Library Book Sale: January 29 - 31


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Monday, January 29

Tuesday, January 30

Wednesday, January 31

For Staff, Students &

Volunteers Only

For Everyone! For Everyone!

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Each Day

East Classroom

Get your hands on an amazing selection of books on botany, gardening, birds, insects, natural history and odds and ends. Payments can be made with cash, checks or credit cards.

Game of Thorns - Exhibition

Game of Thorns Cover Graphic


Game of Thorns: The Art & Armaments of Botanical Warfare

November 12, 2017 through Fall 2018

Game of Thorns, an outdoor exhibition at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, focuses on the art and armaments of botanical warfare. Over millions of years, endless duels between California native plants and their predators have given rise to the incredible thorns we see today. The exhibition features these living fortresses and showcases their weaponry through large-scale macro and microscope photography, gigantic sculptures, immersive exhibits and more. 

Game of Thorns

When it comes to war, plants don’t retreat. Rooted to the ground like castles of old, plants have evolved an array of armaments to defend against their mortal enemies. This floral arms race has produced a stockpile of protrusions, from spines as sharp as samurai swords to insidious barbs that resemble  whaling harpoons. Perhaps all of us have experienced the unexpected wrath of a plant’s thorns, spines, needles, prickles or barbs. With anatomical names as diverse as the pained noises they can cause, plants have independently evolved these protrusions many times over. Barbed, hooked, serrated and envenomed, microscopic or massive, warningly poised in vivid color or stealthily hidden, the arsenal and qualities of botanical weapons are limitless.

Indeed, the botanical battlefield is a Game of Thorns.


The exhibition is open to the public daily, 8 am - 5 pm, in the Container Garden.  Admission to the exhibition is included with standard admission or membership.

Exhibition Sponsors: 

Linda and Paul Des Marais

Gagnier Margossian LLP

Historic Inns of Twentynine Palms: 29 Palms Inn | Campbell House

Randall and Janell Lewis at Casa Rosa

Northern Trust

Yvonne Wilson







Family Bird Fest - February 18


Family Bird Festival FB



February 18, 2018, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Included with Garden admission

An educational celebration of all kinds of birds, this annual event highlights the behaviors and physical traits that enable them to survive and thrive. Birdwatchers of all ages can flock to the Garden for a day filled with activities and information for both beginners and enthusiasts.

The Family Bird Fest features knowledgeable birding exhibitors including members of Pomona Valley Audubon Society and Wild Wings of California with live raptors. There will also be bird life displays, child-friendly crafts, and drop-in family activities. Visitors can help with the “Great Backyard Bird Count,” an international citizen-science project. The annual event engages people globally in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are throughout the world.

Coopers HawkRancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden provides an ideal setting to spot birds that live here or migrate to the region for warmer winter living. Step softly to see them nestled amid ceanothus blossoms or high above in a cottonwood branch.

The 2018 Family Bird Festival is sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited Claremont and the Pomona Valley Audubon Society. 

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The Rules of the Game (of Thorns): How plants defend themselves and fight back!


Saturday, March 31, 9 am -12 pm

Just think of it: You're a plant, rooted to the ground, and some hungry animal is headed your way. How do plants "know" when they are under attack, and how do they protect themselves?

In this workshop, Loraine Washburn, PhD, RSABG Laboratory Manager and Conservation Botanist, (and interpreter of the Game of Thorns exhibit), will introduce you to the many ways that plants defend themselves in the face of threats from all kingdoms of life: insects, mammals, fungi, and other plants.

With a special focus on the defenses featured in the Game of Thorns exhibit, this experiential and interactive workshop will invite you to closely examine and contemplate plants both as prey and as defensive living organisms. We will focus first on plants in the exhibit, and then also walk in the Garden to gain appreciation of the many evolutionary pathways that have allowed California native species to defend themselves from their enemies.

$20.00 Public, $15.00 RSABG Members and Students with ID

Please meet at the Game of Thorns Exhibit in the Container Garden. Registration is required.


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If you need special accommodations, please contact Community Education Coordinator, Diana Nightingale at least three days prior to the talk at (909)-625-8767 ext. 251 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.