SF Gate: Strange plants, fun performers at Botanical Garden party

Botanical Garden pond

By Mary Ellen Hunt

The gates to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, better known as Strybing Arboretum, will be wide open this weekend for a festive, free day that celebrates the 75th anniversary of this San Francisco oasis.

The Botanical Garden first opened in May 1940, built on the legacy of Helen Strybing, for whom the garden was named. Its 55-acre expanse is home to some 8,000 rare and remarkable plants from all over the world, including one of the world’s most extensive collections of magnolias. Indeed, on the path to the Zellerbach Garden, you can still see the magnificent cup and saucer magnolia — the first of its kind to bloom in the United States — that drew crowds of visitors in the arboretum’s first year.

“The Community Day is designed to be a family-friendly event,” says Huddle. “We wanted to make sure it was something every age could enjoy.”

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