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Monday, August 24, 2015

Ancient Forest with plants from days of dinosaurs opens September 26 at Descanso Gardens

On Saturday, Sept. 26, the Ancient Forest opens, featuring plants virtually unchanged since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The daylong celebration includes guided walks of the ancient plant collection, a fossil table from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and fossil-themed children’s activities.

The Ancient Forest is located near the Lilac Garden at Descanso, in a section known to staff as the  “Jurassic” garden because of its collection of plant species that evolved millions of years ago. This location provides the setting for Descanso’s new cycad collection which includes almost 175 plants representing 66 species including several endangered species.

Walking through this new garden under the shade of the redwood trees, visitors will come upon other early plant lineages including tree ferns, gingkoes and conifers, including auracaria and podocarpus, as well as magnolia, the earliest existing flowering plant.

Activities at the Ancient Forest opening are free with Gardens admission and include:

• Ancient Plant Walk, 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.: Take a guided tour of the new Ancient Plants Garden and learn more about these fascinating plants.

• Fossil Table, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: An educator from the Natural History Museum will oversee this display of fossils. Learn more about the world of the dinosaurs and maybe even touch a fossil from the Jurassic era!

• Make a Fossil, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Make a plant fossil in this hands-on activity for all ages. Admission to Descanso Gardens is $9 for adults; $6 for seniors and students with a school I.D.; $4 for children 5 to 12, and free for age 4 and younger. Join Descanso Gardens and enjoy free admission and early entry year-round. Descanso Gardens is open daily (closed Christmas) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Ca├▒ada Flintridge, CA 91011. 

For information, call (818) 949-4200 or visit

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