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Botanic Garden

Welcome to the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

Close up of an orange and black butterfly perched on a yellow flower. You can see fine detail in the antennae and fuzz on the flower stem


Opened in 1996, the Botanic Garden has grown to 32 acres of exhibits, and showcases plants from the American Southwest and around the world.

The Botanic Garden’s BUGarium is one of the most elaborate exhibits dedicated to bugs and arthropods in the country.

The Travel Channel cites ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden as one of the top 12 in the country!

Seasonal Update:

Learn more about featured seasonal plants!

Featured on 7/17/24: The list of common names for Silphium perfoliatum is almost as bountiful as the native wildflower itself! Species in the genus Silphium are collectively called rosinweeds, and this species in particular may be called the cup plant, compass plant, cup rosinweed, carpenter's weed, pilot weed, and more. S. peroliatium is native to eastern and central North America, with a hairy-stemmed variation called Silphium perfoliatium var. connatum found only in the Mid-Atlantic states in the New River Valley. At first glance they resemble small sunflowers and though both groups are in the same family Asteraceae, they are not from the same genus.

The attractive abundance of flowers that bloom from July to September attract many different pollinators, and is one of the best wildflowers for attracting birds. The leaves form "cups" along the stem that hold water, seeds provide food, and at a potential height of 10 feet it also provides cover, making it an all-in-one favorite for species like Goldfinches. Another advantage of a wildflower that's found in meadows, along roadsides, open woods, lake borders, ditches, prairies, and thickets: they do well when planted in less than ideal locations! Their tolerance to heat and drought once established, as well as their ability to self-seed, make them an ideal candidate for planting in naturalized landscapes. Plants grown from seed will not bloom until at least the second year of growth and it's important that the planting remain consistently watered and weed-free during this time, with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.

Plan ahead though, this is a large self-seeding plant that needs lots of space. Cup plant can be an excellent choice in the back of the border garden as backdrop for other perennials, used to fill up a sunny corner of the yard, or along a fence for privacy. Once established, the plant will have created deep roots, making it somewhat difficult to remove or transplant. Young offshoots from the main plant can be more easily removed and/or transplanted to prevent too much spread, or growers can remove the flowers after bloom to prevent re-seeding.

Cup plant

Featured on 7/10/24: The lily is one of the oldest flowers known, with origins rooted in Europe and Asia. There are references to them dating back to 16th Century B.C., frequent mentions in Greek mythology, and paintings of them in the Egyptian pyramids! Though there are many species that include the word 'lily' in their common name, true lilies are only found in the genus Lilium.

111 species and various hybrids and cultivars are separated into taxonomic sections (a ranking between genus and species). The Asiatic lily division is considered the easiest to grow and have the widest range of colors, although usually unscented, and grow between two to six feet tall depending on the hybrid. Their single bloom for the season opens earlier than other types; starting in May, June, or July and staying for about a month. Their foliage then dies down in the fall and they regrow the next summer.

Although Asiatic lilies love six hours of good sun at the top of the stalk, their roots need to stay cooler so it's recommended to add ground cover plants or a layer of mulch around the base. Choose a spot with loose, well-draining soil. To prevent root rot the soil surface needs to be allowed dry between watering, but they need a regular one to two inches of water per week especially in hotter weather. You can see many different cultivars of Lilium throughout the Botanic Garden, including the Lilium cv. pictured below in the Children’s Fantasy Garden.

Asiatic lily

Featured on 7/3/24: Eryngium planum, commonly known as the blue eryngo or flat sea holly, is one of about 250 species in the genus Eryngium. Members of the genus are found all over the world, but E. planum originates in a range from central and southeastern Europe and central Asia. In floriography, the language of flowers, they represent admiration. The blue eryngo provide eye-catching ornamental value to gardens with their unique color and texture, as well as a long and prolific blooming season from June to September. They are highly attractive to bees and butterflies; this addition to your xeric landscape can make your garden a pollinator haven!

Blue eryngo are a taprooted plant that don't relocate easily, so pick a good spot in dry, sandy, well-drained soil where they can enjoy at least 6 hours of full sun. Drainage and avoiding overwatering are important to prevent root rot, and once established they are low maintenance and drought tolerant. It blooms its first year from seed and comes back every spring, soon forming a nice clump, but doesn't overtake its neighbors. So set aside a nice patch in your garden, you won't be disappointed!

Blue eryngo

Featured on 6/19/24: Punica granatum produces the eye-catching pomegranate fruit, which is highly sought after for it's many nutrition benefits. In fact, it's one of the oldest fruits in cultivation! It's rich in symbolic and mythological associations in many cultures, but is believed to have originated from Afghanistan and Iran before being introduced and exported to other parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, and eventually the Americas. P. granatum has more than 500 named cultivars and characteristics between genotypes vary in fruit size, exterior fruit colors from yellow to purple (though pink and red are the most common), seed-coat colors ranging from white to red, the hardness of seed, maturity, juice content and its acidity, sweetness, and astringency.

P. granatum is a deciduous shrub or small tree that grows between 16 and 33 ft tall. They are easy-to-grow and low-maintenance fruit trees that require about the same care you’d expect from any other fruiting tree or shrub! Plants fruit best in areas with long, hot and dry summers (90°F+) and cooler winters, with at least 6 hours of full sun. They need average, but consistent, moisture on a regular schedule until the roots are well established. Once mature, their deep root system makes pomegranates drought-tolerant and long-lived, with some specimens in France surviving for 200 years. They can thrive in a wide variety of soil conditions and any well-drained soil type. The bright fruit is typically in season in the Northern Hemisphere from September to February, in addition to the vibrant orange-red summer flowers and brilliant yellow leaves in the fall.


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