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The UCSC Arboretum mission is to inspire stewardship of the local biodiversity through horticulture, education, conservation, reaseach and preserving rare and extraordinary plants.
The Arboretum at UCSC is a research and teaching facility committed to plant conservation and serves both the campus and the public. Its rich and diverse collection, containing representatives of more than 300 plant families, provides beginning students with a broad survey of the plant kingdom. Facilities for growing plants offer students and research faculty opportunities to experiment with living plants. The Arboretum maintains collections of rare and threatened plants of unusual scientific interest. Particular specialties are world conifers, primitive angiosperms, and bulb-forming plant families. Large assemblages of plants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and California natives are displayed on the grounds. Many of the species in these collections are not otherwise available for study in American botanical gardens and arboreta.
Arboretum events educate and engage the public about plant diversity and conservation. Of service to the public and the nursery industry are the Arboretum's activities in importing, selecting, and breeding choice ornamental plants, especially those that are drought tolerant and pest resistant. To date, the Arboretum is the original importer of more than 1,500 different selections of choice ornamentals. Many of these have been and will continue to be the plants of future California gardens.