Plant Collections & Public Resources

Agave Species Collection

AgavesAgaves are native only to the new world. Their natural populations are widely distributed in the southwestern U. S., into Mexico, Central America and into Venezuela and Colombia. The Caribbean Islands also contain agaves. The heartland of agaves is Mexico. As explorers from elsewhere discovered agaves, they were immediately introduced to many new regions globally. The plants were once an important source of food, soap, and medicine. Leaf fibers were used for clothing, rope, and paper, Agaves are famous as the source of intoxicating beverages tequila, mescal, and pulque. These unthirsty plants make great landscaping features, centerpieces, and are gaining interest for their striking landscape features.

See the attached list of Agaves in the Horticulture Department's plant collection:

Agave Collection PDF

Fruit Orchard Collection

Orange TreeWe are able to grow an abundance of fruiting trees in Southern California. Fruit trees are extremely valuable to home gardeners who not only want to save money by producing more of their own food, but who also want to enjoy many more fruit varieties than are generally found at the grocery store.  By picking your fruit when it is ripe, you can enjoy the full flavor that only fruit from your own trees can offer. Commercially grown fruit is most often picked long before it is ready so that it looks ripe by the time it reaches your local grocer.  Unfortunately, that means that the fruit is lacking in both flavor and nutrients. Our Fruit Orchard Collection includes many readily available varieties of fruit trees as well as some unusual selections. Attached is an inventory list of our orchard trees in the Horticulture Department: Orchard_tree_inventory for public.

Protea Garden

Protea illustration

During the 2015 Spring Semester a new Protea Garden was designed and planted in the MiraCosta Horticulture Department. Two Protea Garden interns helped to bring the garden into fruition, Ben Gill and Brandon Clakson. The California Protea Association has been instrumental in providing support and donations that have made this new public Protea display garden possible.

Thank you to the Protea Association and all of the help provided by our interns, volunteers, and staff!

Protea Garden Project, by Ben Gill:
The goal of this project is to plan, develop and plant a Demonstration Garden at the Horticultural area of the Oceanside campus. We envision the planting of a general representation of the Proteaceae family of perennial flowers used in landscape and commercial cut flower production. To read more, click the link: Protea Garden Project


The family Proteaceae is an ancient family of plants. It was one of the earliest groups of flowering plants and was able to disperse and diversify throughout Gondwana before the supercontinent disintegrated. With about 1600 species, it is one of the plant groups which now dominate the southern hemisphere floras. Proteaceae are best represented in South Africa and south western coastal areas of Australia. These beautiful flowers were first grown in the United States in San Diego north county. Protea are well adapted to our Mediterranean
climate and require very little water or care. This garden was designed and installed by Horticulture Interns, Ben Gill and Brandon Clarkson with the support from the California Protea Association.

MiraCosta Protea Garden details and more information about growing Proteas can be found here: Protea Garden

More details and pictures of the garden coming soon!

Garden Etiquette for Visiting the 10acre Horticulture Department Facilities and Landscape

To ensure a safe, environment for all students, guests and to protect valuable plant collections, the following guidelines must be adhered to:

1. Parking regulations are enforced, all students, visitors, and staff vehicles parked on all campuses must be registered with a parking permit (use the daily permit dispenser) or no permit required in 20 minute visitor/customer parking spaces in Horticulture parking lot 7-A.
2.Leave flowers and plants for classes & everyone to enjoy. Do not collect or remove seeds, flowers, fruits, and vegetables, plant labels, etc. Student and class collecting activities must be scheduled and approved by the Horticulture Department*.
3. The Horticulture Department’s Fruit Orchard & Vegetable Gardens are generally closed to students (during non-class time) and visitors. To enter these areas permission must be granted from Horticulture Staff. To obtain permission check-In at the Plant Sales Nursery or Building 7000.
4.Stay on designated pathways at all times. Do not block pathways or access for other visitors.
5. Visitors are welcome to take photos and videos for personal use. Professional photography should be scheduled with the college’s Public Information Office (PIO).
6.Children should be supervised at all times.
7. Climbing, athletic games, bicycles, roller blades, scooters, and skateboards are not permitted in the departments landscaped areas.
8.Service animals are permitted with proper I.D.
9. Do not feed or handle any wildlife. It can be harmful to them and you.
10.Dispose of waste and recyclables in proper trash receptacles.
11. Keep your personal items with you at all times. The college cannot be held responsible for missing items. The college does not offer a place to store personal items (i.e., a locker). If you do not wish to carry them with you, leave them in your vehicle.
12.If you recover an item that does not belong to you, please turn it in to College Police or Horticulture Department Staff.
13. All local laws and college policies are enforced, including prohibited items on campus, such as alcohol and firearms, etc. Please contact College Police for questions or more information.
14.The college is a nicotine-free environment. Cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, chewable tobacco and similar products are not allowed on college property including all grounds, buildings, rest rooms, and parking areas.
Visitors who choose not to comply with these guidelines may be asked to leave the College.
For a complete list of college policies please visit:
*Collection of any plant material from college property without consent from the proper authorities could be considered vandalism or theft. To collect any part of a plant (fruit, seeds, cuttings, etc.) on college land requires the collector to secure permission, allowing such activity, from the proper Department.

Horticultural Websites in San Diego County

Associations & Organizations

Clubs & Societies

Public Gardens

Retail Nurseries

For more information or questions about the Horticulture Department's plant collections, gardens, greenhouses, plant sales nursery, facilities, and department's policies, please inquire with our Horticulture Instructional Associate:

Carolyn Kinnon

Office: Oceanside Campus, Horticulture Department, Building 7000, Parking Lot-7A, MS#19
Phone: 760.757.2121 x6533

Growing Soon, Additional Plant Collections

More details to follow.