America - California - La Cañada Flintridge

Institution Code:

International Agenda Registration: No

BGCI Member: No

About the Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens is a 160-acre public botanic and display garden just a 20-minutes drive from downtown Los Angeles. Descanso includes 80 cultivated acres and 80 acres of natural hillside chaparral. This former private estate, now owned by the County of Los Angeles and operated by athe non-profit Descanso Gardens Guild,is known internationally as the home of the largest camellia collection in the United States (20 acres of camellias growing under the canopy of California oaks); the development of warm-winter lilacs; an International Rosarium and history-of-the rose garden and for a natural setting with "micro-climates" appealing to visitors and filmmakers. Descanso is a busy outdoor classroom for a variety of Gardens-developed schools programs and offers many classes, lectures, tours and flower-society shows throughout the year. The lower floor of the Boddy House, home of founder E. Manchester Boddy, is used as a gallery exhibiting nature-related artworks. Open daily except Christmas Day.

Main Address:
Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Drive
La Cañada Flintridge
California 91011 United States of America

Telephone: (818) 949-4200
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Juliann Rooke, Executive Director
    Curator's Name: David Bare, Director of Horticulture & Garden Operations
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Autumn Ayers
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 12
    Educational Staff Number: 4
    Research Staff Number:
    Administration Staff Number: 5

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Date founded: 1954
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 32 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 32 Hectares
  • Total Area: 64 Hectares
    Latitude: 34.2016350
    Longitude: -118.2121310
    Altitude: 0.00 Metres

Features and Facilities

  • Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 750000
    Number of Volunteers: 535

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 29595
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 6549
  • Special Collections:Camellias, modern and heritage roses, California native plants, warm-winter lilacs, cycads
  • Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

Research Programmes

  • Plant Breeding: Yes
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: No
    Courses for University/College Students: No
    Courses for General Public: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes