Arizona Cactus Garden

Last week I visited the Arizona Cactus Garden, or, officially, Arizona Garden, a botanical garden specializing in cactus and succulents. Nope, I didn’t have to get on a plane and travel to Arizona. You can find this unique cactus garden on the campus of Stanford University in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Colorful springtime cactus blooms stood out among the sedate green colors predominant in the garden. Some of the cacti looked soft and fuzzy beckoning me to touch them. They didn’t fool me; I knew they would poke me good if I dared try.

Stanford Cactus Garden 2


Stanford Cactus Garden 3


Stanford Cactus Garden LR5


Stanford Cactus Garden LR4


About the Arizona Garden:

The Arizona Garden is a historical garden in the process of renovation and preservation. It is located on the south side of the mausoleum off of Quarry Road between Campus Drive and Arboretum Road. The garden, also known as the Cactus Garden, was designed for Jane and Leland Stanford by landscape architect Rudolf Ulrich between 1881 and 1883. During the early years of the university, the Cactus Garden became the meeting place for many courting Stanford students.

There are many unusual plants within the garden. Selections from the Cacti family include columnar, barrel and monstrose forms. Selections of succulents include Aloes, Crassulas and rosette-forming Agaves. 


23 thoughts on “Arizona Cactus Garden

  1. There are several rare species of Yucca there, including one that we could not identify. The two huge Yucca filifera are two of four that were the biggest that could be moved by train at the time they were moved. That was a very long time ago, so they are much bigger now. A third but not quite as big specimen with a rotting base is a short distance away. I do not know where the fourth is, but it supposedly survives somewhere else on campus. There are exemplary specimens of Yucca schottii (or Yucca X schottii) as well. I used to volunteer there a few years ago.

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