LA Arboretum

Find the ‘Freaky Flora' Growing at This Local Garden, If You Dare

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden has posted a list of its strangest plants and where they are located; the tour is self-guided.

Wagner Campelo

What to Know

  • Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia
  • The self-guided tour is included with garden admission
  • Bloodleaf plant, dragon tree, and other spectacular specimens are included on the route


They've long sprouted in the very center our spookiest stories and cinematic gems, from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" to "Little Shop of Horrors."

But we don't need to turn to fictional fronds and stems that sprung from a storybook to connect with beastly blooms; the world around us is positively brimming with ghoulish growing things, the sort of specimens that either possess eerie appearances or characteristics that are delightfully creepy.

Discovering these scary seeds and bizarre blossoms doesn't mean a big trip to some far-off frightful forest; rather, you only need call upon the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden, which is offering a self-guided tour to some of its weirder residents.

The Freaky Flora Route is free with paid admission to the Arcadia garden.

There are several entries dotting the dastardly document, covering some of the destination's lesser-known plants, like the Rainbow Dream Snake, as well as those leafy or needly superstars that might be in your yard right now (think oaks or rosemary).

Each entry explains a bit more about why a particular flower or shrub was chosen for eeky inclusion on the Freaky Flora roster, as well as where you can find it (the arboretum is 127 acres, so there'll be plenty of offbeat investigating to do).

Eager for a peek at some of the plants before making for the history-packed plant place? You can see the pdf right here.

And if you do choose to visit this verdant spot ahead of Halloween, all to give your spine-tingling season a natural dimension, consider this: LA Arboretum has several interesting events happening in late October, including Evening Forest Bathing on Oct. 30 and a Pumpkins & Pancakes Breakfast earlier in the day.

The Evening Forest Bathing doesn't have a Halloween-themed dimension, but won't it be rather chilling, in the most charming sense, to be out at the celebrated gardens at night, knowing that there's so much freaky flora in your immediate vicinity?

Halloween-loving gardeners, this might be one of your ultimate mash-ups: Weird plants, moonlight, and All Hallows Eve on the horizon.

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