The Berlin Agave Yucca Forest opened at the Desert Botanical Garden Nov. 21, 2009.

The Berlin Agave Yucca Forest opened at the Desert Botanical Garden Nov. 21, 2009.

 

On Nov. 21, the Desert Botanical Garden opened its Berlin Agave Yucca Forest to the public.  Located at the east end of the Desert Discovery Loop Trail next to the Butterfly Pavilion, this unique forest showcases agave and yucca plants and teaches visitors about them through story boards located along the bridge leading into the forest. 

“During my tenure at the Desert Botanical Garden,” writes Elaine McGinn, director of planning and exhibits, in the December 2009 Sonoran Quarterly, “the little patch of land just outside the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail was woefully bare, but full of potential.  Five years ago the Garden’s exhibit team developed a vision for the space that would highlight the agave and yucca plants that are intricately connected to the Garden’s history.” 

Large yuccas surround the bridge in the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest.

Large yuccas surround the bridge in the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest.

 

The Desert Botanical Garden recorded the moving and planting of a giant yucca plant into the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest. 

Story boards mounted along the bridge that takes visitors through the forest describe the collection of plants, the relationship between agave and yucca plants, the plants’ habitat and reproduction strategies for agaves and yuccas. 

One story board says, “The Desert Botanical Garden holds one of the world’s foremost collections of desert plants…  More than 1,000 specimens of agave and yucca from the collection are displayed throughout this exhibit.” 

The view as visitors look southeast on the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest bridge.

The view as visitors look southeast on the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest bridge.

 

The bridge affords visitors a leisurely stroll with views of large boulders, yuccas, agaves and views of the Desert Discovery Loop Trail as well as some of the sculptures by Apache master sculptor Allan Houser, which remain at the garden until May 30, 2010. 

Boulders located in the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest.

Boulders located in the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest.

 

Boulders, yuccas and agaves located between the bridge and the Desert Discovery Loop Trail.

Boulders, yuccas and agaves located between the bridge and the Desert Discovery Loop Trail.

 

McGinn gave an advanced tour of the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest recorded by the garden and describes where the garden procured the plants for the exhibit. 

McGinn writes, “We think you will agree that this new exhibit meets the Garden’s mission of excellence in horticulture, education, research and exhibition.” 

Photos by Janice L. Semmel