Venture Into Descanso’s Ancient Forest

By Michael Berick

Los Angeles Attractions - Descanso Ancient Forest

The new floral area opening at Descanso Gardens this month offers a look at plant life of the past and into the future. PHOTO BY RACHEL YOUNG

Descanso Gardens opens up a new floral area Sept. 26 that takes visitors back into the past – way back. The Ancient Forest lives up to its name as one of those unique Los Angeles attractions, housing plants that have hardly changed since the days of the dinosaurs. This new space, located near the Lilac Garden, will be home to nearly 175 cycad plants representing 66 species. These palm-like seed plants grow very slowly, which allows them to live for hundreds of years but means they are less plentiful in the wild. Descanso’s Ancient Forest offers a wonderful and rare opportunity for the public to have a cycad experience.

On the forest’s opening day, visitors can take guided tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and have a hands-on fossil learning experience and make a fossil to take home from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The gardens are located at 1418 Descanso Dr., La Canada Flintridge. Admission is $9 for adults, $4 for ages 5-12. Learn more at

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