Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium

Coordinates: 33°48′01″N 116°32′46″W / 33.8003°N 116.5460°W / 33.8003; -116.5460
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Moorten Botanical Garden
The entrance to the Moorten Botanical Garden
LocationPalm Springs, California, US
1701 South Palm Canyon Drive
Coordinates33°48′01″N 116°32′46″W / 33.8003°N 116.5460°W / 33.8003; -116.5460
Area1 acre (0.40 hectares)
Opened1938 (1938)
Visitors200 per day
CollectionsDesert climates

The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium is a 1 acre (0.40 ha) family-owned botanical garden in Palm Springs, California, specializing in cacti and other desert plants. The gardens lie within Riverside County's Coachella Valley, part of the Colorado Desert ecosystem.


The Moorten Gardens were established as a nursery in 1939 by Patricia and Chester "Cactus Slim" Moorten,[1] and developed into the present day garden in 1955.[2] Chester, one of the original Keystone Cops, starred in Two Flaming Youths (1927) and The Sideshow (1928).[2] The Moorten residence was named the Cactus Castle, and was originally built in Mediterranean style by photographer Stephen H. Willard (1894–1966).[3] The Moortens collected many of their own specimen plants from Baja California, mainland Mexico, and as far south as Guatemala. To recognize their contributions to the community, the Moortens were awarded "Golden Palm Stars" on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.[4]

The Moorten residence, known as "The Cactus Castle", at the garden


Ecoregion habitats[edit]

The garden includes 3,000 examples of desert cacti and other desert plants,[5] grouped by geographic regions:

Garden collections[edit]

Outdoor collections include: Agaves, Bombax, crested Cereus, Cardoon and Boojum trees, "arborescent candelabra Euphorbia", a two-story Pachypodium, thorned Caesalpinia and Bursera, and over a dozen Aloes of southern Africa and Madagascar.

"Cactarium" greenhouse collections include: cacti and succulents, with caudiciform species exhibiting thickened root crowns, many species of Asclepiads, Aztecia, Gymnocalycium, Alstromeria, Euphorbia, and Ferocactus, plus two fine examples of Welwitschia mirabilis from Namibian deserts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mitchell, Gordon "Whitey" (2006). Star Walk: A Guide to the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Palm Springs, California: Hall/Sloane. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-9638683-4-3.
  2. ^ a b Meeks, Eric G. (2014) [2012]. The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes. Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. p. 294. ISBN 978-1479328598.
  3. ^ Giles, Christine (2007). "23: The Ansel Adams of the Desert: Stephen H. Willard". In Peter Wild (ed.). The Grumbling Gods: a Palm Springs Reader. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press. ISBN 978-0-87480-899-5. OCLC 122974473, 608203796, 608020250 (print and on-line)
  4. ^ Palm Springs Walk of Stars: By Date Dedicated Archived 2012-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ McClure, Rosemary (2020-02-27). "Seeing these beautiful Southern California gardens won't break your budget". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-03-02.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]