Mathias Botanical Garden
MILDRED ESTHER MATHIAS
Mildred Mathias received her B.A. (1926) and Ph.D. (1929) from
Washington University, St. Louis. In 1947, after many years of
herbarium work at a number of museums and botanical gardens, she
joined the faculty of the Department of Botany at UCLA as
herbarium botanist, and in 1956 began 18 years of service as
director of the botanical garden now named after her. Mathias
attained status as one of the nation's leading authorities on
botanical taxonomy. Among many honors, Mathias received the
Liberty Hyde Bailey Medal from the American Horticultural Society
and the Medal of Honor from the Garden Club of America. She
prepared a series for television entitled "The World of Ornamental
Plants" and was coauthor of A Checklist of Woody Ornamental Plants
of California, known as the "Nurseryman's Bible." A special public
service was Mathias' leadership in the development of the University's
Natural Land and Water Reserves System, for which she served as chair of
the advisory committee. For over 20 years she contributed to the work of
the Organization for Tropical Studies, a consortium of 27 universities
oriented toward graduate teaching, research, and conservation efforts
in the tropics.
Description of the Garden
The Mathias Botanical Garden is located on the campus of UCLA, just across the street
from UCLA Medical Center. It is a relatively small garden, but it is a nice place to
get away from the busy environment of Westwood.
It is situated in a "bowl" with hills surrounding the central part of the
garden on three sides. A series of winding wooded trails built into the side
of the hill lead down to a tropical garden in the center. There you find a variety of
tropical plants along with man-made streams and pools. On the east side there is
a desert garden with cacti and succulents.
The Mathias Botanical Garden is located in the southeast corner of the UCLA campus,
near the corner of Hilgard Ave. and Le Conte Ave.
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