The Moorten Botanical Garden is one of Palm Springs’ most recognized tourist spots. It is famous for cultivating succulent plants such as cacti and desert palms. Founded by the Moorten family, who are desert plant specialists, the nursery has been growing these exotic florae since 1938. They’ve developed over 3,000 varieties of these unusual plants, making the gardens a living oasis. In this article, we will explore Moorten Botanical Garden and its offerings.
This beautiful garden was established by Chester “Cactus Slim” Moorten and his wife Patricia in 1938. Chester was an actor before becoming a cactus curator. Thus, he has gained several celebrity connections, including being the lead landscape designer for Frank Sinatra and being consulted by Walt Disney regarding plants for his Frontierland, which is part of Disneyland. Moorten’s acting career ended when he caught tuberculosis and moved to Cottonwood Springs to recover and collect succulent plants. Since then, his hobby became a business, and eventually, his son Clark became a master curator and gardener.
The Moorten Botanical Garden has a comprehensive collection of exotic desert plants, including a selection of cacti from around the globe. The collection includes small cacti and agave to the enormous two-story Pachypodium, spiny-trucked succulent, and the unique African “candelabra” trees. The cactarium’s layout is one part greenhouse and one part desert biome, with paths weaving past desert plants grouped based on geographical location. It is almost like touring a safari full of exotic plants from different corners of the world.
This historic garden is also the perfect venue for weddings. One may book an event with up to 100 guests in the family’s private estate, with wedding ceremonies held during late afternoons. They also have a nursery where one could purchase a potted succulent to bring home. Their staff is happy to answer any questions regarding the plant species on display.
Moorten Botanical Garden is one of many great spots that people can visit here in Palm Springs. It has a long and exciting history and a plethora of cacti and other exotic plants you’ve never seen before. The natural beauty, carefully cultivated, is one of a kind.
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