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Botanic Garden

Welcome to the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

flower and butterfly

NOTE: The Botanic Garden and Aquarium will close at 4 p.m. from Nov 25 - Dec 30 to prepare for River of Lights.

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 2/28/24: Winter Jasmine, or Jasminum nudiflorum which means "naked flower". Its scientific name refers to the fact that these bright yellow funnel-shaped flowers appear on bare branches before the leaves, sometime during January or February. Some plants may even produce two-lobed black berries. This species of jasmine is native to Southeastern Tibet and Southcentral China, but it lacks the sweet smell that most people associate with jasmine. In China, its leaves and flowers are used in traditional medicine and it is called "Yingchun", which means "flower that welcomes spring". Winter jasmine is sometimes confused with Forsythia, which blooms later in spring, but Forsythia flowers only have 4 petals.

Winter Jasmine is deciduous, and it can be grown as either a climbing vine or ground cover. Although it does not require pruning, it tolerates it very well. It prefers growing in an area of bright sunlight to partial shade, and well-drained sandy soil with occasional fertilizer. Clay soils are not recommended. It will tolerate full shade at the cost of reduced flowering, and it is drought tolerant once it is established. Winter Jasmine is generally cold tolerant to 5° Fahrenheit, so it can be left outside during our Albuquerque winters!

Yellow Winter jasmine flowers on a branch

Featured on 1/24/24: 'Mystic Maze' is an intergeneric orchid species hybrid, which means breeding two or more genera together. This is usually done with orchids belonging to the Odontolglossum tribe and includes the genus of Brassia, Cochlioda, Miltonia, Odontoglossum, and Oncidium. 'Mystic Maze' average between 20-28 inches tall, with star-shaped flowers that can be about 5 inches across.

Some species of orchid have evolved to mimic wasps or other insects, who will come either to mate or defend their territory and are tricked into helping with pollination! With their mild fragrance, they can attract other pollinators as well.

They can grow in filtered sunlight or partial shade, but like to be kept humid in a well-draining substrate like decomposing bark with pumice, volcanic rock or another porous material mixed in. Because they are epiphytic, they need excellent airflow. Keep them happy and they will bloom in January/February and again in March/April.

Intergeneric orchid species hybrid 'Mystic Maze'

Featured 1/10/24: Sarracenia, or trumpet pitcher plants, are a perennial temperate and cold-climate carnivorous plant native to the Eastern & Southeastern United States, the Great Lakes Region, and parts of Canada. They live in nutrient-depleted boggy environments and have evolved to digest insects as a source of nourishment. The colorful appearance and fragrance of the plant’s tubular pitchers serve to entice, confuse, and then trap the insect. As the insect approaches the pitcher, the scent and semi-translucent light patterns created by the architecture of the plant lure the insect into the tube. Once inside the tube, the brilliant “window pane” venation and narrowing conical shape of the plant disorient and funnel the insect into the bottom of the tube where a pool of digestive enzymes dissolve and consume the insect. Although scented and colorful, the pitcher tube of the Sarracenia is not a flower. Instead, Sarracenia flowers are produced in the early spring on stems that are held high above the alluring digestive tubes. This is to prevent pollinators from being eaten before they have had a chance to visit the flowers. Once flowering begins to come to an end, the plant will switch entirely to pitcher production, feeding itself through summer and dying back to the ground in late fall.

There are at least 8 recognized species of Sarracenia and more than a hundred hybrids and cultivars available in the commercial market. Sarracenia grow best in bright filtered light and in damp but well-draining acidic soil, usually with a high mix of peat and sand. Sarracenia should also be watered with filtered water to avoid mineral buildup in the soil. A true perennial, they need a cold dormant period to complete their flowering and growth cycle so cultivated Sarracenia should be allowed a cold, wet resting period. Although they seem exotic, treat Sarracenia more like a garden perennial with seasonal changes rather than like a tropical houseplant.

Many species and hybrids found in nature are threatened by habitat loss through commercial development and over-collection by the floral industry and carnivorous plant hobbyists. Estimates suggest that more than 97% of Sarracenia habitat has already been destroyed by development and three species are currently federally listed as endangered. If you choose to purchase and care for a Sarracenia, make sure your plant comes from a reputable, nursery-bred supplier and never collect Sarracenia from the wild. You can see the pictured cultivar Sarracenia 'Meerkat mob" on display in the Mediterranean Conservatory now!

A cluster of pitcher plants stands in the foreground with a red flowering vine out of focus behind them. The pitchers are a bright yellow-green webbed with maroon veins throughout, and a round-edged triangle shaped hood stands perpendicular to the tube's opening. Two logos are overlaid: White curvy font that says "What's blooming?" with a line drawing of a daisy is in the top left corner, and the ABQ BioPark's 4 facility logo is in the top right

Featured 12/27: The Botanic Garden welcomes winter with seasonal evergreen arrangements located throughout the garden. Each area has its own theme, from medicinal plants in the Curandera garden to traditional Japanese New Year’s arrangements in the Sasebo Japanese Garden. Evergreen containers are composed of cut fir, pine, juniper, and cedar boughs, then accented with dried fruit and seed pods such as rose hips, pomegranate, lotus, eucalyptus, mahogany, and okra. Height is added with ornamental woody branches such as dogwood, curly willow, kiwi vine, birch, or bamboo. These arrangements will be on display through late January and are another great reason to visit the Botanic Garden in winter!

A close up of an arrangement of evergreen plants in a container at a public garden featuring a dried bright red pomegranate and a large open seed pod that makes the shape of a heart

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