Spring has arrived at CPP: Where to find the flora

By Damariz Arevalo, March 26, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona is home to 261 species of flora throughout its campus and is known for being one of the most biologically diverse campuses in the California State University. As March 19 marks the official first day of Spring, students can expect a pageantry of flora in the ongoing season.

Almost every corner of campus is inhabited by bands of flowers, plants, trees and ferns that the public is welcome to view.

Located between the Engineering Laboratory and Classroom/Laboratory Administration, citrus trees perfume the air at the Aratani Japanese Garden.

“The Japanese garden is really relaxing and it reminds me of The Arboretum in Arcadia,” said criminology student Erika Ramirez Ramos. “It helps me relax and helps my anxiety levels get lower. I feel more stressed out in the library and being in the fresh air really soothes me, listening to the birds and being part of nature, especially in spring”

Citrus Trees at the Aratani Japanese Garden. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

The Aratani Japanese Garden has an abundance of flowers, the pond, trees and a little bridge to look over the Koi fish is Maddie Wratten, animal science student, favorite scenery at CPP.

Across the pond near La Cienega Center, behind the engineering laboratories, there are artichoke thistles that are ready to open with large, spiky, bright purple flowers.

Artichoke thistles near La Cienega. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

Neighboring the artichokes is the Jasmine plant. CPP shelters a variety of different Jasmine species, with the star jasmine having five white petals all around with a strong, pleasant aroma.

Jasmine near the artichoke thistles. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

Walking toward Building 1, before crossing University Drive, there is a bed of germander sage, the flower, though small, is an iridescent blue flower that makes for an awe-striking spectacle as a patch.

Sage near Building 1. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

There are two sister trees on campus with different qualities, saucer magnolia and southern magnolia. Saucer magnolia loses all its leaves during winter, and it starts to bloom with deep rose purple petals. It can be found behind the Business Administration Building on University Drive.

This creates a sense of spring. The beauty of saucer magnolia tree is the leaves that wither away and leaf out after a month, making it more memorable.

Saucer magnolias denote the start of spring. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

The southern magnolia can be found in the Mesozoic Garden on University Drive passing parking lot J toward Building 1. The trees are evergreen with glossy dark green leaves and large white flowers that are cup shaped with six petals that have an indulging heavy, sweet, scent with a hint of lemon that lasts all year long.

Saucer magnolias on campus. Damariz Arevalo

The W.K. Kellogg Rose Garden is starting to bloom different colors, such as the pink beautiful day hybrid tea rose and perennial Don Juan climbing red roses that it gives the feeling of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Pink rose at the rose garden. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post
Red rose at the rose garden. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

A particular medium to deep yellow rose known for its miniature size that grows in the Rose Garden is called “Cal Poly.” It blooms in the summer. The designer Ralph Moore introduced different species of roses, but Moore designed the yellow rose exclusively for Cal Poly Pomona.

The Cal Poly rose in the rose garden. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

The Rose Garden is home to a lavender walkway. The aroma can surround students while walking through and see busy bees hard at work to maintain its beauty.

Lavender at the rose garden. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

Coming in from West Temple Avenue and toward parking lot J on the left side between Camphor Lane and University Drive, there are beds of African daisies. They have white and purple petals with a purple disk floret.

African daises along University Drive. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

Across from the African daisy, along University Drive next to Building 7, there is another large bank with colors resembling a yellow-orange sunset called the Calendula. Calendula serves as ethnobotanical food and can be consumed and used for remedy properties, according to lecturer of plant science Tracey E. Takeuchi.

“Calendula beds are my favorite to look at because it is so stunning,” Takeuchi said.

Caldenula near Building 7. Damariz Arevalo | The Poly Post

Students have their routine on walking to class and not seeing CPP greenery all around them or try to explore what CPP has to offer.

“Explore the campus outside the usual walkway to class, look behind the parking lots there is a lot of plants to see,” said Naomie Vega, plant science student.

Feature image courtesy of Damariz Arevalo 

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