John R. Rodman Arboretum
The Arboretum began in 1984 when Dr. John R. Rodman, Professor of Environmental Studies, and Dr. Sheryl F. Miller, Professor of Anthropology, along with other faculty, staff, and students, tried to save surviving native chaparral vegetation from demolition by well-meaning academic developers. Since 1988 the arboretum has been an official part of the college.
Sixteen gardens demonstrate that drought-tolerant, native landscaping can produce beautiful and environmentally responsible gardens for the San Gabriel Mountains foothills—alluvial fan scrub habitat, of the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion.
The arboretum gardens and plant communities are as follows:
- David Bloom Garden of Remembrance - dedicated in 2003 to David Bloom, a place of memorial.
- Desert Garden - examples are South African Euphorbia "Sticks on Fire," and cactus prevalent in Mexico such as cholla, pipe organ (Pachycereus marginatus), beavertail (Opuntia ficus-indica), and Agave salmiana.
- Ellsworth Garden - a water-conserving garden named for Pitzer President Frank Ellsworth; many South African Aloe species are represented.
- Eunice Pitzer Wildflower Garden - Eunice Pitzer (1912–92) was a lover of the desert and of desert wildflowers.
- Farm Project Garden and Orchard - A parking lot until energetic students liberated it with jackhammers and labor, its centerpiece is the chicken house as an example of sustainable agriculture.
- Grove House Gardens - Three gardens, including the Citrus Orchard with Moro blood oranges, tangelos, Oro Blanco grapefruit, Dancy tangerines and Eureka lemons; Waldo's Garden with Brazilian silk floss trees (Chorisia speciosa), catnip, plants attractive to birds and butterflies, and a pond; and Farmworkers Memorial Garden (2003), a rose garden honoring the farmworkers’ movement.
- Intercultural Garden - designed by Perry & Associates Collaborative's landscape architects, Bob Perry and Jerry Taylor in 1994, with plants from around the world representing the diversity of Pitzer College's students. These include plants from Asian Ginkgo biloba; Australian and New Zealander Kangaroo paws (Anigozanthus); African Aloe dichotoma or quiver plant (Quercus canariensis); Egyptian/Middle Eastwen (papyrus, pomegranates, figs); and New World succulents.
- Medicinal Garden - begun 1998-99, medicinal and culinary species from world cultures, including Agave tequilana, Salvia, and Artemisia spp.; lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus); feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium); etc.
- Outback/Arboretum Natural Area - threatened by campus expansion but preserving the local plant community with a native mix of coastal sage scrub and chaparral.
- Ruth Munroe Garden - dedicated to a guiding spirit.
- The Strip - natives such as toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) and Matilija poppy or “fried egg plant” (Romneya coulteri).
- Woodlands - three woodlands planted on earth excavated for the construction of Broad Center and Broad Hall, representing four types of southern California woodland: pinyon pines, junipers, Yucca whipplei, Apache plum, endangered Englemann oaks (Quercus englemanni), Coast live oaks (Q. agrifolia), cottonwood trees (Populus balsamifera & P. fremontii), Golden currant (Ribes aureum), and California fan palms (Washingtonia filifera).