The Channel Islands are a familiar sight for the residents of the Santa Barbara area. Situated just off our coast, the islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Anacapa are often clearly visible from the mainland. For more than a century, the plants of the Channel Islands have captured the interest and imagination of botanists and horticulturists from around the world.
From its inception, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has shown an institution-wide interest in the plants found on our local islands. Santa Barbara County’s official tree and the Garden’s logo, the Santa Cruz Island ironwood (Lyonothamnus floribundus subsp. aspleniifolius), is native only to Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and San Clemente Islands. The Garden proudly contributes to the conservation, preservation and restoration of the vast botanic resources of the Channel Islands through its continued research on the islands from Santa Barbara County to Baja California.
Read the history of Island Research at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden by Steve Junak.
Upcoming SBBG Island Field Trips...
Springtime on Santa Cruz Island
Four days and three nights: Monday, May 6 through Thursday, May 9: Celebrate spring on the largest and most diverse of the California Channel Islands. The island’s rich flora includes almost 50 endemics not found on the mainland, and participants will encounter most of them! Along with the island’s endemic foxes and scrub jays, explore pine forests, wooded canyons, coastal headlands, deserted beaches, and isolated coves.
- Participants will stay in the island’s Central Valley, at the University of California’s rustic field station, which offers dorm-style accommodations, hot showers, and a full kitchen
- Our group will explore the island on foot and in 4WD vehicles
- Limited to 11 participants, who must be in good physical condition
- Register now