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Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA

Los Angeles, California, USA


Mathias Botanical Garden is a joy to walk around. It is located on seven acres that slope down the eastern side of the UCLA campus. Because it is frost-free, it shelters some wonderful tropical plants and trees. The garden began when the campus did, around 1929, and therefore has some amazing old trees. A stream runs through the garden, and there is a serene area in the middle of the garden where the stream pools and is surrounded by bright green plants that catch the light.
Print out a map of the garden to bring along. It's nice to be able to see which area you are in. The plants and trees are grouped by species or geographically, which makes it interesting. Starting at the main entrance you will walk past cycads, a butterfly garden, bromeliads (this is the lovely area by the stream), tall amazing palms (you now feel like you're in the Caribbean!), ferns, a cedar grove, some Australian and Hawaiian plants, and rhodoendrons.
Although it's peaceful in the garden and people come to sit on the many benches to relax, you can still hear the sound of cars, as with most places in LA.
The garden was started as an academic laboratory and was funded through municipal works funds. Mildred E. Mathias, after whom it was named, was a professor and pioneer in ethnopharmacology, making expeditions and collecting plants in tropical forests to use in new medicines.
After, have a bite to eat at Westwood Village

Photo Gallery

Yellow flower with black center.

A woman sits by the main entrance.

Pathway leading down to the stream.

Surinam Powder Puff.

Golden tree.

Many different shades of green.

Curly leaves.

Steps in the garden.

Tropical plants.

Purple and orange wildflowers.

Pathways through the garden.

Beautiful flowers juxtaposed against tree trunk.

Pretty walkway.

Cork Oak.

Path through palm area.

Banana tree and tropical vegetation.

Tall trees!

Looking up at a fan palm.

A walk in the tropics without the mosquitoes!

Tropical wonderland.

Scarlett Bottlebrush from Australia.

Mindanao Gum from the Phillipines and Papua New Guinea.

Mindanao Gum bark- how gorgeous!

Mysore Fig.

Blue Mahoe, from Cuba and Jamaica!

Flowering plant and tree roots.

Closeup of flowering plant.

Cluster Fig, from India to N. Australia.

Looking up at the bundles of fruit on a Cluster Fig.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Mathias Botanical Garden is located on the UCLA campus. It is fenced but there are three entrances, all on its western border, Tiverton Dr. The easiest entrance is the main entrance, halfway down Tiverton Dr, right by the UCLA School of Dentistry. If you need a restroom, there is one in the lobby of the School of Dentistry.
You can park in a structure a four minute walk from the garden. UCLA parking lot 2 is located at 2 Manning Drive, Los Angeles CA 90095. Parking is $6 for 2 hours, and you pay in a machine in the parking lot.
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