Enjoy a big squeeze of color this winter as Sonoma Botanical Garden transforms its greenhouse into a cornucopia of living citrus trees in fruit. The Garden kicks off its brand-new special exhibition program with a first-time indoor botanical display, From East to Zest, an original, living exhibition illustrating citrus’ colorful journey across the globe. Immersed in fragrance and color, visitors learn fun facts as they stroll, from the myth of the Meyer Lemon to the cause of the Grapefruit Effect.
Virtually all citrus originated in Southeast Asia, yet today are thoroughly ingrained in the cuisines and cultures of the Americas. Imagine Peruvian food without lemons, or Mexican cuisine without limes!
Thousands of years of citrus cultivar selection and breeding has produced a vast trove of little-known, yet distinct citrus including such culinary treats as the Yuzu, beloved of chefs everywhere today, or the Sudachi, from which ponzu braising sauce is made. Bizarre forms, like the Buddha’s Hand citron, or unusual hybrids like Limequats and Mandarinquats, add to the fascinating range of citrus grown in California today. These zesty delights have traveled far from their historic ranges and new DNA evidence is changing how botanists think about this tangled floral family.
Rooted in a commitment to conserving biodiversity, the Garden has been home to a treasure trove of plants collected from temperate parts of East Asia, protecting the wild genetics of some rare and endangered species. This foundation in Asian flora and location in the heart of Sonoma Valley – with its own unique history of citrus – is the perfect backdrop for this citrus celebration.
Free with Garden admission
Member preview day: Friday, November 4